Which Croatian City Cares Most For Its Environment?

Lauren Simmonds

As Novac/Vedran Marjanovic writes on the 1st of October, 2019, out of the twenty nominations of the Croatian cities that applied for the best Eco City award, the jury included Ludbreg, Koprivnica, Belišće, Čakovec and Jastrebarsko as nominations in the finals.

The Best Eco City award, as part of an extensive survey of the best Croatian cities in six categories, is awarded to the city that has achieved the best practices and solutions in a kind of trinity of environmental concerns – waste management, green energy and clean-transport.

Candidate cities were asked, among other things, for information and data on strategic waste management documents, and then on ways and forms of informing citizens.

The candidatures of the Croatian cities in question were also evaluated in view of the possible use of “green fuel” in official cars and utility vehicles. When it comes to traffic, information about the introduction of public bicycle systems, electric scooters and other non-GHG systems was also important.

In the case of communal infrastructure, the application could be backed by data on the installation of energy efficient solutions for public city lighting, as well as data on the application of energy efficient solutions in the renovation of buildings managed by the cities themselves.

The results of the candidate cities’ withdrawal of EU funds in the field of energy efficiency in construction, heating and water infrastructure management were also taken into account. The prepared or developed projects for building energy potentials for renewable energy sources, such as solar power plants or wind farms, were of particular importance.

Finally, the Croatian cities in question were invited by public invitation to submit a summary of their projects related to energy sustainability, lower energy consumption, or waste management.

”The number of ‘eco city’ practices and solutions attached to each city’s application is irrelevant, as is, for example, their total and individual financial value. But the highlight in our decision-making was the quality of these practices and solutions,” they point out from the jury of Jutarnji list, Gradonacelnik.hr and the Ipsos agency.

Ludbreg’s trump cards to grab the Eco City title for 2019 include, among other things, the availability of separate collection bins for all citizens, a secured recycling yard in accordance with the population, and the disposal of separated municipal waste at a nearby landfill. Nearly one hundred percent of public lighting in this city located within Varaždin County is energy efficient through the installation of LEDs and energy-saving lights.

Ludbreg’s example of a solar tree and a downtown solar bench is the first of its kind in the Republic of Croatia and one of the first in the surrounding countries. Ludbreg’s local governmental unit also embarked on the provision of energy from renewable sources.

“The plan is to build two smaller hydropower plants on Bednja and several rooftop solar power plants on public buildings. We also have an entrepreneur in the city who is planning to build a photovoltaic solar field,” they stated from Ludbreg. The remediation of the Meka landfill is also one of the projects attached to Ludbreg’s candidacy. It involves a large investment of 36.71 million kuna, with the EU co-financing of 85 percent of the investment.

Last year’s winner of the Eco City award, Jastrebarsko, achieved its goal of separating and disposing of mixed municipal waste in all households back in 2011. The city disposes its rubbish in recycling yards according to their size and need, and conducts organised information campaigns among citizens and in the area’s schools.

Jastrebarsko’s utility companies have five electric cars at their disposal, and twelve electric bicycles are available for a fee to citizens. As many as eight bicycle paths with a total length of 250 kilometres have been drawn in the wider Žumberak Nature Park area.

“In the area of ​​energy efficiency, Jastrebarsko will begin replacing 3,199 lamps with environmentally friendly equipment with an investment of 13.8 million kuna,” said a statement from this city located in Zagreb County, and their candidacy also includes another fourteen projects related to energy sustainability.

Čakovec entered the Eco City award race, by providing, among other things, access to separate collection bins for all citizens, building two recycling yards and incorporating LED lights into the city’s public lighting. Of the 44 buildings administered by the city administration, ten have now been made energy-efficient.

Much like Jastrebarko, there are also 250 kilometres of marked out cycle paths in the Čakovec area, and utility companies have hybrid and gas vehicles at their disposal.

A project which involves waste has been running in the city since way back in 2000, and has resulted in a fifty percent reduction in the amount of waste that is being disposed of permanently, according to a statement from Čakovec’s city administration. The total value of all of Čakovec’s submitted projects is 30 million kuna.

All residents of the continental Croatian city of Koprivnica, according to the candidature of their city administration, can have their waste collected separately.

As far as clean transport is concerned, there are as many as eight electric vehicle charging stations in the city, the Koprivnica’s city administration uses five electric and two hybrid vehicles, and two mini buses are included in their public transport offer.

”Two fully electric buses are used for free public transport. The utility has three electric vehicles for the maintenance of the city’s cemeteries and green spaces, while the city regional energy agency REA North (Sjever) has one electric vehicle,” they state from Koprivnica.

Six local projects have been co-financed from European funds and are attached to Koprivnica’s Eco City award application. One of the biggest investments is the construction of a new recycling yard worth 5.23 million kuna.

Belišće is the only Slavonian city in the shortlist of all six categories of the competition for the best cities, and in the finals for the Eco City award, among other things, the construction of a stationary recycling yard with the possibility of separating as many as 38 types of waste has been made possible.

“We’re one of the first Croatian cities to have installed energy-efficient LED lighting fixtures in all of our areas which use public lighting,” they state from Belišće.

The winner will be announced on October the 4th, 2019 at the Days of Regional Development and EU Funds, which will be held in the coastal city of Šibenik.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for much more. If you’re interested in both official and unofficial ways in which Croatia works to preserve and protects its environment, give Total Eco Croatia a follow.


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