In the short term, we have seen that the city’s residents are becoming increasingly involved in sustainability. A general goal in the Green Capital was to expand the circle of parties involved in five themes of sustainability. And we succeeded. In the long run, we can say that we have put Nijmegen on the map as a role model. We are on the list of European green cities worth visiting and we’ve received a lot of professional visitors. They see Nijmegen and the region as a frontrunner in areas such as green public transport, sustainable healthcare, the circular economy and green tourism. We have also closed a number of international deals, such as the covenant for sustainable inland navigation. It’s very important for the city to work on this because it will greatly improve air quality.
Within the Netherlands we have worked on our relationship with the national government. In addition to the king, we have also had visits from cabinet members. The effects of this may not be immediately noticeable for the city, but they are important in the long run.
In 2019 and beyond we will continue to work on the themes that we chose in 2018. And we will continue with our networks, which have resulted in many wonderful initiatives. We will strengthen these by focusing even more on realising substantive goals.
I think we can be satisfied with ourselves. If you see, for example, how many more visitors come to a sustainability café, then we have really achieved something. The Challenges reached large numbers of people and will continue to do so in 2019. We have made new people enthusiastic and involved. In the area of, for example, sports, health or the Operation Steenbreek campaign. All sorts of new groups were reached, especially among residents.
I am very proud of all those residents, entrepreneurs, knowledge institutes, clubs, schools and event organisers who rolled up their sleeves or contributed new ideas for making our city sustainable. Without their efforts and those of countless volunteers, the Green Capital year would not have been possible. On top of that all those people constitute a strong network that will continue to help us to create a green and healthy Nijmegen, where future generations will also enjoy living and working.