Bristol named European Green Capital for 2015
Bristol has been crowned the European Green Capital for 2015 at a ceremony in Nantes.
The city beat Brussels in Belgium, Glasgow in Scotland and Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, to the win. Nantes in France currently holds the title.
The title rewards cities which consistently achieve high environmental standards and are committed to further improvement and sustainability.
Last year Bristol was the runner-up, finishing behind Copenhagen in Denmark.
It is the third time the city has made the final shortlist.
Speaking to the BBC from the event in Nantes, elected mayor George Ferguson thought the judges liked the city's "enthusiasm, ambition and achievements over the last few years".'I feel fortunate'
He said: "You talk to all of the cities that have been green capital - they're all here with me tonight - and they say it's made a huge difference to their cities, to the perception of the city, to making sure it's a really good place to live in.
- Copenhagen, Denmark
- Nantes, France
- Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain
- Hamburg, Germany
- Stockholm, Sweden
"They have absolutely no doubt that it's been a platform for taking their environmental policies one step further.
"It's something that's very close to my heart, so I feel very fortunate that we find ourselves in this position."
Mr Ferguson, who was one of a seven-strong delegation representing the city of Bristol in France, said even though the win didn't bring any money directly to the city, it would bring business, investment and other economical benefits.
In Bristol, Liz Zeidler from the Bristol Green Capital Partnership said at an announcement event at the M Shed that the result was "absolutely fantastic".
"I'm quite emotional. So much work has been put in by so many people across this city, from top to bottom," she added.
"They knew what a difference it's going to make to our city, to our children's future, to the economy - all the things that matter to people in this city.
"So I am so delighted for everybody here who has been so supportive."'Every citizen involved'
Eight cities submitted bids for 2015. They were assessed against 12 criteria including innovation and sustainable employment, energy performance, water consumption, waste water treatment and climate change.
Bristol beat competition from Dublin in Ireland, Bydgoszcz in Poland, Kaunas in Lithuania and Kutahya in Turkey to reach the final stage of selection.
"In the build up to 2015, we're going to get every single citizen in Bristol involved in this," added Ms Zeidler.
"We're going to hear all of the ideas people have got to make this city greener, happier and better for everybody.
"We're going to make those as much of a reality as we can. This will help us leverage the money, the support and the energy that we need to make it happen."