Europe’s executive body, the European Commission, started the European Green Capital initiative in 2010 to award cities for their commitment to high environmental standards an sustainable development. Vitoria-Gasteiz, a city of 240,000 in northern Spain, was named the European Green Capital for 2012. The city maintains many green public areas, has reduced habitat fragmentation, and has introduced measures to reduce light pollution. The city has also launched an initiative to significantly reduce its water consumption to 100 litres per capita per day; water consumption levels decreased continually between 1999 and 2009.
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