Green Capital title embraced by Ljubljana residents
According to Ficko, city authorities often receive messages from concerned citizens warning about, for example, the existence of an illegal landfill near the city.
"We try to deal with matters as quickly as we can, but not everything can be done overnight, as the legislation and the division of competences between the government and the municipality pose an additional challenge. Changes to the better are still visible and we can be proud of them," she said.
For example, Ljubljana scored most points with the European Commission for closing the central section of the Slovenska street that runs through the heart of the city centre for traffic and turning it into a shared zone for pedestrians, bicyclists and public transport.
On the international level, the Green Capital title has earned the city several awards and since last year Ljubljana has become a member of the executive committee of the Eurocities network of major European cities.
Ljubljana will hold the European Green Capital title for about six more months, but Ficko said that the action would not wear off and that much work still needs to be done.
Ficko said that though other Slovenian cities are too small to vie for the Green Capital title, the Ljubljana municipality still wants to encourage them to vie for the title of European Green Leaf, the Commission's initiative to recognise cities with 20,000-100,000 citizens committed to sustainable development, green growth and new jobs.
After the next European city receives the title, Ljubljana intends to actively share its experiences and achievements it gained during the project with other cities in Europe.