Ljubljana has already received the Tree City award in 2020 for 2019, and in February 2021 for 2020 and, thus, became one of 120 cities from 63 countries with this title. The recognition within the Tree Cities of the World programme is every year given by the Arbor Day Foundation and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), and it encourages cities to take care of their trees. With this title Ljubljana has consolidated its position of the green capital in this important global network with its good practices and measures taking care of the city’s trees and urban forests. In five years, the city, which has planted more than 3,500 trees, is surrounded by hills overgrown with indigenous forest which occupies as much as 46 percent of the total area of the municipality.
»Ljubljana’s commitment to efficient urban forest management makes an important contribution to ensuring a better future for the population,« the organisers wrote at the award ceremony. The sustainable Ljubljana is especially active in urban forests within the international project URBforDAN – management and use of urban forests as natural heritage in the cities included in the Danube Region, the area covered by the EU Strategy that stretches through 14 countries, from the Black Forest (Germany) to the Black Sea (Romania-Ukraine-Moldova) and is home to 115 million inhabitants. Within the URBforDAN, »Ljubljana has further strengthened its efforts to preserve the city’s ‘green lungs’ and biodiversity,« says the Municipality of Ljubljana on its website.
Slovenia’s capital is striving to preserve every tree in the city and is constantly planting new ones. As part of regular maintenance, they plant 300 to 600 tree-lined trees in public green areas every year. Many trees are additionally planted as part of the renovation of streets, roads, parking lots and the establishment of new areas, as well as taking care of fruit trees and city orchards and reforestation in forests. In 2016, Ljubljana planted the first fruit tree and opened the first public orchard in the city. Since then, it has already established six public orchards with 534 seedlings of different fruit species.
The city’s efforts put Ljubljana on the world map of leading sustainable, green, tourist and innovative cities. The second award of the Tree City of the World is aligned with the title of Green Capital of Europe 2016 and the sixth positioning in a row among the Global TOP 100 most sustainable destinations.