GANDIA has been officially named ‘Tree City of the World’ by the United Nations (UN).
The capital of La Safor district (Valencia Province) currently has 27 square metres of gardens per inhabitant – double the recommended minimum surface.
Gandia is the only Valencian town featured on this year’s list of ‘Tree Cities of the World’, compiled jointly by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN and the Nebraska-based Arbor Day Foundation.
Other Spanish entries include Madrid and several surrounding towns, and the whole metropolitan area of Barcelona.
The scheme is aimed at promoting more resilient and sustainable municipalities, with 120 entries from the five continents obtaining the qualification this year.
Gandia Environment councillor Alicia Izquierdo revealed that this was the first time the La Safor capital had applied for the title, and it has been obtained thanks to a series of projects including an environmental education programme, investments in planting and maintaining local green areas, and the official protection of several historic trees and groves.
There are now 206 gardens and nearly 20,000 trees dotted around Gandia – the result of many years of green policies within the local council.
Arbor Day Foundation president Dan Lambe congratulated Gandia and its fellow winners, highlighting that trees and forests are vital for the creation of ‘healthy and sustainable towns and cities throughout the world’.