Cuenca was named a “Global Green City” at the United Nations Habitat III convention in Quito. The award is a recognition of cities that have made a commitment to preserving and expanding natural areas and improving air quality.
Cuenca was cited by Habitat judges for establishing green belts along its rivers and for its plan to extend those green belts and to establish more parks. Judges also praised the city for plans to reduce vehicular traffic in the historic district and construction of its electric train system.
Cuenca Mayor Marcelo Cabrera accepted the award and pledged that the city would continue to improve and expand its green belts and parks. “We have worked hard to protect our rivers and improve the quality of their water,” he said. “We understand that green areas are the lungs of the city.”
Other cities to receive the Global Green City award were Oakland, California (U.S.), Vienna, Austria, and two cities in China.