Meet in green
A green itinerary model
Planning green meetings always seems like a good idea. To help meeting planners go green, we have outlined the basic elements of an itinerary to provide an example from which you can start organizing your own ideas.
Destination: Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain. Vitoria-Gasteiz is the 2012 recipient of the European Green Capital award. It is also the capital of the Alava province and of the Basque Country. Founded in 1811 in northern Spain, Vitoria-Gasteiz is a city of average size, the second largest of Basque community.
Vitoria-Gasteiz was chosen as this year’s European Green Capital champion for several reasons, including great efforts to eliminate habitat fragmentation and pollution. The most notable reason is its “Green Belt”, a semi-natural green area which surrounds the center of the city in concentric circles; the Green Belt itself is surrounded by forestry and mountains.
Vitoria-Gasteiz has an impressive proportion of green areas open to the public. This ensures that the entire population lives within 300m of an open green space, such as a community garden. The city is similarly applauded for its significantly decreased water consumption. The aim is to cut domestic water consumption to less than 100 litres per capita, per day.
To read Vitoria-Gasteiz’s European Green Capital application, and to find more Green Capital winners, click here: ec.europa.eu/environment/europeangreencapital/winning-cities/2012-vitoria-gasteiz/index.html.
Take the train! The Madrid-Irun train passes through Vitoria-Gasteiz, one of the line’s major stops. Some half a dozen trains run each day from Vitoria-Gasteiz to the Spanish capital, which passes though Valladolid, using the Alta Velocidad Espanola (AVE) infrastructure to arrive in Madrid within 3 hours and 45 minutes. There are also connections to Castile and Leon, Galicia, Catalonia, Alicante, Asturias, Lisbon, and Paris. A high-speed train line is currently under construction to connect Vitoria-Gasteiz to Madrid, Bilbao and San Sebastian, among others, by 2013.
Once you arrive in Vitoria-Gasteiz, getting around is simple! If you don’t wish to deal with public transportation, you’ll be glad to hear that over 25% of the city’s public space is limited to pedestrian access.
Otherwise, the city offers 2 auto rails within its municipal limits. There are also tramways and bus routes. For most of the year, free bicycles are even available near the city’s civic centers, to be used on the expansive network of cycling paths, which allows cyclists to maneuver the city with ease and in safety.
Clients have plenty of post-meeting activities to choose from in Vitoria-Gasteiz. There are touches of medieval architecture all around the city and plenty of museums to visit. But we recommend the Vitoria Jazz Festival
, entertaining locals every year during the second week of July. See who is playing at www.jazzvitoria.com/