12 November 2023, by Emily Proctor

The Dutch city of Amersfoort has been named as the European City of the Year for 2023, according to a vote by the jury of The Academy of Urbanism in London. The organisation praised the city for its quality of life, progressive urban planning and innovation while preserving its historic character and heritage, according to Dutch broadcaster NOS

Sustainability, urban development and involvement of locals are key 

According to NOS, there are many criteria assessed by the jury before the prize is awarded. Some of the key elements are urban development, sustainability and whether or not residents really feel at home in the city. 

In the case of Amersfoort, the judges specifically praise the central role that the city plays in its inhabitants’ eyes, and the way in which the city is managed. The judges also stated that the city has great urban development features and is achieving a good level of sustainability. 

Jury visited Amersfoort in September

The jury came to visit the city just a few months ago, in September, to assess the municipality and see how life is in Amersfoort for its everyday residents. Amersfoort is the second Dutch city to be awarded the prize, after Rotterdam in 2015. 

Mayor Lucas Bolsius is pleased with the prize: “Amersfoort has grown enormously and modernised in fifty years, but the history and the people have always remained central,” he told NOS.

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