Evanston places fourth in international city competition

Tori Latham, City Editor

Evanston had the fourth largest vote total in an international city competition sponsored by the World Wildlife Fund, the city announced Tuesday.

With a total of 14,365 votes, Evanston beat larger cities like Rio de Janeiro, Johannesburg and Vancouver, Canada, in the WWF’s Earth Hour City Challenge. The city had one of the smallest populations in the challenge, but it had the second highest number of votes per capita, trailing only behind Balikpapan, Indonesia, the city said.

An 11-member jury of renowned leaders in urban sustainability named Evanston the 2015 U.S. Earth Hour City Capital in March.

The panel recognized Evanston’s commitment and progress toward fighting climate change, the city said. They also noted the city’s energy program that aims to give residents and small businesses 100 percent renewable energy and the sustainability standards that exist for new buildings in Evanston.

Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl traveled to Seoul earlier this month, where she represented Evanston at the ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability’s World Congress conference.

Balikpapan, Indonesia won the title of Most Loveable City, which was based on vote totals from the WWF’s “We Love Cities” campaign. The campaign encouraged community members to vote, tweet and Instagram the reasons they loved their city.

The panel chose Seoul as the overall winner of the challenge.

Evanston will celebrate the city’s recognition as the U.S. Earth Hour City Capital on Monday. Community members can join Tisdahl and City Council at a reception at 5:45 p.m. at the Civic Center.

Correction: An earlier version of the headline for this story mischaracterized the nature of the competition. It is an international competition. The Daily regrets the error.

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