2018 "Capitals of the year" for the environment, culture, youth and design
-- The 2018 EU Green Capital is Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Every two years a large European city serves as Green Capital. In the odd numbered year, the EU Green Leaf program highlights the environmental forwardness of a smaller city.
-- The 2018 EU Capitals of Culture are Valletta, Malta and Leeuwarden/Friesland, The Netherlands.
-- The 2018 EU Youth Capital is Cascais, a suburb of Lisbon, in Portugal.
In past writings I've argued that the US should develop similar programs, to promote transformational best practice. Not that the current administration would be into it, but such a program could be developed for all of North America (US, Canada, Mexico).
The UK has developed an intra-UK City of Culture program modeled after the EU program, held every four years ("Can Hull build on its UK City of Culture status beyond 2017?," Guardina), the next iteration won't be until 2021, to be held in Coventry.
In the interim, because of Brexit, UK cities were informed they can no longer participate in the program, although the country was slated to participate in 2023 ("EU rules British cities cannot be capitals of culture," Guardian).
Mayor Sadiq Khan of London has launched a similar program, designating a different borough each year as the London Borough of Culture, providing £1 million in funding for culture programming. In February, the city will pick the winning boroughs for 2019 and 2020.
-- The World Design Organization World Design Capital® program. Every two years a city is designated the World Design Capital® by the WDO and the 2018 World Design Capital® is Mexico City.