Ideas for Tartu's Citizen-Initiative Budget Narrowed Down ({{commentsTotal}})

Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

The 1 percent slice of Tartu's budget that is being allocated based on a direct ballot initiative later this month moves to the next phase, with experts having sifted through some 160 ideas submitted by the public.

The remaining 71 ideas will be revealed on November 19 at a town hall meeting. Shortly thereafter, a referendum will be held where residents aged 16 and over decide which idea will get 140,000 euros in funding. There is as yet no date for the referendum. The winner will be announced in early December. 

The ideas submitted include numerous children's playground renovation plans and pitches for fixing specific streets and buildings. Perhaps most fatuously, a 25-meter concrete statue of the mayor on a rotating platform is proposed, but another idea pushes a statue of Solzhenitsyn, who famously wrote parts of "Gulag Archipelago" in a remote cabin outside the city.

On the innovative side, "vertical community gardens" are mentioned by one submitter, and a river tram is also recommended as part of the transport network. Several ideas have to do with better integrating the Emajõgi river with the city - a criticism analogous to Tallinn's limited use of its waterfront.