Tartu residents vote on use of city budget funds in 'Participative Budgeting' project
Every year for the past four years, the Southern Estonian city of Tartu has allowed its citizens to vote to decide how their city should spend 150,000 euros, or approximately one percent of its next year's budget. This year, Tartu residents decided to financially support the reconstruction of a historical stable building in the Raadi distrcit and the building of Pocket Park (Taskupark) at the Riia-Kastani intersection located near Tartu Railway Station.
While residents had one week to vote for their favorite of 25 presented potential projects, the city of Tartu will now have one year to complete the two winning projects, to which a total 150,000 euros of city budget funds will be dedicated, reported ETV’s news broadcast “Aktuaalne kaamera.”
A total of 8,211 votes were cast this year, of which 1,695 votes earned a win for the roof reconstuction project at the historical stable building in Raadi.
According to Lembit Kalev, a board member at Tartu Riding School who submitted the project for consideration, the stable serves as a training space for more than 200 young riders, and the restoration of the 103-year-old stable building’s roof is encouraging in developing the sport of horseback riding in Tartu.
Second place, with just over half as many votes as the stable project, went to the Pocket Park, or Taskupark, designed to be built in the courtyard of the Widget Factory, or Aparaaditehas, a warehouse converted into a mixed-use space geared for creative and public use located at the intersection of Riia and Kastani Streets.
According to Lemmit Kaplinski, who submitted the project for consideration, the Pocket Part will provide Tartu residents with an opportunity to meet and spend time with other people in a public space featuring modern amenities. The park design features a mix of elements including green spaces, park benches, playgrounds for young children and an outdoor ping-pong table for older visitors.
Both projects will receive 75,000 euros each in support from Tartu’s 2017 city budget. Mayor Urmas Klaas is confident that work on the two projects can begin as soon as the funds are disbursed at the beginning of next year.