Tallinn, Helsinki mayors discuss cooperation of twin cities

Port of Helsinki
Port of Helsinki Source: Francisco Morais/Creative Commons

Tallinn Mayor Mihhail Kõlvart on Friday met with visiting Helsinki Mayor Jan Vapaavuori to discuss several issues, including environmental protection, open data and the common transport ticket system idea.

"We have a lot in common. I think that it is important that cooperation between the two cities takes place on specific topics. Many thanks to the city of Tallinn, which has been working, as one example, on developing a system for a common transport ticket," the mayor of the Finnish capital said.

"We discussed recent major joint projects, such as the common ticket system. The system is not fully ready, but starting in April, we will launch a joint application where people can buy public transport tickets for both Tallinn and Helsinki. The app is made by us, but it can also be used by residents of Helsinki. The project is not yet finished, but it still has potential for development, for example in the form of linking to a joint card," Tallinn Mayor Mihhail Kõlvart said.

"We also talked about future perspective, there are many interesting projects under consideration. One topical and promising idea is open data. Both cities are developing the system. We know that in today's world, knowledge is created from open data. Cooperation between the two cities creates new synergies, new opportunities and new potential. We believe that this is the most promising place for cooperation today," he added.

The mayors also discussed improving the condition of the Baltic Sea. "There is a shared sea between us and much can be done to improve its condition. That is why the sea is also under heightened attention on our agendas," Vapaavuori said. "We are currently living in a world where cities play an important role in solving global problems. On the other hand, our world is also one where digitalization is gaining in importance and technical development is fast as well. Tallinn and Helsinki are trailblazers here."

A cooperation agreement has been established between the two cities, whereby the cities meet at the level of mayors twice a year, alternately in Helsinki and Tallinn. The purpose of the meetings is to review everything agreed on in the cooperation agenda and to set new guidelines. In between meetings, city officials work on the topics in bilateral communication and the issues are constantly evolving.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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