Tallinn to run for European Green Capital 2023 title

Cyclist by Tallinn's Old Town.
Cyclist by Tallinn's Old Town. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Tallinn has decided to apply for the title of European Green Capital of 2023, which will be awarded next year by the European Commission. The capital made it to the finals this year but was unsuccessful.

At Wednesday's (October 28) sitting, the City Government authorized Mayor Mihhail Kõlvart to sign the application and instructed Tallinn's Urban Environment and Public Works Department to submit the application to the European Commission.

The initiative aims to improve the living environment of European cities, to present activities and to recognize the efforts that cities are making to improve the environment and the quality of life.

Kõlvart said that as a finalist of European Green Capital 2022, Tallinn has already started many initiatives and projects that the city will implement when moving forward.

"On the running, our aim and value will be the journey and also the processes that will be activated during the candidacy. During the application process we are able to get feedback on steps we have already taken when moving towards being a greener city. Also, we have the opportunity to fix our current and future projects," explained Kõlvart. "Every citizen benefits from participating in this process and the accompanying developments, because the goal is a greener city with a better environment and urban space. Out of our bigger vision and desire to keep environmental issues in the public spotlight, we decided to run again for the title of European Green Capital in 2023."

The mayor also emphasized the positive aspects the process will have on the city's and the country's economy.

The European Green Capital title assesses the contributions, performances and example of the city in 12 environmental areas: air quality, noise, waste, water, nature and biodiversity, sustainable land use, green growth and eco-innovation, climate change: mitigation, climate change: adaptation, energy performance, sustainable urban mobility and governance.

Tallinn's Putukaväil project has been presented, where the city has started to create a new nature- and human-friendly public space in the area of ​​the former railway and high-voltage line corridor.

The principles of landscaping protection have been specified as well, and in the case of eco-innovation, the development of a smart city, including climate-neutral and circular city, has been highlighted.

Tallinn is developing new functions for Ühiskaart, which is currently mainly used as a validation card in public transportation. The city wants to create an additional purpose of the card, such as getting points for environmentally friendly behavior, similar to private sector loyalty programs.

New initiatives at the management level will include an inclusive budget next year and a cooperation with the Green Tiger. With the memorandum of cooperation, Tallinn takes the responsibility to be one of the leaders of the green revolution in Estonia and to lead the transition to a carbon-neutral economy.

In the field of mobility, the aim is to combine the existing light traffic routes into a single safe network, linking them to neighboring municipalities, in line with the cycling strategy. By the end of this year, a detailed implementation plan for 2021-2025 will be prepared to meet the goals of the Tallinn Bicycle Strategy.

Tallinn's 2023 application includes new events, activities, projects, updated statistics and references to new important city development documents under preparation (such as Tallinn Development Strategy "Tallinn 2035", Tallinn Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan until 2030, Vision until 2050, Tallinn Mobility Plan, Environmental Protection and Development Plan 2022-2030).

Tallinn has applied for the title of European Green Capital in 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2022, Tallinn has also reached the finals twice. In 2022 Tallinn was a finalst with Grenoble, Dijon and Turin.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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