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Tallinn lays out rules for inclusive budget vote in January

Tallinn Old Town.
Tallinn Old Town. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Anyone over the age of 14 who lives in the capital city will be able to submit ideas for Tallinn's new inclusive budget and vote on the outcome, the city government has agreed. Ideas can be submitted from November 16 and the vote will take place in January.

The purpose of the inclusive budget, also known as a participatory budget, is to implement a project in each of Tallinn's eight city districts each year, based on an idea ​​proposed and voted for by residents.

A proposed project can be submitted if it has a public purpose, is available free of charge to citizens most of the time, adds value to urban space and supports the city's development goals.

Ideas can be submitted on the Tallinn website, in the service hall (Vabaduse väljak 7) or in the city district governments from November 16 to December 6. The proposal must describe the purpose and importance of the project, the target group, the implementation and possible timetable, and the estimated cost.

The ideas and their feasibility will then be evaluated by an expert committee, which will also involve a representative of the city government and the city council related to the idea for the evaluation process.

They will be assessed on the basis of their compliance with the conditions of an inclusive budget: if they are feasible, if they enrich urban space and support Tallinn's development goals and if there could be any technical problems with their implementation and maintenance costs.

The ideas will be determined by voting in city districts. Residents over the age of 15 in their respective district can participate in the voting. Each voter can vote for up to two projects of their choice either electronically or in person. The vote is scheduled for January 18-31.

After the vote, the ideas are ranked according to the number of votes received by districts, the idea that received the most votes is implemented. In order for the vote to be valid, a certain minimum number of residents should participate in the voting in each district: 500 voters in Kristiine, Nõmme and Pirita, at least 1,000 people in Haabersti, Kesklinn, Mustamäe and North Tallinn, and 1500 in Lasnamäe.

In 2021, the total amount of the inclusive budget is €800,000 and 75 percent of the total amount is distributed equally among the districts and 25 percent in proportion to the population of the district.

Mayor Mihhail Kõlvart (Center) said: "Having analyzed the best practices of other cities in this field, we have come to the most suitable solution for Tallinn, which helps to strengthen the uniting feeling of our community and also to encourage local people to think and act together. Tallinn district councils have supported the draft inclusive budget, submitting several meaningful additions. Brainstorming to find projects that improve the urban environment should start on November 16, ideas can be proposed and votes given by district."

Tallinn City Council will discuss the conditions and procedure for an inclusive budget at its meeting next week. 


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Editor: Helen Wright

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