Tallinn's Aegna Island will be transformed into an urban eco island with the help of a European Union project focusing on eco island development. Tourism facilities and infrastructure which create a minimal environmental impact are being developed.
Monika Haukanomm, head of the administration of the Tallinn Center District, of which Aegna is a part, on Thursday said: "There is a natural paradise just 30 minutes by boat ride from Tallinn's city center which has received undeservedly little attention to date. We can change this now.
"The island of Aegna has immense potential to offer not only environmentally sustainable but also smart solutions. With that in mind, work has proceeded successfully, the monitoring systems, infrastructure for holidaymakers and materials supporting environmental education have been completed already, a waste handling station is about to be completed."
The Finnish island of Vasikkasaari is also participating in the project and the main objective is to develop the two islands, located in the urban twin city area of Helsinki and Tallinn, into popular and smart nature tourism destinations.
Both islands will be turned into attractive destinations for nature tourism which takes their archipelago surroundings into account.
The project will test new, innovative and smart solutions to ensure nature protection and to increase the attractiveness of both islands. The smart digital solutions will also enhance visitor experiences.
The project will keep the impact of tourism on the islands to a minimum despite an increase in tourist numbers.
Work carried out this year includes renewing hiking trails on Aegna, installing a weather station and digital information signs and building a new website. A system for monitoring visitor numbers, which provides input for designing new tourism opportunities and marketing activities, has also been created.
The project partners are Tallinn Center District, the City of Helsinki, the Tallinn Center of the Stockholm Environment Institute and Forum Virum Helsinki.
The project is called "Okosaared - Urban Eco Islands," spokespeople for the city district said. The development project is financed from the INTERREG Central Baltic Program and will end in March, 2021.
Editor: Helen Wright