491 proposals have been submitted for Tallinn's 2024 participatory budget program, surpassing the previous record by 76 and achieving the best result in four years. An expert committee will now evaluate the feasibility of the ideas before they are put to a public vote.
Mayor of Tallinn Mihhail Kõlvart (Center) expressed gratitude to all the capital's residents who have contributed their ideas for improving public spaces.
"It's delightful to see a consistent increase in the number of proposals submitted. The record number of proposals received this year demonstrates that the people have embraced participatory budgeting and recognize it as a real opportunity to have a say in how public funds are used. These ideas give us an overview of the kind of urban spaces people desire and help to take their expectations into account," said Kõlvart.
"I also invite everyone to participate in the public vote starting in November, to ensure the most popular projects become a reality," he added.
Similar to previous years, environmentally friendly urban spaces were the most popular type of proposal, with 141 submitted. Other popular categories included sports and leisure (128), security (90), and proposals related to children and youth (54). 78 ideas were submitted in a variety of other categories.
In terms of different districts, Nõmme led the way with 105 ideas, followed by Kesklinn with 102. Lasnamäe contributed 60 ideas, Põhja-Tallinn (55), Haabersti (40), Mustamäe (48), Kristiine (46), and Pirita (35). Proposals were submitted in Estonian (387), Russian (79), and English (25).
A large number of the proposals are related to outdoor activities, with people wishing to see the construction of cycling infrastructure, including bicycle parking and storage sheds. Disc golf courses, outdoor gyms, and winter swimming spots were also suggested.
Some suggestions concern waste sorting, increasing the amount of green spaces in the city, or addressing noise pollution. Others focus on improving facilities for pedestrians.
Among the more unique ideas include "lost and found" cabinets, repair studios, street libraries, and an art alley.
The feasibility of the ideas which have been put forward will now be assessed by an expert committee, who are tasked with narrowing down the options before they are presented to the public. Tallinn residents will then be able to vote for their favorite projects between November 20 and December 3.
In each of the city's districts, at least the project with the most votes, which also meets the criteria for the participatory budget, will be realized.
Two years ago, 386 proposals for projects were received, while last year that rose to 414. Of those, 136 and 114 projects, respectively, made it to the public vote.
€1 million has been allocated from the 2024 budget for the realization of ideas collected during this year's participatory budget call. 75 percent will be divided equally among the city's different districts, and the remaining 25 percent allocated proportionally according to the number of residents in each district as of July 1 this year.
Editor: Michael Cole