Since polls opened on Monday, a total of 3,031 Tallinners have already cast their votes to decide how next year's participatory budget will be used. Voting remains open until December 3, with all residents of the Estonian capital able to have their say on which projects they want to see enacted.
By Thursday evening, the most votes had been cast in Lasnamäe, with 955 of the district's residents registering their choices. Kesklinn was next with 772 votes, followed by Haabersti (675), Pirita (532) and Põhja-Tallinn with 506. In Nõmme, 461 people have voted up to now, as have 442 Mustamäe residents and 283 people living in the city's Kristiine district.
Mayor of Tallinn Mihhail Kõlvart (Center) expressed gratitude to all those who have voted so far and invited all other Tallinn residents to take part in the process to help shape the city's development.
"The current level of engagement shows that people care deeply about their community and are eager to contribute to the development of public spaces," said Kõlvart. "It's also crucial for the authors of the shortlisted ideas to actively promote their proposals. For this, online platforms and social networks are excellent tools, but they can also leverage the public spaces for outreach."
492 ideas were submitted for Tallinn's 2024 participatory budget. After their feasibility was assessed by an expert committee, 149 proposals were shortlisted for the public vote. 35 are in Nõmme, 26 in Kesklinn, 20 in Kristiine, 18 in Lasnamäe, 15 in Pirita, 13 in Mustamäe, 12 in Põhja-Tallinn, and 10 in Haabersti.
The shortlisted proposals, along with their descriptions, are available on Tallinn's participatory budget website here.
The most popular types of proposals this year were those connected to the creation eco-friendly urban space, with 140 ideas submitted, representing 28.5 percent of all proposals. The sports and leisure and safety categories also received significant attention, with 129 and 83 ideas submitted, respectively. Fifty-five submissions were for projects related to children and youth, with 85 ideas fitting into other categories.
Tallinn residents can vote for their favorite projects during the public voting, which runs from November 20 to December 3.
All individuals aged 14 and above, whose official residence is in Tallinn, are eligible to vote. Each participant can vote for up to two ideas to be implemented in their home district.
Votes can be cast on the participatory budgeting website, at local district governments, or at the Tallinn City Office on Freedom Square (Vabaduse väljak 7). At least one project meeting the participatory budgeting criteria will be implemented in each of the city's districts, and will be determined by receiving the most votes.
€1 million euros has been allocated in the 2024 budget for the implementation of the projects chosen as part of the participatory budget. Seventy-five percent of this sum will be distributed equally among the different districts, with the remaining 25 percent allocated proportionately according to the size of each district's population as of July 1.
Editor: Michael Cole