Tallinn sets sustainable urban governance targets


Tallinn in Estonia is leading the network of European Green Capitals this year to promote ambitious sustainable urban transitions.

Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, seeks to establish new forms of urban governance and is looking forward to working with other cities in 2023. Supporting sustainable urban transitions and local green deals is at the heart of its action.

“European green capitals must be innovative and take the lead in creating sustainable, resilient and inclusive cities of the future,” said Mihhail Kõlvart, Mayor of Tallinn, in a roundtable in Brussels with former EU Green Capitals.

The Mayors of Tallinn, Grenoble and Lahti met in Brussels to discuss the best sustainable practices from their cities and how to replicate them across Europe. Their experience as European Green Capital award winners is key to exchanging around sustainable urban governance and to suggesting ways to achieve European climate and environmental objectives.

Tallinn has been focusing on biodiversity and protecting pollinators in the city. The capital of Estonia is also very keen on developing green technology and innovation, areas in which the city already excels. It introduced the Test in Tallinn initiative to test mobility, energy efficiency and renewable energy innovation. The city and will also be holding a green technology week and EXPO in November. It expects to benefit from fresh ideas in green innovation from their implementers coming from all over the world.

“The message is clear: innovation can assist cities in becoming more sustainable,” said Mayor Kõlvart.

The municipality wants to promote a Europe-wide initiative to consolidate that knowledge and make it available to others across Europe. In practice, the European Green Capital 2023 is planning for the creation of a competence centre for urban development and sustainable management. It also wants the development of a cooperation network with other European cities and EU institutions.

“The need for the consolidated leadership skills is already urgent in the context of reconstruction of the Ukrainian cities and support to Ukraine in their EU membership process,” added Mayor Kõlvart.

The Eurocities Economic Development Forum 2023, in Helsinki, Finland on 22–24 March, will explore cities’ role in tackling pressing global challenges and in enabling a fair digital and green transition.

From the energy and cost of living crisis to climate change, cities are using local economic policy to equip themselves with the tools to tackle global challenges. This year’s Eurocities Economic Development Forum will explore how cities across Europe are boosting entrepreneurship, skills, and innovation to create a socially just transition to a green future. 

The forum will feature speakers from the European Commission, the OECD, the European Business Network, local businesses and a number of member cities e.g. from France, Germany, Italy and Spain. 

Eurocities has launched a pilot project to assist Ukrainian cities thanks to European experience. The project will mobilise expertise through city-to-city peer-learning and capacity building to assist Ukrainian cities in rebuilding better. 36 Eurocities member cities will work with ten Ukrainian cities, respecting the objectives of the European Green Deal.

With today’s cities facing growing challenges such as climate change, pandemics, the war in Ukraine and growing social and economic inequality, collaboration and knowledge sharing between cities is needed more than ever.

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