The title of European Green Capital will be handed over to Tallinn at the opening ceremony on January 21st by Virginijus Sinkevičius, the EU Commissioner for the Environment, and Éric Piolle, the mayor of Grenoble, European Green Capital 2022. On January 20th will take place the Tallinn European Green Capital Year’s Opening Conference on Sustainable Cities with former EU climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard as the keynote speaker. These two events will kick off an impressive programme of activities taking place throughout 2023: from formulating sustainability goals together with other European cities to taking impactful actions and showcasing green innovation.
Tallinn impressed the international jury with its systemic approach to green governance and interlinked strategic goals, which reflect the ambitions of the European Green Deal. As one of the best-preserved medieval cities in Europe and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Tallinn is characterized by the diverse and mosaic nature of its landscapes and communities, which also serve as habitats for rare species. During the Green Capital Year, Tallinn’s main themes are biodiversity, sustainable governance, and climate and green innovation.
The Tallinn European Green Capital program offers environmental activities for all Tallinn residents and guests, including more than 60 events. During the opening weekend of the European Green Capital, 19-21 January, many important events will take place in the city.
Actors from across Europe meet in Tallinn to meet UN’s sustainable development goals
On the 19th of January Tallinn welcomes colleagues around Europe for the meeting of the European Green Capital Network to discuss shaping the future of the network and for the meeting of the Global Goals for Cities Network that shares their experience in implementing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals to city governance.
Tallinn European Green Capital Year’s Sustainable Cities Opening Conference “Fantastic Creatures: Making European Cities Safe, Inclusive, Resilient and Sustainable” will take place on the 20th of January with opening notes from Mihhail Kõlvart, Mayor of Tallinn and Virginijus Sinkevičius, European Commissioner of Environment, Oceans and Fisheries. The keynote speaker is Connie Hedegaard, Chair of the Board for the EU Commissions Mission on Adaptation to Climate Change including societal change.
Inviting companies from around the world to test their smart solutions in Tallinn
In addition, at the end of January Tallinn will launch the Test in Tallinn measure, to invite companies around the world to test their smart solutions on our streets. Cooperation between the city and local entrepreneurs in these areas has been the most effective – Tallinn already has self-driving vehicles like Clevon and Starship robots and AuveTech buses, the latter being probably the first self-driving free public transportation in Europe.
Greentech Week: promoting eco-innovation and cooperation between leading companies, investors and scientists
Eco-innovation will be showcased during one of the green capital year’s highlights the Greentech Week, in November which consists of a series of international events in Tallinn with the main emphasis on promoting eco-innovation and cooperation between leading companies, investors and scientists in green technology as well as increasing the dialogue between European cities and companies. The week holds the Cleantech Forum Europe, Greentech Expo, Green Tiger Conference, and the Smart City Convention.
Green Tracks: greening urban spaces
In addition to a full programme of events throughout, Tallinn will also contribute to changes in the urban space. The project Green Tracks (Rohejälg) involves activities that aim to improve the quality of green areas, bring more greenery to the city and improve the spatial quality in areas with high use, support the development of green networks within the city and experiment with new spatial solutions by reorganising the urban space and creating prototypes.
“Spatial experimentation is an important part of the project in order to discern citizens’ readiness to accept new solutions and receive feedback in order to learn and develop from these experiences together. Among other things, the Town Hall Square will temporarily be turned into a pop-up park and the students at the Estonian Academy of Arts will be experimenting with climate-sensitive spatial solutions and creating prototypes for improved spatial objects like street furniture and traffic signs,” Hannes Aava, Head of the Green Tracks Programme said.
Find out more about Tallinn European Green Capital program here.