Tallinn in the news: Infrastructure developments for 2017

February 2017

Central Tallinn: Infrastructure developments for 2017

Acting Mayor, Taavi Aas, hailed the new budget for 2017, characterising it as the city’s will to improve the quality of life and develop the economy of Tallinn.

The nine most important investments in infrastructure in central Tallinn in 2017.

1.Reconstruction of Tammsaare Park

The central green area in the city will be landscape designed. Reconstruction is based on the official 2012 urban planning competition winning entry “Belle Époque” authored by Ott Kadarik, Mihek Tüür, Katerina Veerde and Kadri Tamme.  2.2 million euros has been set aside for the project, which will create a modern-designed, safe, space to rest.

2. Reidi Tee (Reidi Road)

At over 18.9 million from the beginning of the year, this is the centre of the city’s biggest infrastructure project. The crossroad at Russalka monument will be ready by October. A large part of the work remains to be done the following year. In fixing Reidi Road, developers must find a balance between the interests of car drivers and non-motorised users. A beautiful promenade will add value to the project.

3. Old Harbour and centre city as a whole

A mobility-environment development project between Old Harbour and the centre city will create human-centred spaces in the heart of the city uniting these centres of attraction.

The backbone of the project comprises of a section of Pärnu highway (Pärnu Mnt) at the heart of the city and the beginning of Narva highway (Narva Mnt). Pedestrian walkways are to be widened. In the second stage of the project the adjoining quarter will be covered.  One million euros has been allocated for the project this year.

4. Kindergarten on Koidula 23

Tallinn’s kindergarten shortage has vanished. To provide additional places, Koidula 23 will be reconstructed. The former school has been standing empty for years. It will have places for 121 children in 6 groups. The house is ideally located in Kadriorg Park as children can have pleasant walks and opportunities to play. The budget for the project is 2.5 million euro.

5. Song Festival Grounds

To maintain our national sacred ground, the Song Festival Ground and powerful singing arc needs care. In 2017, the city will allocate 770 000 euros for this purpose.

6. Kalev Sports Hall

Tallinn is contributing to a superb sports development.  In 2016, the more than half century old Kalev sports hall was being modernised. 3.6 million will be spent on finishing the work and purchasing an inventory.

7. The Ülemiste Lakeside health tracks

The city will spend 577 000 euros on building a track on the section between Lennujaama Tee (Airport Road) and Vana-Tartu Highway (Old-Tartu Mnt) which will give Tallinners a chance for sport and mobility. You can literally get off a plane and continue your day with a walk around the lake side track.

8. Hobuveski reconstruction.

The Old Town’s Hobuveski (Horse Mill) is a favourite spot for shows and other cultural events. 700, 000 euros has been put aside to fix this warm historic building.

9. The flower market

Viru street’s popular flower market and its surrounding will get 500, 000 euros from the city for renovation. Musumägi will get a fresh appearance. In summer, Tallinn Flower Festival, will also expand to the modernised area and even beyond.  

Old Town Food Festival is back again

This is an ideal opportunity to enjoy a top-level restaurant culture in Tallinn’s Old Town.

 In the Old Town Food Festival offers tastes from different eras and cultural delicacies, starting in the medieval ages through to the adventurous age of the musketeers in France and ending with modern Estonian and European cuisine.  

Beginning on the 14 February you are cordially invited to restaurants Olde Hansa, DOM, Dominic, Leib Resto ja Aed, Kaerajaan and Le Chateau to enjoy a three-course festival menu. These restaurants’ top chefs have the task of preparing from given raw ingredients a menu of handmade specialities.

Restaurant visitors have an extraordinary opportunity to savour the most challenging creations of the top chefs in the context of the festival.

Find out more on the home page www.toidufest.ee  where you can select raw ingredients. The selected raw ingredients will be prepared by the chefs during the 11-day festival into three course menus.

Amongst them are starter and main dishes prepared from savoury ingredients and desserts.

The festival will hold a lottery from all selections on 6 February with a main prize being a supper for two in the chosen restaurants.

In addition, all participating restaurants plan a surprise for parties of six. The eleven days will be full of excellent food culture in Old Town which will warm the hearts of anyone who wishes to participate. You can reserve a table already at www.toidufest.ee

Six top chefs from 6 restaurants and Tallinn City invite you to enjoy quality food from 14-24 February.

City to build multimillion euro hospital in Lasnamäe

The project to build a huge and much needed hospital in Lasnamäe is well under way as deputy mayor Merike Martinson announced in a press conference in February 2017.

The project will be led by former board member of North Estonia Medical Centre Foundation Sven Kruup.

At a Tallinn city government press conference, Merike Martinson said the scheduled procurement process will be completed by the autumn.

“First, we will put out an invitation to tender and then we work through the scheduled tasks. Also, how to go forward by the end of the year with outlines and drafts,” Martinson said.

The deputy mayor said the hospital design will cost 20-30 million euros and the building itself will cost a several hundred million euros.

“Furnishing the hospital will be very expensive. It is altogether a very big project but we are optimistic. Functional development schedule procurement is paramount,” said Martinson and added that they hope to gain financing from European structural funds.

Sven Kruup added the building surface would be around 110, 000 m².

From 2001 up until last year Sven Kruup was North Estonia’s Medical Centre’s board member. He was also the driving force behind the hospital’s development project. Kruup has worked in the social ministry health insurance department as a manager, the Mustamäe Hospital’s radiology clinic as a manager and in the same hospital as a neurologist.

The project leader’s tasks are compiling the second stage of Tallinn’s hospital functional development and drafting a project, preparing a design procurement process, carrying out co-operation with different stakeholders from the city and managing the central hospital stakeholders. The project leader should participate in the establishing finance plans and compiling schematics, and detailed plans of the area.


December 2016 

Tallinn launches new conference and concert centre for the whole of Northern Europe

 Tallinn’s much anticipated conference centre has finally gotten the green light, 6 Dec 2016.

Taavi Aas, Tallinn’s city deputy mayor, launched an overview of the project to create a new concert and conference centre in Tallinn City Hall at a press conference 6 Dec 2016, setting timetables and estimating costs and resources. Leading the project are architect Indrek Tiigi and Tallinn City Hall AS council chairman Meelis Pai.

Building experts confirm the distinctive Aztec-like Tallinn city hall, which has been out of use for five years, is still in good condition and they believe reconstructing the hall again for a new purpose is entirely feasible.

The Conference and concert centre will be operational by 2018-19

The development will result in a huge increasing in conferencing, music and stage production capabilities, with natural acoustics, up to date staging technology, seating for 4500 people a multi-function universal hall, which is designed to attract world-class symphony orchestras, concert performers, and other high class institutions, per demand. There will be a new outdoor ice rink and 12 2500 seater international standard conference rooms with black-box room capacity and a cinema rooms. The venue will serve as an important conference and concert venue not just for Estonia but for the entire Nordic region.

Funding for Helsinki Tallinn tunnel

Funding for the Helsinki Tallinn tunnel will need to come from both the private sector and the EU if the project is to be success, both leaders of Tallinn and Helsinki agreed.

Tavi Aas acting mayor, said financial research, as to how much it will cost and who would pay, is still at an early stage and it is not worth anticipating how things will turn out.

“The geologists started their research at the end of Summer 2016,” Aas said.

Peter Vesterbacka, former executive of Game development Rovio, creators of game app Angry Birds, recently said that the Tallinn-Helsinki tunnel will be ready by 2023 or 2024. Jussi Pajunen, mayor of Helsinki and Aas are more cautious.

“Now, the situation with the tunnel project is more importantly in the pre-research, it should be ready next year,” Pajunen said.

“It’s extremely important we should have total clarity, what we are planning and what we intend to start to build,” he added.

Pajunen joked that he would have to polish up on his Estonian skills.

“I am far from being monolingual, when it comes to Estonian. I more or less understand, possibly in the not too distant future I must go to an Estonian course,” chuckled Helsinki Mayor Jussi Pajunen to Tallinn city deputy mayor Taavi Aas in discussion about co-operation.

The number of Estonians working in Helsinki has grown by 60,000 since 2006: The population of both Tallinn and Helsinki are projected to grow in the next 10 years because of migration from the provinces.

The rail-link is built will join cities workforces creating an urban, technological, hub of over a million inhabitants.


Tallinn’s leader: Free public transport to go nationwide

It’s been a few years since Tallinn introduced free public transport on all buses trams and trolley buses. Now the system which has been a huge success could go national, making Estonia the only country in EU where you can get around for free.

Tallinn’s deputy mayor, Taavi Aas, said 1 December 2017 in a local government themed forum, that if Tallinn could get free public transport, there was no reason why the state couldn’t do the same thing nationwide.  

“What has happened in Tallinn, can be use in the whole country,” Aas said.  

“Tallinn ticket revenue had been 17 million Euro. We lost 12 million, although 4,4 million ticket revenue still remains,” Aas mentioned.

“The provincial cities ticket revenues are in Estonia something like 13 million euros. If one thinks that Tallinn can manage, I don’t see any reason why the country can’t do this,” Aas said

Of the 13 million euros’ revenues about half is from the county around Tallinn, Harju county, the rest was from other regions. The state subsidies about two thirds of bus network expenses.

 Aas argued that far from losing money, smaller municipalities can save money by introducing free public transport. He used the example of Avesta, a small town in Sweden which like Tallinn operates a free public transport system.

Avesta’s school children must take a designated bus to school, the town saved a lot of money when they got rid of the expensive ticketing system.

 “This constant struggle also applies to us, that drivers don’t sell tickets, and to monitor it we need constantly to update the systems.  

“What this cost to the Estonian state, these numbers are still to be trashed out. But this theme would be a very fascinating discussion in Estonia,” Aas said.

 There is also the issue of a unified free network linking Harjumaa county the area around Tallinn and the city itself. Aas is of the view the two networks should unite.

“What date this will be, is still a guess, but we are working on it,” Aas said.  

 Tallinn’s representative to the EU, Allan Alaküla, added that we have reached a new era, because we have now an economics minister who wants free public transport all over Estonia.