Tallinn in the News October 2017
Local Elections held in Tallinn and across Estonia
Taavi Aas is the next mayor of Tallinn
Local government elections took place on the 15 October across Estonia. In Tallinn, the left of centre ruling Centre Party won 40 out of 79 seats giving them a slender overall majority in the city council.
This means Taavi Aas who has been serving as acting mayor, will become official the next mayor of Tallinn.
The Centre Party won 44.4 percent of the vote. The right of centre Reform Party won 20.5 percent and 18 seats. The left of centre Social Democrats won 11 percent of the vote and 9 seats, The Far-right Estonian Conservative People Party (EKRE) won 7 percent of the vote and 6 seats and the other right of Centre Party Isamaa Respublica Liit (IRL) won 6.6 percent of the vote and 5 seats.
There was also a personal mandate for the former mayor Edgar Savisaar, although the list he put together didn’t get enough votes to get over the 5 percent threshold.
Other parties remained below the 5 percent threshold.
Although the Centre party has an absolute majority, it lost 6 mandates. The Centre Party will continue to run the city. Turnout in Tallinn was 53.3 percent of the electorate.
Lonely Planet names Tallinn the best destination for travellers in 2018
Lonely Planet, the world-famous travel guide for the budget traveller, has put out its list for best destinations for 2018; and Tallinn is number one.
The guide describes Tallinn as: “compact, fashionable and terrific value. Explore one of Eastern Europe’s loveliest old towns on foot for free, stay in good-value dorms, guesthouses or private homes, and take in Baltic Sea views and a superb panorama of the city from the flat roof of the vast City Hall (one of Tallinn’s best free things to do).
“Connected by budget flights from around Europe, the city isn’t a secret – but if you want a taste of Tallinn to yourself then head to Kalamaja, a fast-changing neighbourhood home to Telliskivi Creative City. The food trucks here offer Instagrammable fill-ups that won’t tax your wallet,” the travel guide added.
Research into tourism in Tallinn in 2016 revealed that 97 percent of visitors to Tallinn recommended Tallinn as a travel destination to their friends and acquaintances.
In 2016 Tallinn received 4.3 million visitors of which half stayed overnight.
“Tallinn is ready and waiting for people who want to get to know the most highly nominated tourism city,” confirmed deputy mayor, Eha Võrk.
Best in Travel 2018 – Top 10 Best Value (Lonely Planet)
- Tallinn, Estonia
2. Lanzarote, Canary Islands
3. Arizona, US
4. La Paz, Bolivia
6. Essaouira, Morocco
7. United Kingdom
8. Baja California, Mexico
9. Jacksonville, Florida, US
10. Hunan, China
Lonely Planet is the largest travel guide publisher in the world.
Tallinn tries once more for Green Capital Title
The city has presented its candidacy for the title of Green capital 2020
After two unsuccessful bids for the title of Green Capital, the city is to try again with a fresh approach.
Tallinn focus in winning this time will be; the urban agriculture project, recycling of waste, free public transport and public transport links and lush scenery which boasts flowers, and wildlife which are rare in the rest of Europe.
“This is a city which will strong roots in maintaining sustainable transport, in extending and creating a parks and green area, in making waste disposal environmental friendly, in using renewal energy sources, in reducing noise pollution and in co-operation with residents in gathering ideas for sustainable environmental development and then carrying them out,” mayor Taavi Aas said.
Fifty-six percent of Tallinn’s surface area is green either meadows, lawns, parks or gardens.
Aas explained that the use of water will be a key component in the bid.
“Tallinn’s water consumption indicators are amongst the best in Europe. Our wastewater collection and cleaning indicators are top-notch. The water is clean,” Aas said.
The city has replaced mercury lights with energy efficient light bulbs putting in place 3237.
This is the city’s third bid for the title of Green Capital in as many years. In 2016, Tallinn lost out to Nijmegen. This year, Tallinn lost to Oslo in a closely fought contest.
“The feedback (from the judges) was so positive it was worth trying again,” Aas said.
The city presented an application for the 2020 green city title in October 2017. The winner will be announced at the beginning of summer 2018.
The European Green Capital Title is given out by the European Commission.
Tallinn City launches Educational Advice centre for special needs children
Centre to have an international focus
In October 2017, Tallinn city launched the Educational Advice Centre in the new rooms in the city centre. This a multifunctional help centre manned by special educationalists, speech therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists who will offer training, seminars and supervision to children with special needs.
The centre will offer citizens free advice and first class speech therapy and psychological services in Estonian, Russian, English and Finnish for the international community.
Deputy Mayor Mihhail Kõlvart explained the need for the city to upgrade its services.
“Tallinn has seen a steady increase in the number of special needs children and entrance into education support services varies by district,” Kõlvart said.
Kõlvart explained that there are long queues of support services but he believes the Tallinn Learning Advisor Service will help meet demands. The centre will also advise children’s parents and teachers how to cope with children who have developmental, learning and behavioural difficulties.
Kõlvart explained the city ultimately plans to place branches of the advice centre in each district of Tallinn.
“The city will not only open new establishments but plans to raise financing for support services in schools also next year,” added the deputy mayor.
“It will improve the system for children
“In this country, some time ago it was considered there wasn’t the need for speech therapy or other specialists in schools,” explained Kõlvart.
“Now we know the number of children with special education needs is constantly growing.
“Our understanding is that in a normal situation a child must get help from the school. There is a need for social workers, psychologists and speech therapists.”
The Center offers free help children from the aged of 2 and a half to 19.