“As in the ecosystem, where the smallest virus is connected to the biggest mammal, there is connection between all members of human society, no matter how important or insignificant. A society, where the resources are used only by some of its members can never be sustainable. Inclusion and fair treatment are not just humanistic terms, they are vital criteria for a livable, green and just society. Extremes will not support development, balanced human activity and allocated resources are the key factors in inclusive economic growth.”
– Mayor Mihhail Kõlvart
Mihhail Kõlvart was elected as Mayor of Tallinn on April 11, 2019. Previously he served as the Chairman of Tallinn City Council (2017-2019) and Deputy Mayor of Tallinn (2011-2017), responsible for the education, culture, sport and youth topics. As Mayor, Mr Kõlvart’s priority is green, just and sustainable urban development. He is a strong spokesperson for increasing the role of cities in the European Union decision-making process. Coming from a Korean-Estonian family, his multicultural background and personal experience has made the equal treatment of national minorities one of his priorities.
Mr Kõlvart has a degree in law and business, and he is the deputy Chairman of the Estonian Center Party. He has a black belt in Taekwondo and won a silver medal from the International Martial Arts Games, and is also a member of the board of the Estonian Olympic Committee.
According to the vision of the city’s development strategy “Tallinn 2035”, Tallinn is a green city with human-friendly urban space and caring communities. The new strategy was co-created with more than 5000 Tallinners.
The development strategy focuses on six major goals covering: urban space, community building, green transition, close to home services, mobility, and a healthy lifestyle. The strategy is based on values that will help us to reach our goals within the next 15 years. The main sub-objectives include creating more human-friendly urban spaces, redesigning the waterfront, connecting green areas into a network, focusing on smart economy, science and innovation. Supporting healthy lifestyle, designing a new level of urban mobility, developing circular economy, supporting biodiverse natural environments in the city, preserving cultural heritage, and enhancing safe and citizen friendly environments.
The Tallinn Development Strategy has been prepared according to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the European Union policies, and the relevant development strategies of Estonia. It is based on global trends and the feedback of the citizens and stakeholders of Tallinn.
For the city of Tallinn, ensuring a living space for everybody is a priority. The city offers high-quality municipal accommodation with social services where necessary. In 2016-2020 the city invested more than 15 million euros in building new and renovating existing social housing.
In the coming years, Tallinn is planning to invest to alleviate housing problems faced by the homeless and low-income citizens. Tallinn has committed 63 million EUR of the 2021-2025 budget to investing in existing social and municipal houses and broadening the provision of social housing, including supporting people with housing costs on the free market.
Tallinn is improving its urban spaces by promoting the use of sustainable and active mobility. The city aims to increase the share of everyday journeys made by public transport, on foot or by bicycle to at least 50% by 2025 and 70% by 2035. The streets, pavements, public transport stops and the main network of cycling tracks will be accessible to everyone, including the elderly and disabled people, all year round, and 90% of schoolchildren will be able to move around the city by themselves. Public transport in Tallinn has been free since 2013 and the city is continuously improving both its fleet and network, for example with the introduction of biofuel-powered buses.