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Tallinn, the Capital of Innovation

Tallinn along with Tel Aviv were awarded the Runner-Up Prize after the winner Paris in the European Innovation Capital contest. As the capital of one of the most innovative states in Europe, Tallinn presented itself as the city where “the future is now”. The submission was based on three main pillars:

  • Tallinn as a true e-society where everything can be done via digital means;
  • Tallinn as a city with a healthy lifestyle where a green and healthy way of life is part of human rights;
  • Tallinn as a “let’s do it” city where creativity and joint initiatives bring communities together.

For more information, see the submitted presentation materials.


City that facilitates public transport

Tallinn won first place at the prestigious Transport Ticketing & Passenger Information Global Awards in London, 2016, in the category of the best ticket system operator, for combining the Tallinn public transport ticket system with a Park & Ride parking solution. The Tallinn public transportation system was complimented at the awards ceremony for the extension of the Park & Ride ticket sales system that provides a right to park and use public transportation free of charge irrespective of the place of residence of the vehicle owner. Read more here.

Bus number 34A driving on a bus lane in Tallinn on a sunny day. Photo: R. Jurkatam


Capital of Culture

Tallinn was named as a European Capital of Culture for 2011. Being a Capital of Culture was an extraordinary honour, but also great responsibility. A total of 300 projects and events were organised during the year, attended by 1.9 million people.

Culture Capital 2011 concert in front of Estonian Concert Hall in Tallinn


Business-friendly city

Tallinn was in the top ten among mid-size European cities in terms of attractiveness for foreign investments in the ranking of European Cities of the Future 2016/2017, published by fDi Magazine, a publication of the Financial Times. Business-friendliness and economic potential were highlighted as particular strengths of Tallinn. The fDi rankings are compiled every two years. Tallinn has been recognised in different categories in 2012 and 2014 as well. The attractiveness of a city or a region for foreign investments is assessed based on its economic potential, work environment, cost-effectiveness, infrastructure and business-friendliness, using nearly 90 different statistical indices. The award ceremony is part of the MIPIM international real estate exhibition in Cannes. Read more here.

Rotermann quarter buildings in Tallinn


Tallinn as an IT City

Consistently intelligent – In 2007-2010 and 2013, Tallinn participated in the competition organised by the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) and was named among Top7 Intelligent Communities in the world on each occasion. The selection of a Top7 is the second phase of the contest where over 400 candidates compete for the title of the “Intelligent Community of the Year”. All communities named in the Top7 are notable for their excellent economic development, and being part of this group is considered an honour in itself. It is an important recognition of the city of Tallinn as a community.


Special Achievement in GIS 2014 for Tallin Urban Planning Department by esri. Glass trophy


Best ArcGIS Online Map (2016). The Geoinformatics and Cartography Unit of the Tallinn Urban Planning Department submitted their web app for the Tallinn map archives as an entry in the contest for the best online map in ArcGIS Online, and won the competition.

Special Achievement in GIS Award (2014) At a conference in San Diego, California, Environmental Systems Research Institute Inc (ESRI), the world’s leading developer of geoinformation systems, presented their SAG (Special Achievement in GIS) awards to different organisations from all over the word for making a significant contribution to the development of their organisation and community by adopting GIS software. This year, Tallinn was among the organisations selected for the SAG award.

European Public Sector Award for development of e-services (2011). On 15 November 2011, in Maastricht, the representatives of Tallinn received the European Public Sector Award 2011 for achievements in the development of e-services. The European Public Sector Awards for best achievements in the development of innovative solutions are presented by the European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA). The award shows that Tallinn is on the leading-edge when it comes to developing e-services in Europe.


Capital with clean air

A report of the World Health Organisation (WHO) indicates that Tallinn is among the top 10 of capitals in terms of clean air. Owing to its numerous green areas and parks, closeness to the sea and limited vehicle use in the Old Town, Tallinn was placed 7th in the overall ranking.

See the ranking of capitals with the cleanest air.

Retro bicycle on Pirita pedestrian walkway


Impeccable financial rating

The credit rating of Tallinn is at the A+ level, with a positive outlook. The creditworthiness of Tallinn is assessed on an annual basis by Fitch Ratings, a global credit rating agency. The rating is a reflection on the good performance of the city budget and excellent financial and debt management. The rating is also based on a medium-term decrease in the immediate debt burden. Furthermore, it takes into account the diversity of the local economy and the fact that the city’s financial indicators are above the median level of the state as a whole. Even though the city’s opportunities for creating operating income are structurally restricted and operating expenses are growing, the rating agency predicts that the operating income of Tallinn will exceed the expenses in a medium term by 8-9 per cent. Fitch also noted the city’s efforts in widening its tax base and improving the management of expenditure and financial operations.

View of tall buildings in the Tallinn city centre

Fitch predicts that the city’s investments will remain at the level of 50-60 million euros in the next few years, with the majority being infrastructure investment where financing through loans is facilitated by the high level of the EU contribution. The city’s expected debt burden in 2018 is 210 million euros, compared to 240 million in the year before. The better conditions of the refinancing loans, taken in the previous year, helped to improve the city’s debt status.

Fitch estimates that the level of indirect risks is low and is likely to increase from 67 million euros to 80 million euros by the end of 2018, primarily due to loan-based investments made by municipal undertakings.

Fitch could raise the city’s rating further if operating income exceeded operating expenses by 10 per cent, and both direct and indirect risks were reduced. A lowering of the rating would be expected in case of a significant deterioration in the city’s operating results, exceeding Fitch’s predictions, and dropping to a level where revenue would be insufficient for servicing existing loan obligations.


Acknowledgments by field

(Information is currently being updated and will be available here soon.)

Last modified 21.02.2024