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Record number of proposals submitted for participatory budgeting

Record number of proposals submitted for participatory budgeting

Tallinn's participatory budgeting for 2024 saw the submission of 491 proposals, surpassing the previous record by 76 and achieving the best result in four years. An expert committee will evaluate the feasibility of these ideas. The projects to be implemented will be decided through public voting.  

Mayor Mihhail Kõlvart expresses gratitude to all residents who contributed their ideas for improving public spaces. "It's delightful to see a consistent increase in the number of proposals submitted. The record number of proposals received this year demonstrates that the people have embraced participatory budgeting and recognize it as a real opportunity to have a say in how public funds are used. These ideas give us an overview of the kind of urban spaces people desire and help to take their expectations into account," said Kõlvart. "I also invite everyone to participate in the public vote starting in November, to ensure the most popular projects become a reality."

As in previous years, environmentally friendly urban spaces drew the most interest, with 141 proposals. Popular categories also included sports and leisure (128), security (90), and proposals related to children and youth (54). A total of 78 ideas were submitted in various other categories. Nõmme led the way with 105 ideas, followed by Kesklinn with 102. Lasnamäe contributed 60 ideas, Põhja-Tallinn 55, Haabersti 40, Mustamäe 48, Kristiine 46, and Pirita 35. Proposals were submitted in Estonian (387), Russian (79), and English (25).   

Many of the proposals are related to outdoor activities. People wish to see the construction of cycling infrastructure, including bicycle parking infrastructure and bicycle storage sheds, as well as disc golf courses, outdoor gyms, and winter swimming spots. Suggestions concerning waste sorting have also been made, calling for more trash bins and recycling options. The planting of wildflower meadows, green roofs, and fruit trees is on the minds of many, and several ideas address noise pollution. Proposals include adding pedestrian crossings, street lighting, and dropped kerbs, as well as installing vandal-proof self-service bike repair points. Some unique ideas include "lost and found" cabinets, repair studios, street libraries, and an art alley, as well as presenting a locomotive at Nõmme near the former railway and building a bird and nature observation tower at Rocca al Mare.

The feasibility of the submitted ideas will be assessed by an expert commission, and the selected ideas will be presented to the public. Residents will be able to cast a vote for their favorite projects from November 20 to December 3. In each city district, at least one project with the most votes that meets the criteria of the participatory budget will be implemented.

Two years ago, the initiative received 386 proposals, and last year, 414. Among those, 136 and 114 projects, respectively, made it to the public vote.

One million euros have been allocated in the 2024 budget for the realization of the ideas collected during this year. Of the total amount, 75 percent will be divided equally among city districts, and the remaining 25 percent will be allocated considering the number of residents in each district as of July 1 of the current year.

The idea collection is managed by Tallinn Urban Environment and Public Works Department.

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