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Tallinn's smart city solutions presented at the Eurocities conference

Tallinn's smart city solutions presented at the Eurocities conference

Tallinn's Deputy Mayor Margot Roose participated in the Eurocities 2024 conference held in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, from May 29-31, along with representatives from over 400 European cities. The focus of the conference was on the expectations of cities towards European Union institutions over the next five years for creating a sustainable, resilient, and innovative future.

Conferences aimed at city representatives and leaders not only facilitate the exchange of ideas but also enable collaborative work on innovative solutions, ultimately helping to develop urban policies and projects that improve the quality of life in cities and contribute to a stronger and more integrated European community.

At this conference, a declaration titled "Values That Unite Us" was signed, committing to respect human rights and democracy. There was also an emphasis on cities' support for an open and inclusive society in the face of the growing support for far-right politicians.

Tallinn's Deputy Mayor Margot Roose spoke in a panel discussion titled "Stronger Cities Capable of Handling Challenges," highlighting Tallinn's extensive use of digital tools in prevention work and resource optimization. “Tallinn is highly digitalized. We have done much to be a smart city, which enables us to prevent various issues,” noted Roose in her speech.

Several cities pointed out the lack of affordable housing as a problem. “Tallinn also does not have many rental spaces, and housing prices are rising,” said Roose, adding that the solution lies in balanced cooperation with the private sector without excessive market intervention. Roose also mentioned security challenges, such as the lack of shelters and cyber-attacks threatening the digitalized city.

The panel also discussed waste management. “I dislike the waste of materials and want to create a system that allows Tallinn residents to conveniently recycle sorted waste. In my vision, industries could use materials a second, third, and why not a tenth time. Such a miracle solution is desperately needed worldwide,” stated Roose.

The conference emphasized that achieving effective climate measures and urban sustainability requires the inclusion of as many stakeholders as possible – the private sector, research institutions, and city residents. According to the Eurocities Pulse Mayors Survey, climate measures are the top priority for mayors, followed by social inclusion and affordable housing. These topics are also closely intertwined.

Eurocities is the largest network of European cities, comprising over 200 major cities representing more than 150 million people from 38 countries, both within and outside the European Union. Tallinn is a member of the Eurocities board and treasurer.