At the end of March, the EU project "Urban Eco Islands“ was officially completed on the island of Aegna, which developed a number of environmentally friendly solutions.
The international project lasted for two years, from 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2021, and developed sustainable tourism solutions and infrastructure on the islands of Aegna and Vasikkasaari, Finland. The project was co-financed by the INTERREG Central Baltic Program and the city of Tallinn was represented by the City Centre Government, in whose jurisdiction Aegna is located. The results of the project were summarized in a webinar "Sustainable development and cooperation of small islands - a vision for the future".
"We can say that the eco island project was very successful and beneficial for Aegna, because thanks to the investments made, the island's waste management and recreational infrastructure were improved. The new smart solutions make it easier to plan the visitations to Aegna and collect data to assess the island's visitor capacity and weather conditions. The hiking trails of the island were also repaired and mapped, and information stands were set up to introduce the nature and history of Aegna. In addition to all this, promotional materials have been created to introduce Aegna Island as an attractive holiday destination with abundant nature,” Monika Haukanõmm, Head of the City Centre Government said, summarising the results of the project.
A new administrative map has also been drawn up for Aegna, integrating the island's hiking trails and military heritage sites. The map is installed in four places on the island, and it, as well as the e-magazine introducing the island, can be found on the updated website www.tallinn.ee/aegna/. In addition, a handbook was prepared in the partnership of the Tallinn Centre Government of the Stockholm Environmental Institute, which provides an overview of the possibilities of developing peri-urban eco islands with the help of smart solutions. The new solutions of the development project allow to preserve the natural environment of two popular holiday islands - Aegna and Vasikkasaari - even if the number of tourists increases. The total budget of the project was a little over one million euros, of which the share of the city of Tallinn was 215 thousand euros.
"We are very grateful to our partners in the eco island project for good cooperation - the City of Helsinki Environmental Board, the Tallinn Centre of the Stockholm Environmental Institute and Forum Virum Helsinki," said Monika Haukanõmm. "Aegna has been one of the hidden pearls of the city centre, which is worth discovering, especially this coming summer, when it might be difficult to visit farther destinations for travel and leisure."