Tallinn signed memorandum of cooperation for developing Tallinn-Helsinki twin city

At the opening of the Smart City Centre of Excellence FINEST TWINS the Mayor of Tallinn Mihhail Kõlvart and the Rector of TalTech Jaak Aaviksoo signed a memorandum of cooperation for implementing the TalTech City programme of activities for 2020.

“Research-based solutions will allow us identify ways of achieving environment-friendly mobility, offer opportunities for everyone and involve the community in the city’s decision-making processes. A vision of the Tallinn-Helsinki twin city inspires other regions with its bold endeavour of creating equal opportunities for individuals and businesses on both sides of the twin city. Together we can create an urban environment that puts us on the world map,” said Mihhail Kõlvart at the opening conference of Finest Twins. According to him, a smart city is more than mere technical solutions - it is an urban environment that offers the best quality of life in the world regardless of the weather.

At their summer 2018 meeting the Rector of TalTech and the Mayor of Tallinn reached a common understanding that the city and the university could work together in the field of smart cities. The joint Smart City Centre of Excellence (TalTech City) was established at the start of 2019 to help raise competitive research funding for implementing the smart city projects.

“In partnership with the Tallinn University of Technology we can develop the smart city concept in greater detail and depth. Cooperation between the university and the city creates synergy and brings new ideas from research groups to urban development,” noted Kõlvart.

Tallinn can contribute to the programme budget of 32 million euros by preparing and implementing potential joint pilot projects. The targets set for TalTech City’s first year of operation were exceeded - 12 project applications on which the city and Taltech worked together have been filed as at year end. Several of these applications will be reviewed next year whereas three applications have already been accepted for funding. A new programme of activities and a new memorandum of cooperation have been prepared for next year.

On Friday the Mayor discussed cooperation with the Rector of Tartu University Toomas Asser. The main focus was on the 2020 programme of cooperation between Tartu University and the City of Tallinn. Further, the Mayor visited the Centre of IT Impact Studies (CITIS) where he learned about using big data for forecasting the future. The parties agreed that cooperation in 2020 will cover areas like education, mobility research, urban planning and the impact analysis of legislative drafting.