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Europe’s Greenest City is Inspiring Global Change

Tallinn, Estonia at the old city.

Human activities have caused biophysical environmental issues resulting in environmental degradation.  Most experts believe that atmospheric conservation in the cities can be achieved only if the citizens work together to maintain sustainability with environmental boundaries. 

Nations all around the world are now making conscious efforts to conserve more natural resources. For this purpose, a drastic shift to a greener mode of living has been seen. Similarly, one European capital is already winning the way in this race for achieving sustainability as soon as possible.

The capital city of Estonia, Tallinn, along with the northern side of the Baltic cities, has vowed to adopt several eco-friendly changes. They are on an ultimate mission of establishing carbon neutrality in the coming years.

The European Commission, last year, applauded these eco-friendly steps. Apart from praising these strategies, the city has been awarded the esteemed title of European Green Capital for the year 2023.

The recent changes in the environment have urged many governmental organizations to work hard for reducing carbon footprints. Tallinn's compelling strategies towards bringing an eco-friendly change on the planet have blown everyone's mind. Other metropolises should strive for the same cause. What lessons can other nations learn from Tallinn to approach sustainability in this modern world?

A Healthy Community

Scenic summer panorama of pier with historical tall sailing ship in the Old Town in Tallinn, Estonia
Scenic summer panorama of pier with historical tall sailing ship in the Old Town in Tallinn, Estonia

The key improvements Tallinn has adopted are the reduction of noise pollution, protection of the public land, and improvement of water quality. According to European Commission, these key practices are responsible for bringing them this valuable title.

The commissioner of Environment, Fisheries, and Oceans, Virginijus Sinkevičius, said that Tallinn has displayed a great commitment and a solid practice to establish healthier and greener places for its people.

Providing its citizens with generous green space is Tallinn's most winning practice amongst all. The city has dedicated a large amount of land to the chain of green parks which constitute around 19.5 percent of the city's overall landmass. For perspective, Paris constitutes just 9.5 percent of green land out of its total landmass.

A recent research study shows that if Europe dedicates enough green land to the urban tenants, its cities will be able to prevent around 43,000 premature deaths every year.

Meanwhile, population control in Tallinn is still a growing concern as it continues to increase at an alarming rate. The city houses more than 445,000 citizens, according to new research. However, multiple projects are in practice to ensure sustainability in the city.

Carbon Emissions to be Reduced by 40 Percent by 2030

To establish a 'sustainable use of natural resources and healthy city environment' a long-term strategic project by the name of 'Tallinn 2030' is under development, and hopefully will be completed by 2030. The Sustainable Energy Action Plan, Tallinn Landscaping Action Plan, and the Rainwater Strategy have fully supported this project.

Although critics do always find a reason to accuse such well-intentioned strategies of greenwashing, the motive behind their powerful titles and appreciable changes is beyond the expectations.

To increase the biodiversity and maintain the spaces as habitats for wild animals in the vicinity of the city, a herd of cows, mainly the Scottish Highland breed can be observed eating the plants.

As the city's growing green land is open to the inhabitants, it also has a hidden objective. The hidden aim is to offer green lands to the animals.

Tallinn is encouraging the nature reserved, parks, and gardens to remain wild to increase the insect population

The Landscape architect and gardener, Liivi Maekallas, said that the goal is to enhance the opportunities for the pollinators and also encourage more residents to use the pollination highway like a green path that passes through six city districts

The establishment of a 13-kilometer pathway in Tallinn is yet another winning example of showing its residents to adopt a sustainable practice of transportation by ditching private vehicles.

In 2013, the city had made public transport free of cost for its citizens. Likewise, this essential practice on part of the city had awarded them a praise-worthy appreciation from all around the world. Tallinn is on its journey to achieve around 40 perfect reductions in carbon emission by 2030.

The mayor of Tallinn, Mihhail Kõlvart, said that Tallinn is encouraging a clean and comfortable environment in the future of this green capital.

The city is also encouraging the residents to use bicycles on the roads. They aim to make 11 percent of the total journeys via bike by the year 2027.

The cycling director - Erik Sarapuu said that to encourage people towards cycling and ditching the vehicles, they have to snatch the land away from motorists by cycling more on the roads. If they do not do this, motorists will not stop driving.

Execution of Eco-friendly Practices

The capital city was once the hub of multiple extensively populating industries like paper and minerals. But now these industries have been substituted with an increase in huge investment in new technologies, academia, and entrepreneurship.

With the growing practices of the city's sustainable projects, the living standard of its residents is simultaneously improving as well. According to a recent study by Essential Living, the citizens of this city are nearly enjoying the best quality of life in the world. The study further probes into the details of the city's recent crime rates, low population rate, and cheap cost of living.

According to Tallinn's head of development, Krista Kampus, if they continue to spend on environmental strategies, it will make this city a more eco-friendly place for all those who are living here.  A huge win in the right direction!

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