Kuldar Leis, Urmas Klaas and Mihhail Kõlvart (from left) pose with Tartu band members during the signing ceremony, Source: Aleksandr Guzhov, Pealinn /

Tallinn and Tartu agree to synergize European capital titles

Tallinn and Tartu agree to synergize European capital titles

Estonia’s capital will collaborate with Tartu in the development of green city principles, meanwhile ushering visitors to the 2024 European Capital of Culture city

On 22 September, the Mayor of Tallinn, Mihhail Kõlvart, and his Tartu counterpart, Urmas Klaas, signed an agreement to step up cooperation between the European Green Capital 2023 Tallinn and the European Capital of Culture 2024 Tartu.  

Two birds with one stone

“Tallinn and Tartu will both have a responsible role in the coming years in carrying out the title of a European thematic capital. Putting our backs together, we will be able to better achieve the goals of both the Green Capital and the Capital of Culture. Tallinn wishes to collaborate with Tartu in the development of the green city principles, as well as in the activities included in the Green Capital programme. In turn, we commit to be the dignified partner for Tartu as the Capital of Culture, because Tallinn bore the title of the European Capital of Culture in 2011 and we understand our role as the gateway to Estonia, since the journey of foreign visitors to Tartu mostly starts from Tallinn,” said Tallinn Mayor Mihhail Kõlvart, as quoted by

Speaking at the ceremony, the Mayor of Tartu Urmas Klaas said that the central goals for both cities can be achieved more fully through mutual cooperation. “I am glad that in teamwork with the city of Tallinn, we can make Tartu and Southern Estonia more visible in the strategic hubs of the country. In addition, we plan co-operation on environmental issues because sustainability and green values ​​are very important for the city of Tartu. The narrative of the Capital of Culture’s creative concept also elaborates on the arts of survival, which are more relevant in today's world than ever before,” explained Tartu mayor Urmas Klaas.

Sharing landmarks and events

“In two years, the European Capital of Culture 2024 Tartu will be Estonia's main attraction and Europe's largest cultural event. The city of Tallinn, as the representative gateway to the Estonian country, will be a symbolic starting point for Tartu and Southern Estonia until the end of the title year. By 2023, the Tallinn city border will be prominently marked on the road to Tartu,” said Kuldar Leis, the director of Tartu 2024 Foundation.

According to the cooperation agreement, Tartu will place the landmarks of the Capital of Culture 2024 in Tallinn, and Tallinn will reciprocate by placing the landmarks of the European Green Capital 2023 in Tartu. Events from the programmes of the Capital of Culture and the Green Capital are planned to take place in both cities. The cities will also exchange suggestions on green governance and sustainable cultural management. The implementation of the cooperation agreement will be nailed down in a separate action plan.



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