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The Entrepreneurial Estonian: Smart Cities, Happy People

We are surrounded by increasingly “smart” facets of our lives—smartphones, smart home devices, smart cars etc. But how smart are the urban areas that we live in?

Maarika Merirand, Project Manager at Tehnopol ( )

The term “smart city” arose in the 2000s, and the concept is getting more and more popular. While the definitions vary, it is usually built on three main pillars—taking advantage of technology, improving the well-being of people and working towards sustainability. Smart city solutions include many different aspects, from utilities’ management, mobility planning, and energy efficiency to healthcare and social services. To get an idea of the variety of what smart city initiatives are, we can look at Toronto. The city is planning large-scale carbon neutral developments that include affordable housing, and at the same time they are researching how to implement automated snow clearing on sidewalks.

Similarly to Toronto, Tallinn has a variety of smart city initiatives. For example, they have been running an annual innovation competition since 2000, inviting companies to propose novel solutions in the fields of tourism, e-services, circular economy, local communities, and cooperation between Ta...

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