Location: Tallin 

Country: Estonia 

Contact Information: [email protected]   

Website Address: https://www.putukavail.ee/?lang=en  

  • Project Details:  

Pollinator Highway is a meadow-like natural environment rich in species, a green corridor and a space for people to move through 6 city districts. The Pollinator Highway runs along a former railway embankment and today’s high-voltage line corridor. When the high-voltage lines are moved into the underground cable, the potential for a city-wide linear park is released. The name “”Pollinator Highway”” refers to an already existing movement corridor which pollinators (butterflies, bumblebees and bees) and other groups of animals use to move from one green area to another. The first phase of the Pollinator Highway to be realized is located in the area between the garages in North Tallinn, bounded by Ehte, Sõle and Puhangu streets and Kolde Avenue. In its entire length, the Pollinator Highway runs from the Telliskivi creative city through the Kopli cargo station, the area between North Tallinn garages and Merimetsa along the border between the districts of Kristiine, Mustamäe, Haaberst and Nõmme to the Hiiu subdistrict. The Pollinator Highway is defined by both biodiversity and urbanization. The city and nature are not opposite words: the guiding principle of the project is to preserve the richness of natural life while simultaneously offering both diverse activity opportunities and environmentally friendly movement opportunities for people. In the future, the Pollinator Highway will become a city-wide linear park rich in life, a public space offering new green movement connections and diverse activity opportunities. 

The Pollinator Highway is divided into 9 spatial sections although studies have shown that people perceive the borders of the different spatial sections that the Pollinator Highway passes through differently. Discontinuity of space is caused by strong urban interruptions, which cut off the light traffic road, for example highway streets with many lanes (such as Paldiski maantee and Ehitajate tee) or distinct changes in the urban or natural environment.  

The Pollinator Highway concept is being developed with the support of two external projects of the European Union. Both the Augmented Urbans external project (2018-2020) and the B.Green external project (2020-2022) are financed by the Central Baltic Sea Program, which supports cross-border cooperation, sustainable urban mobility and cohesive communities. The leader of the project is the Spatial Design Competence Center of the Tallinn Strategy Centre. 

The Pollinator Highway project showcases another type of engagement — informative participation. The key goal of this activity is to introduce the public to the planning concept and the upcoming changes to the local environment.  

The concept for the Merimesta area of the Pollinator Highway was showcased with the Maptionnaire platform. It was a suitable choice as you can nicely structure maps, prototypes, pictures, and documents as a coherent story.  

This page explained the value of various natural areas within Merimesta and helped residents understand why some zones are developed in a certain way, while others remain untouched. Residents also got to learn about the path network plan and what recreational facilities will be in place.  

Thematic Area: Improving social relations. 

Thematic Sub-category: Sustainable Mobility, Green Urbanism related to Energy consumption, Water as natural resource, Buildings & environment, Circular economy in buildings, Smart city domains for the citizens in green cities, Smart city solutions and tools, Green Urbanism related to improving social relations. 

Type of Actor/Agent: Government 

Typology of Green Urban Site: Creativity centre 

  • Green City Elements used – Greenbelts, ecological corridor or Greenway, Public Transport, Electric and Alternative Mobility, Multimodal Mobility, Green Urbanism, Green Urbanism, Positive Energy Neighbourhoods, Solar Energy – Photovoltaics, Sustainable Drainage Systems, Irrigation, Riverbanks and seashore areas, Buildings and Climate Change, Green roofs and walls, Buildings and Climate Change, Green roofs and walls, Green areas and Heat Island Effect, Bee-friendly gardens, Heatwaves, Circular Design, 3Rs and 7Rs, Smart Environment, Smart Living, Citizen Engagement, Smart Metering, Dynamic Lightning, Co-creation in Urban Planning, Urban Energy Consumption, Energy Savings, Energy Efficiency in Buildings.  
  • Engagement and Consultation 

Target Group – Non-governmental organisations. 

Public Engagement – YES. 

Consultation Tools Used – Stakeholder interviews, Proper public engagement. 

E-tools: – https://maptionnaire.com/best-participation-practices/examples-of-civic-engagement-from-tallinn  

  • Innovation and Impact 

Level of Scale of Innovation: 4 

Abstract of Elements of Innovation – Sustainable Public Art as an Example of Civic Engagement. Informative Participation for Welcoming New Green Areas. 

Expected Impact High. 

  • Analysis: – Needs Analysis conducted. 
  • Benefits (B) and Challenges (C) 

(B) Temperature & Climate control, Improved Air Quality, Flooding & water Quality, More wildlife & better habitats, Increased biodiversity, Improved environmental resilience, Improving physical fitness and reducing depression, Well-being benefits (such as people’s perception of increased biodiversity and improved visual quality of the environment), Creation of green jobs and business opportunities, Improved visual quality of the environment, Recreational opportunities, Aesthetic enjoyment, Adjusting psychological well-being and physical health, Enhancing social ties, Providing educational opportunities, Improving physical fitness and reducing depression. 

(C) 1. The COVID situation was a challenge particularly for interacting with more vulnerable stakeholders such as elderly residents. Many people still see wild meadows lawns/borders as unkempt and potentially unsafe places. Explaining the reason for mowing less, for example – has been challenging and is an ongoing process. Finding common ground between stakeholder groups of different interests has been difficult as well. The biggest challenge has been changing the mindset of citizens as well as other stakeholder groups involved. The biggest spatial interruption to be addressed to make the Pollinator Highway cohesive is a former freight station along the path. The city is partnering with Estonian Railway to take a bike path through the freight station and initiate an architecture competition for a bridge. (Link 1 | Link 2)

  • Resources and Transferability 

Teaching Materials/Resources: https://uuringud.tallinn.ee/uuring/vaata/2021/Putukavaila-ruumitaju-ja-kasutuse-uuring, https://www.tallinn.ee/et/media/428795  

Personal Skills Required: MEDIUM 

Non-discriminatory Principles YES 

Transferability Potential High