Port railway green corridor earned international recognition
SA Tartumaa Turism
9 October / Green Destinations, an international organisation that develops sustainable tourism, has chosen the transformation of the port railway into a green corridor for light traffic as one of the top 100 stories of the year.
This year, Tartu submitted the port railway, which received a new lease on life, to the sustainable destinations success stories competition. The idea of transforming the former railway corridor into a cycle and pedestrian track was also proposed over the course of several years as part of Tartu’s participative budget, where it received the support of city residents in 2021.
The port railway was covered with reclaimed asphalt and converted into a 2.5 km long pedestrian and bike-friendly cycle and pedestrian track in 2022. Lighting was added, the track was widened – with benches and trash cans being added – culverts were installed to drain water, and solutions were found to intersections with roadways. Plans for the coming years include further development of the site as a green corridor and a linear park. Today, the port railway is an important part of both the city’s network of green infrastructure and cycling tracks.
Raimond Tamm, Deputy Mayor of Tartu and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Tartu County Tourism Foundation, said that the construction of a cycle and pedestrian track and a linear park, instead of the main street originally planned for the port railway corridor, is a striking example of the change in perceptions and expectations in urban development. “In addition to providing a better living environment for residents of Tartu on a daily basis, such ventures also allow Tartu to better stand out from the crowd as a sustainable tourist destination and open up new opportunities for our tourism sector,” said Tamm.
Each year, the TOP 100 sustainable destinations brings together the best examples from around the world, which other sustainable tourist destinations can learn from. Tartu has been included in the TOP 100 for the fourth year in a row: in 2022, with a guide to organizing environmentally friendly events; in 2021, with its Car-Free Avenue; and in 2020, with its citywide Smart Bike Share network, and city buses running on Estonian green gas.
In addition, international auditors rated Tartu as a sustainable destination earlier this year, raising its rating from the silver to the platinum level.
Last changed 09.10.2023