Tallinn among the world’s ten most “innovative small cities”

The Estonian capital, Tallinn, has achieved the tenth place in the Innovation Cities: Small 200 Index, which evaluates the innovativeness of cities with fewer than one million residents.

The city has made a significant leap in rankings, climbing 77 places compared with 2018. The improvement is attributed to the city’s digitalisation efforts, according to the Tallinn city government.

“Creating a better breeding ground for innovation and providing support contributes to the development of our businesses, offers new solutions to the city itself, and creates a more fertile entrepreneurial landscape. We have made significant progress in digitising city services and have supported the community and businesses in this endeavour. Our ambition is to lead in innovation and serve as an example for others,” the city’s deputy mayor, Joosep Vimm, said in a statement.

A driverless shuttle called iseAuto, developed by TalTech, tested in Tallinn, Estonia. Photo by Auve Tech.

The Innovation Cities: Small 200 index provides insights into how smaller cities can outperform their size in innovation and development. Amsterdam, the Netherlands tops this list, followed by Tel Aviv, Israel; Basel, Switzerland; Frankfurt and Düsseldorf, Germany; Québec City, Canada; Rotterdam, the Netherlands; Gothenburg, Sweden; Geneva, Switzerland; and Tallinn. In addition to various innovation indicators, Tallinn’s success is attributed to the city’s and Estonia’s global recognition for digital solutions.

The index utilises 162 indicators across 31 categories, including culture, transportation options, technology, taxation and sustainability, offering a comprehensive assessment of the cities’ innovation potential.

In the global ranking of 500 cities, Tallinn holds the 102nd position, with Tokyo, Japan, leading the list. Helsinki, Finland, ranks 39th, and Riga, Latvia, 256th.

The international data innovation agency 2thinknow has been publishing the rankings since 2007.

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