Tartu is the second biggest city in Estonia with a population of roughly 100,000 people. Tartu is a well-known student city due to the University of Tartu, one of the oldest and best universities in the region, that hosts nearly 14,000 students annually, making Tartu a lively, youthful place where new ideas are always being born.
Also known as the City of Good Thoughts, Tartu already has a good track record as a smart city. Tartu has developed its e-services and paperless administration practices for decades and has been one of the first in the world to implement many smart solutions – m-parking in 2000, public Wi-Fi throughout the city in 2000, local e-elections in 2005, city mobile applications in 2006, digital signature in 2007, a fully electric taxi service in 2012, participative budgeting in 2013, etc.
Partly due to the „smartness“ of the citizens, the city is a prime place for realizing the bicycling ambitions of Tartu: to have people cycle all year round on safe, well maintained bike lanes, and become healthier and happier in the process. The high number of students and the public bike sharing system that will be launched in 2019 will also be major contributors to this ambition. As Tartu is the perfect size for cycling (diameter ca 7 km), the city hopes that through good participative practices and effective city planning, Tartu will become a cycling city by the end of the next decade.