One-hour Estonia


Urban population: 80%
Wealth stratification: low
Spatial inequality: low
Good public space: shared and access guaranteed
Data: owned by everyone, rights are protected
Society’s expenditure on basic infrastructure: high, but distributed more equally
Socio-economic efficiency: above average
Sustainable development goals: we are a world leader

As a result of thorough regional planning, housing development and mobility services are interconnected throughout Estonia, which is why housing has primarily been built in places with train connections. At first, this seemed too restrictive for developers, but people are satisfied and do not long to rely on a personal vehicle. Each urban region has its own face and centres that work on the principle of the circular economy. After artists and then the startup sector moved to the once problematic Ida-Virumaa county, it has gone through a revival and is now one of the most attractive and cosmopolitan areas in Estonia, where artistic people from Russia (Saint Petersburg), Estonia and other countries have a second home. The people of Estonia like to spend time in parks and city squares, where they travel by their chosen means of transport – tram, self-driving capsule, hydrogen bicycle or a combination of these. Cities have a pleasant network of streets and uninterrupted green spaces to help adapt to the climate crisis, and there are many activities in the public sphere that attract passers-by. The 8-80 principle has been applied, which means that both 8- and 80-year-olds can move about in public without requiring assistance from others. There is a lot of talk about maintaining mental health and people are attentive to those close to them who may be going through a difficult period. Communities are committed to some of the tasks previously carried out by the public authorities, such as helping the youngest and oldest, building common gardens, designing streets and courtyards. In larger cities, new immigrants settle in quite smoothly, although in smaller towns they may still be shunned. In the happiness index, Estonia is relatively high and has even risen in the past few years.