18. Viability of Cultural Space

The focus of the goal “Viability of Cultural Space” is ensuring through culture the sustainability and viability of Estonia as a nation state. The values, principles, methods, behavioural patterns, ways of thinking and life associated with sustainable development represent social innovation, a fundamental change in social life, which can be successfully carried out through culture.

The UN 2030 Agenda does not include goals or target levels directly associated with culture. Some principles related to culture are however highlighted. 

Ensuring the viability of the Estonian cultural space is one of the four sustainable development goals of the Estonian Sustainable Development Strategy. The Estonian cultural space is interpreted as the Estonian natural and living environment as well as the Estonian sign environment (communication language, symbols, personal and geographic names, colour preferences, building and home design practices, generally known pieces of art and literature and historical figures, historical anniversaries and calendar, etc.). Preservation of a nation is conditioned first of all on the existence of cultural mechanisms; the core of such mechanisms is national-language education and cultural creation (incl. research) based on the national language, and the functionality of national-language communication and national cultural values and behaviour patterns in everyday life and in all spheres of life. Cultural events and products such as books, theatre, film, etc. reflect and contribute to togetherness and sustain continuity in the society.

The Estonian sustainable development goals in the domain of viability of the cultural space concern topics of preserving the Estonian people, language and culture. The following indicators are used to assess the viability of the Estonian cultural space:

  • Natural increase
  • Cohort fertility rate
  • Speakers of Estonian
  • Attendance of cultural activities
  • Performers in cultural activities
Natural increase -5,669.0
Cohort fertility rate 1.8
Speakers of Estonian 651.5 thousand
Share of population aged 15 and over who participated in cultural activities and events 73.8 %
Share of population aged 15 and over who practiced hobbies (incl. sports activities) 67.5 %