List of Mobile Workshops with descriptions


1. Soviet apartment building complexes in Annelinn: built as a bedroom suburb; however, how to move on?

Speaker: Kadri Leetmaa

Description: Annelinn is the largest district of Tartu and an excellent sample of modernist Soviet architecture. The district consists mainly of five-storey or higher apartment buildings built after 1970. Annelinn is built in the form of an amphitheatre with a rising relief, the imaginary centre of which is in the Anneluha area. Four districts were originally planned, two of which were completed. Also, built during the high housing deficit, only residential areas, a few shops, kindergartens and schools were developed but most of the public spaces stayed on the plans. Today local planners need to think about how to make the previous model work today. Efforts are being made to make Annelinn more attractive to residents and to create opportunities to make public space comfortable and modern. Kadri Leetmaa talks about the most important projects.


2. The building district of Karlova as a wooden gemstone - how to preserve it?

Speaker: Ingmar Pastak

Description: Karlova is an environmentally valuable, interesting, and diverse place, located next to the heart of Tartu. It hosts mostly wooden buildings built before the second world war which now are discovered by younger people who value stove heating, a bit slum-like but cosy atmosphere. Karlova makes a good example of gentrification. In the area, you can see the contrast between beautiful houses and old wooden sheds. The gentrification process certainly brings both beauty and pain. Even today, you can see unusual phenomena in the centre of Karlova, such as the "Kuu" shop, apples raised on the street behind the garden, a lot of beautiful street art and non-existent sidewalks.


3. The vibe of Supilinn, a friendship of the old and new

Speaker: Mart Hiob

Description: Supilinn is a small district in the centre of Tartu, between Emajõgi and Tähtvere. In the Supilinn, you can see a gentrified area, where the old and poor area has become expensive and popular. Supilinn, however, forms a unique example where gentrification was taken into account in the local district plan. The plan basically defined areas where new housing was allowed but in most areas historically large gardens were maintained that kept the gentrification process run in a balanced course. Today, newer buildings are directed to the river and overlook the pedestrian promenade along the shore directly onto the river. The older part hosts both older and polished buildings. Mart Hiob talks about the plans, worries and joys of Supilinn, and shows the most outstanding and exciting buildings.


4. Tähtvere dendropark: integrating biodiversity with leisure activities

Speakers: Gloria Niin, Liina Jürisoo

Description: Tähtvere dendropark is a large green space near the Estonian University of Life Sciences. This park is used for open-air sports (walking, running, skiing, disc golf) but it also has high biodiversity. In this workshop, we will be introduced to how leisure activities and nature are co-existing and why Tähtvere park is unique for different species living there. Later we will discuss how to gather different information about the park and how to make the high biodiversity value visible to different interest groups.


5. Challenges of contemporary urban planning in Tartu

Speaker: Pille Metspalu

Description: The tour will take a comprehensive look at urban planning issues in Tartu. The urban fabric of Tartu will be analysed from different angles - sustainable mobility, liveable streets, functional public space, greenery and connectivity, new landmark buildings, heritage areas, residential vs industrial/business land use and heterogeneous urban form. We will see recent developments in the built environment (new bridge for pedestrians and bike riders in Riga street, new residential buildings nearby and in Karlova wooden district). We will take a critical look at bike lines in the Karlova district and the central part of Tartu and point out the possible land use conflicts. The Estonian approach to modern city-building will be discussed - "trying to impress by contrast" being the most apparent way of introducing new building volumes. The role and nature of urban parks in the very centre of Tartu will be analysed.


6. River Emajõgi, an underrated treasure in Tartu county

Speaker: Kaisa Timmi

Description: Emajõgi is a river that flows from Lake Võrtsjärv into Lake Peipsi, crossing the city of Tartu. Emajõgi is fully navigable and by watercraft, it is easy to go and enjoy wild nature. But there are not too many rest areas for people to use. In this workshop, we will talk about Emajõgi and its use and potential possibilities for different leisure activities. Later we will discuss what challenges there are for panning rest areas near Emjõgi and how to overcome different challenges.


7. Parks and biodiversity in Tartu - can cities work for both people and nature?

Speaker: Merle Kalberg

Description: In this workshop, we will make a tour of a curated biodiversity landscape laboratory, where it is possible to experiment with different ways of increasing biodiversity. We will show different parks in Tartu and explore the methods used for increasing biodiversity. Later we will discuss if cities can work for both people and nature.


8. (Sub)urban Tartu

Speaker: Toomas Tammis

Description: The tour looks at the questions of urbanity (urban density and city life) both in the city centre and in the periphery. To do that in a more-or-less concise manner we concentrate on large players like the University of Tartu. We will look at the new campus in Maarjamõisa on the outskirts, the more recent centrally located faculties from the previous century, the first historical buildings of Tartu University at Toomemäe and finish at the University main building at the historic centre. On the same trajectory, we will look at some new infrastructure, a reused Soviet-era industrial complex and a housing development that all contribute in their own way to the urban density. We will investigate how the city could benefit from the large-scale magnets of a mixed group of people and vice-versa and how could that translate into planning regulations.


9. Car-free avenue, reducing car use in the city centre

Description:  Vabaduse puiestee is a long road between the old town and river Emajõgi in the city centre. To reduce car use, a car-free avenue project will be organized for the third year in a row from July 9th to August 8th. Vabaduse puiestee will be opened only to pedestrians and cafés, stages and various leisure opportunities will be brought to the street. During the tour, you can visit the Car-free avenue and hear more about how transport is shaping and reducing car use in Tartu, and what is the success story of the Car-free avenue.


10. SmartEnCity, smart buildings from Soviet apartment blocks

Speakers: Kaspar Alev ja Martin Kikas

Description: Khrushchyovkas are a key part of the Soviet-era housing heritage, and are made of prefabricated large blocks or bricks with up to five stories. Built in the Soviet Union from the late 1950s to 1980s as inner-city infills to accommodate people in the post-war housing deficiency, they usually contain small (up to 40 m2) apartments that typically have one or two bedrooms and a small kitchen. Today khrushchyovkas have remained in a poor condition – many have poor sanitary conditions, ventilation, heating systems, and insulation. This mobile workshop is focusing on the SmartEnCity project which was the first know attempt to retrofit outdated khrushchyovkas into “smartovkas”. The SmartEnCity project carries a ‘lighthouse project’ designation because it is the first retrofit project in which smart and sustainable technologies were applied to privately owned Soviet-era apartment buildings. The mobile workshop gives an overview of life conditions in the Soviet Union and the rebirth of the buildings into A-energy class houses. The tour offers the opportunity to visit a retrofitted house and one of the renovated apartments.


11. Historical Planning Practices (manors, villages and collective farm centres)

Speaker: Garri Raagma

Description: We welcome you to join the 4-5 hours journey throughout the last centuries visiting rural areas North-East of Tartu. Estonia has been always a manor society. First, similar units appeared already 3000 years ago. German, Danish and Swedish crusaders who conquered the country in the 13th century, probably liked this model, so they continued manor keeping practices and mixed with Estonian elites who took over the German language and culture. Well, in the meantime, Russia was having hard times in the 17th century. People who did not like Patriarch Nikon's reforms – refugees of those times –, inhabited agriculturally poor Peipsi lakeside. Orthodox old believers or starovery still live there. Their villages, fishermen and onion grower lifestyle are worth seeing. Back to the manors. German-speaking nobility was clever enough to continue their manor practices also under Russian Czars. Landlords turned manors into functional economic complexes with numerous subunits: stables, barns, distillery, smithy, mill, greenhouse, etc. and earned well from the vodka trade. They build luxurious main buildings whose styles were copied from all over Europe and which were surrounded by kilometres long alleys, parks and impressive pond systems. Barons build a city in the middle of nowhere. There have been about 1000 manors in Estonia. Serfdom was removed in 1816/9 and peasants start to manage their small manors – a lot of innovations were taken from manors. After the Estonian independence in 1919, manors were divided among farmers. Some of them get wealthy enough to behave like landlords. People called them Grey Barons. After the Soviet occupation, in 1950, farmers were forced to join collective farms. Initially, 3000 units were constantly amalgamated so that by 1980 about 300 state and collective farms form considerable economic units that take care also of housing and social infrastructure. Finally, kolkhoz leaders started to renovate even manors and deserved the nickname of “Red Barons”. However, appartement houses built near farms were usually not that nice and are the most problematic housing units nowadays.


12. Green transition in the green Elva

Description: Elva is a town about 25 kilometres from Tartu. There are about 5600 citizens and its area is about 9,9 square kilometres. There are a lot of green spaces but it is also a valued residential area. In this tour, we will see what Elva has done to become a greener town and discuss the challenges of becoming green.


13. Challenges for Elva: public spaces and safety

Description: Elva is a town about 25 kilometres from Tartu. There are about 5600 citizens and its area is about 9,9 square kilometres. Elva has built many public spaces and streets for people to use public space. In this tour, we will see what Elva has done for safety and what are Elva's challenges related to safety.


14. Finding a balance between green and gray in Elva

Description: Elva is a town about 25 kilometres from Tartu. There are about 5600 citizens and its area is about 9,9 square kilometres. There are a lot of green spaces but it is also a valued residential area. In this tour, we will see how different interests meet in Elva and what are the challenges to finding a balance between different interests.


15. The Raadi manor complex and former military area - challenges for planners

Speaker: Kristi Grišakov

Description: The Raadi area combines traces of different eras. On the one hand, Raadi has the remaining buildings and landscape of the manor complex, on the other hand, Raadi has a former military airfield, which today no longer serves the purpose of an airport. The area of the Raadi military airfield can be seen as an interesting challenge for planners. Today it hosts a national museum and a new housing area but most of the area waits for redevelopment. What to do besides a large-scale object near the city and how to connect the old with the new. Tartu city architect Tõnis Arjus talks more about the Raadi manor complex, the military area and the plans there. The mobile workshop will bear into the regeneration of formed Soviet military areas.