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Future of Sustainable Transport and and Urban Development in Tallinn – Lectures by Andres Sevtsuk & Lily Song
ANDRES SEVTSUK (Assistant Professor of Urban Planning at the Harvard Graduate School of Design) and LILY K. SONG (Lecturer in Urban Planning and Design and Senior Research Associate at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design) will give lectures on Thursday, 22 December at 1 pm at the Kultuurikatel in Tallinn (Põhja pst 27a), looking into the possible sustainable development strategies for urban planning and transport in Tallinn. Both lectures take place in connection with the Estonian Academy of Arts architecture faculty MA programme and are open for architecture students from across Estonia as well as field professionals, city officials, and general public interested in the future of Tallinn urban centre. The lectures will be in English.
1 pm

****Andres Sevtsuk. Integrating transit and land use planning for a sustainable urban core in Tallinn****

After two decades of auto-centric growth and uncoordinated urban development, Tallinn has come to a critical juncture. Not only has new residential development predominantly occurred outside of the city center, enabling a growing spatial inequality gap, but now jobs have also started to grow faster outside of the center. Tallinn’s city center is losing its historic primacy as the nation’s economic activity hub to new sub-centers. This shift foreshadows far-reaching consequences, challenging the civic and social importance of the city’s center for its residents as well as reducing the international competitiveness of the capital city in attracting investment, talent and tourism. This presentation explores the potential of strengthening the urban core and reversing its idling image for both locals and visitors alike through bold and coordinated changes in the city’s public transit system, land use planning and urban design. Comparative cases from other cities are discussed in light of Tallinn’s challenges, outlining the strategic planning and policy choices that have led to similar course changes elsewhere.

2 pm

****Lily Song. The Politics and Governance of Transforming Urban Transport****

What makes it possible for democratically governed cities to move forward with innovative transportation policies that advance mobility and sustainability goals? In this presentation, Dr. Lily Song will examine how, when, and where political strategies and tactics have proven critical to the successful implementation of a wide range of inventive, significant, or sought-after transportation policies based on findings from the research project, Transforming UrbanTransport -The Role of Political Leadership (TUT-POL), sponsored by the Volvo Education and Research Foundations (VREF) and hosted at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Presenting case studies of (1) Seoul’s combined highway demolition, bus system overhaul, and urban regeneration; (2) New York’s urban streets initiatives; and (3) Paris Ile-de-France’s sustainable urban transport innovations, emanating from the city throughout the region—she will discuss political conditions and processes explaining implementation successes in addition to highlighting implications for Tallinn.
The lectures are followed by a round table discussion.

Lecturers:

Andres Sevtsuk
is an Assistant Professor of Urban Planning at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. His research interests include urban design and spatial analysis, modeling and visualization, urban and real estate economics, transit and pedestrian oriented development, spatial adaptability and urban history. Andres has worked with a number of city governments, international organizations, planning practices and developers on urban designs, plans and policies in both developed and rapidly developing urban environments, most recently including those in Indonesia and Singapore. He is the author of the Urban Network Analysis toolbox, which is used by researchers and practitioners around the world to study spatial relationships in cities along networks. He has led various international research projects; exhibited his research at TEDx, the World Cities Summit and the Venice Biennale; and received the President’s Design Award in Singapore, International Buckminster Fuller Prize and Ron Brown/Fulbright Fellowship. He was previously an Assistant Professor of Architecture and Planning at the Singapore University of technology and Design (SUTD), and a lecturer at MIT.

Lily K. Song is a Lecturer in Urban Planning and Design and Senior Research Associate with the Transforming Urban Transport-Role of Political Leadership (TUT-POL) project at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.Her research focuses on the relations between urban sustainability and livability initiatives, sociospatial inequality, and race and class politics in American cities and other postcolonial contexts. Her projects— which topically span building energy retrofits, sustainable urban transport, and informal street vending among others— are motivated by the common question of how historically marginalized and disenfranchised urban inhabitants and communities can drive transformative urban policy and governance in collaboration with differently situated and abled partners. She holds a PhD in Urban and Regional Planning from MIT, where her dissertation, entitled “Race and Place: Green Collar Jobs and the Movement for Economic Democracy in Los Angeles and Cleveland,” focused on the analysis of two community-based green economic and workforce development projects aiming to build shared wealth and stabilize poor, inner city neighborhoods. The research partly explored how progressive urban coalitions might use race as a diagnostic and dialogic tool in undertaking transformative economic programs towards realization of the “just city.”

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