The Väike-Õismäe housing estate
Väike-Õismäe is one of Tallinn’s main housing estates. It was built in 1970s by architects Mart Port and Malle Meelak. Its symmetrical, circular shape, crowned by a central lake, is a vivid embodiment of the state socialist utopia of form. Today, critics and planners suggest that Väike-Õismäe is only a bedroom suburb and new diverse functions should be found for the place. The question of future planning of Soviet-time housing estates, however, is a hot topic that few claim to know the answer to. What are the pluses and minuses of this place? To what extent should the modernist form be blamed for the shortcoming? Is the criticism justified? What has been the role of post-socialist planning in transforming the place and its representations? During the urban walk we’ll have an opportunity to observe Väike-Õismäe’s characteristic spatial patterns and relate them to the social ones.
Duration: 2h (foot, public transport)
Tour guide: Anu Kägu
Urban landscape of restitution
The re-establishment of Estonia’s political independence in 1991 was surrounded by an almost religious devotion to market reforms, ‘historical justice’ and the reunification of the Estonian nation. The backbone of the ’de-Sovietisation’ process was the Ownership Reform Act. The act gave right to pre-war owners or their heirs to claim properties which were nationalised during the first years of the Soviet occupation. The city of Tallinn has witnessed the widest variety of moral and physical conflicts in the course of property redistribution. The tour will reveal physical and mental traces of restitution in Tallinn and shed light on the controversies embedded in the process of applying the symbolic act of ‘historical justice’ on the actual lived and geographical space and its inhabitants half a century later.
Duration: 4-5h (bus)
Tour guide: Andra Aaloe
Urban walks are organised by NGO Linnalabor. If you have any questions then don’t hesitate to get in touch via email@example.com.
More details in May.