You can have an effect on the bigger picture even when planning a small area!
Tallinn's Freedom Square has had a number of expansion plans in the direction of Kaarli Avenue. We are used to being down-to-earth, so the first thing we look at are restrictions...
However, when you shake off your limitations and dare to dream, then what can you do with an area where the Old Town and new town meet?
To find out, we did a little test.
Future Tallinn and Estonia could enjoy world renown as a centre for competence, culture and leisure. Tallinn will become a city that attracts innovation and development and is a comfortable and pleasurable living environment with outstanding public spaces in the city.
Visitors are offered comfortable travelling options outside of Tallinn to discover the rest of the country.
According to research the happiest people live in cities that have long contributed to a comfortable, healthy and attractive urban environment. Tallinn, too, has to set itself bigger goals in planning the city centre. The city's representative area – bordered by Freedom Square, Inger Bastion and Kaarli Avenue; the gateway to the Old Town – is a great opportunity to do just that.
Linking Tallinn’s Old Town and the city centre is a key that holds great potential in using our historical heritage and binding it with a new approach to the vast areas that are occupied by traffic today. The future city centre will have flexible and effective new modes of transport: self-driving cars and electric trams, and organising traffic will require half the sealed area it does today. The areas freed from beneath the asphalt will become a symbiosis of buildings promoting exercise, movement and recreational activities.
By 2030 Freedom Square will be in active use and a world-renowned city centre point. This is where the focus of competence, culture and leisure will be.
Winding around the Old Town will be a bicycle route and a city-circle tram, while underground tunnels will have been built for self-driving cars. To enable new functions and to activate the area, buildings intertwined with parks will be built underground. These underground buildings will open up Inger Bastion and the old escarpment wall, will not interfere with the views of the city and will create smooth connections with the Old Town. Today's sealed roads will be replaced with concentrated green areas and city squares, opportunities for sports and a variety of light traffic. Daylight will be guided into buildings through LED cables and
via light wells on higher floors.
From here you can access the bastion tunnels and the Old Town. Here are pavilions for events, museums and exposition areas, cafés and restaurants. Here is a theatre, an opera house and a media centre. Underground buildings will have an active city park – the heart and atrium of the big building – with a glass ceiling that covers it during all four seasons. At the meeting point of the modern and old towns will be the control centre of the smart city and the underground geothermal plant that supplies energy to the whole area. Gathered here will be centres for science and innovation, institutions focused on cooperation, diplomatic agencies and other enterprises. Tallinn will offer a bubbling mix of city-like qualities, history and culture.
Co-created by Kristiina Hussar
Renderings: Siim West & White Mammoth