The Tartu Study Case
A short preparatory visit was made to Tartu from 30th of March till 1st of April 2015. The initiative is taken by Municipality of Tartuto invite the core members of the CUPA programme, Volkmar Pamer of the Planning Department of Vienna, Vincent Neumayer of TINA Vienna and Huibert Haccoû of the International Intervision Institute, to organize an Implementation Lab on the issues that Tartu faces especially regarding the connectivity within the city. The CUPA team was cordially welcomed by Vice Mayor and Municipal Councillorfor Planning and Buildingof Tartu City Mr. Jarno Laur, Head of the Masterplanning and Development of the Department of Urban Planning, Land Survey and Land Use, Mr. Indrek Ranniku and Mr. Mati Raamat, Head Engineer of the Department of Urban Planning, Land Survey and Land Use, as well as by Henri Eeselau the Urban planner – Analyst of the same department.
After a quick glance at the selection of interesting sites in the City of Tartu the party was introduced to the study area itself: the barrier that prevents an open and well functioning connection across the river Emajõgi. The exchange of impressions and ideas on what the focus of the Implementation Lab should be lead to the decision to focus the CUPA Implementation Lab on the connectivity of the city centre to the newly build mega location of the Estonian National Museum (ERM – Eesti Rahva Muuseum) on the former and now obsolete runway of the military airfield, that is partly situated on the soils of Tartu and the Raadii Parish.
The pedestrian bridge that connects the Raekoja Plats (town hall square) in front of the city hall with the Holmi Park on the other shore of the Emajõgiriver is undersized and too narrow to accommodate much additional biking and walking traffic that surely will evolve because of the new national museum attraction. This would be an ideal issue for a problem statement for the CUPA Implementation Lab given the rather new development where the planners were still not fully aware of its consequences and the focus it brings to a general debate on connectivity. So the problem 2 statement was reformulated as follows:
How to improve the connectivity between the Estonian Nation Museum and the City Centre in such a way that it contributes to the quality of space of the riverbanks and the quality of public spaces between Raadi and Raekoja Plats?
Characteristics of the study case area
Tartu, with a population of about 100.000 inhabitants, is the second largest city in Estonia after the capital and government seat Tallinn. Tartu lies in the south east of Estonia with Peipsilake in the east, Russia in the south east, Latvia in the south and 185 km to Tallinn in the north west and the city is considered the Estonian hub of growth, which dynamics rely heavily on the excellent international academic reputation and Tartu’s domestic role as a centre of education, research, medicine and the role as bearer of the national culture.
Tartu is the venue of leading universities, the University of Tartu and the Estonian University of Life Sciences. Further more is Tartu the seat of the Estonian historical archives, the Estonian suprimecourt the Estonian ministry of education and research and last but not least the Estonian National Museum.
See for more indepthinformation, the excellently preparared and well illustrated study case dossier in a separate volume in the annex.