Spatial Planning in Estonia – From A Socialist to Inclusive Perspective

Mart HIOB, Nele NUTT


Spatial planning in Eastern Europe has gone through major changes during the years after the Soviet occupation ended around 1990. New planning standards were eagerly accepted but the practice was often carried out in a socialist manner. This article gives an overview of planning law and practice in Estonia during the transition period. The example presented is a district in Tartu, the second largest city of 100,000 inhabitants. The article analyses different master planning documents covering the whole district and compares both their process of compilation and their content to former Soviet era plans. The conclusion is that the transition from socialist to inclusive planning in Estonia has taken at least two decades, and the process is still not fi nished. This shows that the legal framework alone is not suffi cient to transform planning practice – a new ideology has to be accepted by the specialist as well as the politicians and the general public.


spatial planning, planning practice, Eastern Europe, transition, Supilinn.

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