Vacant City

It’s already the fourth year that The Estonian Urban Lab (Linnalabor) is organising Telliskivi Creative City’s birthday seminar. We continue inspired by the last year’s topic of sharing economies that gained a lot of interest and received positive feedback. This time we are focusing on sharing the urban space.

Pop-up shops, modular houses, kindergartens built out of construction containers, parking lots covered with gravel, container and apartment galleries, functional urban installations and community cafés – is this all a sign of fetishised alternative space that should be characterised as temporary, provisional? How do these trends shape the way we use urban space, are the temporary users gentrifiers wearing a mask and what does temporary use altogether mean?

The seminar deals with different practices of temporary use and assesses the potential of vacant space through international examples. We have invited to present a representative of a temporary use agency ZZZ in Bremen together with the state planner, who have been bringing spaces to life using the idea of temporary use for years. Valga, a small town in Southern Estonia, is planning to demolish its block housing and move people back to wooden districts in the city centre. Couple hundred kilometres away in Riga an activist group is claiming that the city could be branded through its empty space. All this makes us wonder, why is there no strategic approaches to the issue in Tallinn or in our smaller towns. Why don’t we have space exchange agencies or architecture offices who focus on temporary uses, where are our activists against temporary private parking?

We wish to find answers to these and many other questions and bring together institutions that deal with empty spaces, city officials, non-profits, but also just open-minded and active people in order to create lively discussion over the course of five hours.

Seminar is free of charge and will be held in English except two brainstorm sessions.
As the seminar promises to be popular and we have limited space, please confirm your participation by registring here –