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City planning of Tartu


Detailed description of the Good Practice

Forty city planners and architects from the nine Baltic Sea countries visited the city of Tartu last autumn to participate in the UBC city planning seminar. The city planners of Tartu are now drafting a comprehensive plan for the city centre, whereby they use the ideas and solutions suggested during the international seminar.

urban planning
quality of life

Objectives of the Good Practice

to draft a new comprehensive development plan for the city centre

Participants of the Good Practice

city of Tartu
city planners
forty city planners and architects from the nine Baltic Sea countries

Target group of the Good Practice


Funding of the Good Practice

European funding

More Details of the Good Practice

Since the adoption of the current City Centre Master Plan in 1995, a lot of changes that have had a great impact on the development of the city centre have taken place since. Many popular attractions have been constructed outside the historical city centre and this has changed the movement of different groups of people.
Potentiality in the river
The city of Tartu is drafting a new comprehensive development plan for the city centre. The city planners participating in the UBC seminar concluded, after having taken a thorough look around the city, that the city has overlooked the potential of the River Emajõgi. The river seems to be anonymous and it has not been put into proper use.
Some workshops focused on finding solutions for the use of land and building solutions on the wasteland lying on the river bank in the ‘new city’ area, whereas others discussed the future development of the parks and green areas on the river banks in the historical old town.
The discussions held at the workshops were very practical and yielded many good ideas. In order to make a better use of the river, it was suggested that the river bank promenade to be cleaned and arranged, restaurants opened on the river and swimming places or skating rinks be developed.
A pedestrian bridge to combine past and present
The experts also suggested installing lighting, constructing cafés and sports tracks (which can now only be found in the surburbs) in the city centre parks that boast the lush greenery. A novel idea was put forward: to construct another pedestrian bridge to connect the historical old town with the Ülejõe district.
It is very positive that the city of Tartu has been able to use European funding to restore several river bank sections, where the reconstruction of fortifications has completely changed the appearance of the entire bank. Another section was completed at the end of last year- walking paths and light traffic paths were reconstructed, lighting and benches installed, wooden platforms built above the water. A goal has been set to make the River Emajõgi, which is a very valuable attraction in Tartu, more visible and to turn its banks into attractive recreation areas for both local people and our visitors.

Available files

Contact details

Raymond Tamm , Deputy Mayor
+372 736 1213
+372 515 4738

Data sources and references

Baltic Cities Environmental Bulletin 2/2012