Tallinn Main Street

Posted 10 April By RoadMaps for energyIn E-articles from Partners, News0 comments

Tallinn Main Street.

For decades urban planning in Tallinn has been focused on motorised vehicles, mainly the private car. This has resulted in a congested, unpleasant and unsafe city centre for the people. Now, with Estonia’s centenary in 2018 and its presidency of the EU in the end of 2017, the city aims to change this notion by starting with the city centre and creating a 21st century Main Street.

spring in the city - TallinnVisualisation of the design ‘Spring in the city

Until recently city planners have added roads and widened streets in order to accommodate the increasing number of cars. Pedestrians and cyclist have been mostly allocated the narrow strips of streets that are left between buildings and car lanes. With the Project of the Main Street we will create a people-friendly 1,5 km stretch in the centre of Tallinn. The goal is to transform the heart of Tallinn from a transport corridor to a buzzing space with its own identity and street culture – a space for meeting and spending time, not just a busy thoroughfare for cars that citizens and tourists alike try to avoid.

spring in the city 2- TallinnVisualisation of the design ‘Spring in the city

By prioritizing public transport and increasing the pedestrian zones, the mobility of pedestrians and non-motorised vehicles will be improved. It will also mean fewer cars in the city centre, which will contribute to a decrease in traffic noise and improvement of air quality. In a few years the Main Street will also link the Old City Harbour with the city centre, making the seaside more easily accessible and turning the city into a true coastal city.

AUL visualisation- TallinnVisualisation of the design ‘AUL’ – how to connect the Main Street with the sea

The design competition, organized by the Estonian Centre of Architecture, took inspiration from sustainable city planning solutions in other European capitals, such as Berlin, London, Stockholm and Helsinki. The winning team in the design competition is led by Toomas Paaver from Linnalahendused, in cooperation with Kavakava Architects. Their project is called “Spring in the City”, which aims to highlight missing sections of the Bastion belt that used to surround the Old Town centuries ago, when Swedes ruled the capital.

spring in the city 3 - TallinnVisualisation of the design ‘Spring in the city

The process of the Main Street project hasn’t been a smooth ride and a lot of efforts in communication have been made to inform the public about the benefits of such an endeavour. In 2015 there were 497 passenger cars per 1,000 inhabitants in Estonia, meaning city planning has mainly focused on creating a smooth traffic flow that’s comfortable for the drivers. Although the Main Street isn’t directly banning cars, a lot of car owners have expressed their concern about the project. However, more and more people are excited about the new Main Street, including local business owners, who expect increased sales with more pedestrians in the area. As Tallinn residents, we look forward to the new Main Street – a more vibrant city, with cleaner air to be enjoyed on foot.





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