28.06.2021 - 10:15
On 28 June at 10:15 Johanna Pirrus will defend her doctoral thesis “Contemporary urban policies and planning measures in socialist-era large housing estates” for obtaining the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (in human geography and regional planning).
Associate Professor Kadri Leetmaa, University of Tartu
Professor Sigrun Kabisch, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ (Germany)
Following the example of the UK, western countries have gradually undergone many political, economic and social changes, such as privatization, which have led to deeper socio-economic segregation and spatial inequalities, especially in the housing sector. In the post-socialist context, where a vast part of the housing sector is made up of socialist-era housing estates, the social diversity of these areas still reflects the situation created by immigration during the Soviet period. Based on the examples presented in the dissertation, it is possible to monitor the development of urban policy and spatial planning after almost complete privatization and to create a place of study for societies where privatization and the transition to a free market economy are still taking place. The results of the study revealed that extreme privatization in the Baltics has created a situation where urban planning is still driven and constrained by private and economic interest rather than strategic urban planning and vision. There is a growing demand for a better living environment. However, in addition to residents, the demand for spatial interventions has also arisen from urban professionals (architects, geographers, urban planners, landscape architects). Interestingly, inner cities are ‘reborn’ through gentrification, and a renaissance is also taking place in the socialist-era housing estates. The only difference seems to be that gentrification and the accompanying community activism originate within the region, but the renaissance in the estates is initiated from outside by urban professionals. Consequently, the role of the public sector in directing development tracks should be different for inner cities and large housing estates. In inner cities, the public sector must act as a ‘cooler’, alleviating real estate development pressure in the area. However, in housing estates, the public sector must constantly encourage community activism and collaboration between parties as well as the interest of real estate developers to build there.
Senate Hall (Ülikooli 18–204) and via video bridge