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Fences, yards and landscaping

Fences, yards and landscaping

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One of the main objectives of the protection of scenic districts is to value and preserve these districts and renovate the historical environment in a suitable manner. The characteristic landscaping, street network and plot structure of garden towns and historical areas are values protected by the respective comprehensive and thematic plans.

In scenic districts, construction work must not come into conflict with traditional housing and construction practices (size of buildings and properties, construction line, number of floors of a building, layout and scale, traditional finishing materials, landscaping principles, distinctive auxiliary buildings, street-side fence of the property and other practices characteristic to the district)
You must follow these guidelines when working on fences, yards and landscaping:
  • In scenic districts, you must preserve valuable urban and landscaping elements, natural objects, high greenery and green areas, such as original and valuable fences, decoration elements, landscaping, and street-side stairs.
  • It is important to preserve and, if necessary, restore historical ground surfaces, such as pavements made of limestone slabs or cobblestone roads.
  • During road reconstruction, the height of historical buildings should be considered, and lifting the soil from under the ground surface should be avoided.
  • You should not design a yard in large asphalted areas or areas covered with concrete stones. Natural materials (stone paving, concrete slabs, granite siftings, gravel) that are suitable for the scenic district should be used to build parking areas and roads.
  • The minimum landscaped area on each property is determined by the comprehensive plan and usually ranges between 20-50% of the property.
  • Decorative elements and plants (high greenery, orchards, avenues, rock gardens, etc.) that are characteristic to the period and area where the building was constructed should be integrated into the new landscaping and garden design plan.
  • In order to arrange parking in Stalinist city blocks, it is important to take into account the comprehensive plan of the area and preserve the original road network and the distinctive landscaping of green areas (alleys etc.).
  • Before replacing fences or gates or installing a new fence, make sure that the planned design matches the property, building and district. The layout, height, material and design of the fence and gates must be appropriate for a historical district. We recommend examining the initial project of the fence before preparing a new design plan. The original project can usually be found in the archives of the Tallinn City Planning Office. Modern fence designs are not suitable for historical areas and buildings.
  • The height of the fencing must match the fencing of neighbouring properties, which usually ranges between 1.2 and 1.5 metres (between 1.5 and 1.8 metres for board fences). An alternative solution may be considered if the property is located on a busy street or a corner.
  • In scenic districts, the historical structure of the property must be preserved. Therefore, it is forbidden to build or preserve any secondary fencing or gates on the plot that divide the historical property. The property can be divided by a low hedge.
  • In districts with front gardens, the gardens and green areas of buildings must be preserved. When it comes to installing (or not installing) a fence, the street must follow the same principle. Generally, the fencing and gates in front gardens are usually low, up to 1.20 metres from the ground. They are transparent and have stone pillars and a stone socle. The materials and appearance of the fencing are determined by the building’s architectural style.
  • Net fencing (including welded panel fencing) is not characteristic of properties with historical buildings, which is why it cannot be preserved or installed in scenic districts. Net fencing can be installed if it functions as a border between two properties (fencing must not be installed if it is lining the street), is architecturally suitable for the district and its buildings, covers a short distance and is combined with a thick hedge or vines that cover the fencing completely. The possibility to install net fencing and its maximum distance are decided on a case-by-case basis.
  • The location of rubbish bins must be hidden from view. Apartment buildings may need a separate building for rubbish bins.
  • In neighbourhoods where the original plot structure has mostly been preserved, we do not recommend dividing the plots or constructing new buildings (except for auxiliary buildings) in the communal areas located between the buildings. In some cases, these activities may be prohibited by the comprehensive plan. If a new building is built in a communal area, it must function as a courtyard house that is accessible and smaller than the surrounding buildings.
  • In the case of scenic districts and valuable buildings, advertising signs, name plates, headlines and illuminated advertisements cannot, by their shape, colour or position, distort the appearance of the street, public square or building or cover or cut architectural parts of the building. The location and design of advertising materials must be coordinated in advance according to the legislation of the City of Tallinn.
  • The reconstruction and installation of fences must be carried out as set out in Annex 1 of the Building Code.
You can also browse Tallinn’s catalogue of bio-rich landscaping, which includes 800 plants that can grow in green areas as well as in the garden. In addition to the plant’s description, the catalogue contains information about the plant’s value for pollinators and the pollinators it attracts.



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Joonis: Sõjajärgne individuaalelamu. Allikas Kultuuriväärtuste Ameti trükis.

Last modified 30.04.2024