Tallinn is creating a unique city centre engagement centre to facilitate the participation of citizens in the process of shaping the city.
The participation hub will host discussion events and exhibitions introducing urban space solutions by Tallinn's urban planners, architects, strategists and other city officials whose daily work relies on engaging the public. The hub is scheduled to open as a gallery in September 2022 and as a co-creation space in 2023.
"The creation of a participation hub bringing together different stakeholders will certainly foster meaningful discussions between the city, developers, professionals and residents. It will help to create a better urban space for all in the future," said Andrei Novikov, Deputy Mayor of Tallinn. "The concept of such a co-creation space is unique in Estonia, with Stockholm and Aalto University in Espoo as examples in the region."
The participation hub is an exhibition and co-creation space that expands to the cityscape with the objective of facilitating residents’ participation in the processes of urban design and promoting meaningful discussion.
Innovative digital tools will be set up in the centre, enabling complex urban planning processes to be addressed in a more accessible way. This will create a better basis for quality debate and decision-making in spatial planning and zoning.
The participation hub will be located in the neighbouring building of Tallinn City Office at Kaarli puiestee 1, where the Tallinn Strategic Management Office already operates. Located in an active street frontage in the heart of the city, the hub will be easily accessible by foot, bicycle and public transport for all Tallinn residents coming to participate in an event or activity. The prominent location will also encourage spontaneous visits to the hub.
To ensure that the new participation hub will have both a high quality form and content, the interior architecture, technical needs and event programme will be developed in international cooperation. The project partners are the Municipalities of Tallinn and Helsinki, Tallinn University of Technology and Aalto University. The project team consists of researchers and experts in the field.
The establishment of the participation hub is also part of Tallinn's European Green Capital 2023 programme. The participation hub is one of the key outcomes of the joint Tallinn-Helsinki GreenTwins pilot programme and part of the large FinEst Twins project, supported by the European Regional Development Fund and the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research.