On 7 October at 10:15 Pille Metspalu will defend her docoral thesis „The changing role of the planner. Implications of creative pragmatism in Estonian spatial planning“
Senior Reaserch Fellow Kadri Leetmaa, Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences
Professor Tuna Tasan-Kok, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
The aim of this research is to establish a theoretical concept for spatial planning in Estonia and examine the role of planners in the society. I concentrate on summer house settlements - “summurbia” - and large socialist housing estates which are two characteristic spatial phenomena specific to the Central and Eastern Europe and Estonia. As vivid examples of the legacy of socialist spatial planning, these areas reflect clearly the socio-cultural background of the Soviet Era and are thus uniquely suitable objects for studying planning theory and practice. The evolution of these distinct living environments exposes the role of a planner on multiple levels. I study the tasks assigned to planners and the powers seized by them, the opportunities they sought and skills they needed in their professional activities. I propose pragmatism as the theoretical framework underlying Estonian planning and explore the wider context of expectations for planners.