Discussion about future visions of urban space by Kristi Grišakov


Discussion “Between utopia and future”. The discussion will be led by urban planner Kristi Grišakov (Estonia).

December 6 / 18.15–19.15 / Estonian Centre of Architecture / Free to the public

Albert Einstein once said we will never be able to solve our problems based on the same way of thinking we had when we caused them.

So how can you break your fixed ways of thinking and create a new city, which instead of repeating problems helps solve them instead?

Using the previously screened documentary “Ecopolis China” as our inspiration, we will discuss whether what we saw in the movie is really a fresh and inspiring urban vision or yet another utopia that is ambitious but has feet of clay? We analyse humanity’s love for utopias to understand whether dreaming about the future can actually change it for the better. We dig into the trends of the future to understand their real power to change the rhythm and habits of our everyday lives. Tallinn today was without doubt a utopia to those living here 20 years ago. There were no skyscrapers (sorry – high-rises), the Talsinki tunnel was only for the mad and even the mad couldn’t yet imagine the e-state. In this case, what might Tallinn 2034 be like? Discover the futurologist in yourself and take part in a discussion about how thinking about the future can help change the world.

Kristi Grišakov is a doctoral candidate in urban and regional planning at Aalto University in Finland and Raboud University in the Netherlands. She is also the director of and a lecturer in the Department of Landscape Architecture of TTÜ Tallinn College. Her research and related papers and projects focus on the future scenarios of cities. She was inspired to look to the future by the idea of the Tallinn-Helsinki twin city (without a tunnel, incidentally) which is also the topic of her doctoral thesis.

Discussion’s participants are Kadri Koppel and Urmas Pappel.

Kadri is an urban sustainability expert and board member of Linnalabor (Estonian Urban Lab). She has her MA in urban governance from Tallinn University. In Linnalabor she has been most involved with collaborative planning and sustainable transportation projects. Kadri spent the first half of 2014 on a field research trip in Vancouver, Canada where she was working with Vancouver’s sustainable development strategies “Greenest City Action Plan” and “Healthy City Strategy”. She has also been teaching a course on sustainable development in Estonian Business School.

Urmas Pappel (MA, Mag. theol.) has graduated from the Theology Faculty (University of Tartu) and from the Centre of East and South-East Asian Studies (Lund University). He has studied Chinese at the National Normal University of Taiwan and lived in China between 2010 and 2012. His past scholarly interests were focused on East-Asian cultures and history as well as on socio-political problems in Tibet, while his current research deals with the socio-political situation in contemporary China. Since 2012, Urmas Pappel is enrolled as a PhD student at the Institute of Government and Politics at University of Tartu where he conducts research on memory politics in China.