Planning policy frameworks, including evidenced based spatial planning frameworks are very slowly emerging across the Baltic States. The old ‘pre-European’ planning policy mechanisms currently in place originated where cities are centrally planned, without being a subject to RIBA Stages, consultation with the private sector and based on evidence. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) works with governments, business leaders and regional officials, helping reform policies and initiatives which help achieve positive economic change and improve lives.
In this EBRD funded project we worked with the City of Tallinn in Estonia over eight months to develop the City’s Draft Development Plan (DP21) into a Supplementary Planning Document. DP21 is a high-level vision document to improve social, environmental and economic outcomes across the City to 2035, but it needed some robustness, including qualitative and quantitative evidence and key performance targets to work as an adoptable supplementary planning document. DP21 is seen by the City of Tallinn as a social agreement for “better everyday life”, “enjoyable neighbourhoods” and “considerate people” between the City and its residents, workers and other stakeholders. DP21 has a focus on quality of life and wellness, economic opportunity, attracting new residents, improvements to housing stock, investment in transport/mobility and green/blue infrastructure.
As a part of a wider team, we derived evidence to support baseline environmental conditions: looking at land ownership, development opportunities, physical spatial and regulatory constraints, current infrastructure provision and regulation, existing housing stock, planning law and real estate finance, derive achievable economic, social and environmental targets and routes to delivery, with consultation at each of 3 key stages.
As a result, the updated DP21 guidance encourages public and privately sector collaboration and funding, deployment of resilient and sustainable infrastructure to meet primarily housing growth needs. All DP21 outcomes are intended to be people driven to encourage positive behaviours, not technology driven to derive specific environmental outcomes; DP21 would encourage community inclusivity – particularly families and children.