Urban Activism in Post-Socialist Cities

The international workshop „Urban Activism in Post-Socialist Cities“ took place on 14 – 20 June 2012 in Tallinn, Estonia. The workshop was part of the European Commission’s Lifelong Learning programme Grundtvig and it was organized by MTÜ Linnalabor (NGO Estonian Urban Lab). There were 15 motivated participants from 15 different countries, aiming to explore the questions and issues of urban activism in post-socialist context and share their experiences. The workshop consisted of lectures and excursions in different neighbourhoods in Tallinn, for example Northern-Tallinn, Uus-Maailm, Kadriorg and Lasnamäe. The participants also had the chance to attend the 22nd annual INURA (International Network for Urban Research and Action) conference. To put their experience and knowledge into practice, the participants were given the task to come up with ideas, interventions or solutions how to make the urban life more active in three ‘less active’ districts in Tallinn. The participants worked in three groups and presented their ideas within excursions to the chosen areas – namely Rotermanni Quarter, Lasnamäe and Keldrimäe. The possible solutions included for example a strawberry picnic in Keldrimäe, a call for local inhabitants to reclaim their space in Lasnamäe and a discussion over ‘privatised’ public space in Rotermanni. As an outcome of the workshop the participants learned new ways to stay active and encourage urban activism in their local surroundings.

You can read the group work reports on the Reports page and an overview by Elo Kiivet from the Estonian urbanists’ newletter U, issue U11.

The organizers would like to thank all the participants and lecturers for an active and inspiring week together, and the LLP programme for making this workshop happen!