Case Study F: East-Kopli

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Area East Kopli
Place Tallinn, Kopli
Country Estonia
Topics Wild Coastline
Author(s) Soumaya Benaddia, Inès Masson, Hicham Karkouch, Elisa Ruocco, Mariangela Perillo, Rashad Gasimov, Tereza Slaba, Marie Huron, Liisa-Maria Tiidu

East Kopli.JPG


The area of East Kopli is a part of Tallin, which presents a suggestive landscape but also some difficulties. It is characterized by a former railway line along the edge of the area and there are private houses defined by high fences. There are also brownfields made up of wild vegetation, iron and concrete. There is also a large garage which contains aligned sheet metal with an entrance in the southern part. The coastline has not a beach, but ground mixed with algae and stones. It would be very interesting to create new connection points in order to improve environmental quality.

However, this place has many potentials and it could reborn through the project of sustainable infrastructures. The project could be the solution to preserve this precious area which is featured by an admirable landscape, starting from the development of the coastline that has an informal access to the sea. Moreover, the brownfields, as "waste" lands, could become places of aggregations based on an environmental improvement.

Location and scope

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A Landscape System Analysis

A.1 Landscape layers and their system context

Geomorphology, landscape units and coastal typology

Landscape units

East Kopli is divided in 2 different space : • Natural area (or related to nature) : this area is divided by the shoreline, the pastures, arable land and a 29.5m hill. • Built up area : this area consists of different types of houses (a slum, small houses with garden (and a group of villa in the western edge) or industrial buildings.

Coastal typology

The site is located in Kopli, Tallin, in the Paljassaare Bay, in between Kopli peninsula and Väike Paljassaare peninsula. Kopli is located in a coastal zone, the region is directly influenced by marine processes. The site is characterized by a 25m on average wide shoreline and a pebble beach. There's a lake (salty lake?) located behind the shoreline.

Beach morphology

In the kopli’s coastal area, we have a strip of white beach, formed by sand and pebbles of sedimentary origin’s. These pebbles are carried by the currents or streams that flow down towards the coast.

Land use

Being on the outskirts of the city, with 6km distance to Tallinn Old City, East Kopli is developed as an Industrial Part. This development shaped the Peninsula. Worker Quarters also developed in that area. However, with the collapse of Soviets Industry abandoned, and the area used for construction waste. Maps produced in different times shows the development of the area. Also satellite images showing that some demolitions have been conducted in the area.

Green/blue infrastructure

Actors and stakeholders

East-Kopli is a part of Tallinn, it is dominated by the North Tallinn government. In order to manage the activities of the district, the North Tallinn Government, which is led by the district governor, is established as the city authority. The Tallinn City Council, which is formed in accordance with the procedure provided for in the Statutes of Tallinn, acts as the working body of the City Council. In order to ensure the development of the city district and to ensure the normal functioning of the infrastructure in accordance with the unified interests and tasks of the city as a whole, and taking into account the specificity of the district, the city district solves the tasks assigned to it by the state and Tallinn legislation in the following areas like: social welfare, housing and communal services, waste management, spatial planning, sports and culture education etc. City governor, who leads the government, manages and organizes government work, signs other government documents or authorize other government officials to do so, ensure the preparation of the draft budget of the district government and the implementation of the budget of the district government and the keeping of records pursuant to the procedure provided for in the legislation of the state and the city.

Kopli Society and Charity The non-profit association Kopli Society has been engaged in charity for years, because the members of the Society are convinced that if possible, the fertilized people should be helped. But after the twenty-three children were given sports shoes and school bags and the state demanded a special discount on this activity, members of the Society are convinced that every good deed can be punished once.

Sacred spaces and heritage

Important part of cultural heritage in East-Kopli is natural heritage. Part of the area called Paljassaare is under European natural protection Natura 2000. It belongs under the Bird directive. In the area live around 227 bird species and 82 of them are protected by the directive.
Another significant part of cultural heritage in this area is a fishing tradition .

Visual appearance and landscape narrative

East Kopli district is characterized by a rather wild coastline. It is somehow accessible for people who wants to benefit from the proximity between Kopli district and the Baltic sea. Wide brownfields extend along the coast and offer residents the possibility to run or to bicycle in a peaceful and natural environment. However, despite these natural and recreational potentials, the area is not very welcoming. The accesses are not clear and an unsafe feeling is present throughout the site. An uncertain soviet past is floating in the atmosphere and remains unreadable.

A surprising 29,5 meters high hill is also characterizing this coastal landscape. It stands as the former Kopli landfill, which have been used until 2016. Hundred kilograms of waste are today covered by clay and grass. This “trash mountain” could offer unusual possibilities to overview the coast or hike on it.

The residential Neeme Street is also an important landscape character as it is composed of a series of individual houses. Their architecture are remarkable as they were built in the 1920s and refers to traditional Estonian houses. The Estonian architect Edgar Johan Kuusik (1888-1974) has designed a couple of wooden houses in this street. They reveal the quietness and the attractiveness of this coastline during the first part of the XXs century.

Finally, the East Kopli district stands as a place dominated by an abandoned post soviet landscape. The wild brownfields and the former landfill are key landmarks with huge potentials for biodiversity and maybe human recreation. The residential street shows that people are still living in this place on the hedge between the city and nature.

A.2 Summary of you landscape system analysis and your development Targets

The DPSR(I) model describes the interaction between the society and the environment. In this case it start from the analysis of five main words-drive, pressure, state, impact, resolve- in connection with the area of study.

The studied zone presents numerous elements and particular landscape features that hold a great deal of potential, but if all driving forces and current pressures are maintained, it could potentially lead to the take over of private stakeholders that would seize the opportunity and develop lucrative structures which is aimed at developing touristic attractions rather than promoting structures that would benefit local inhabitants and environmental wellbeing, such as hotels, resorts, and high-end housing. This would in turn lead to the rise of land value, and therefor lead to the impoverishment and gentrification of the area. On the other hand, this "attraction oriented development" could also cause environmental decline by putting pressure on the natural ressources, especially on the water front, and generating big amounts of waste that need to be managed.

A.3 Theory reflection

  • Reflect on at least three international policy documents in relation to their local landscape case
  • choose one international, one European and one national document
  • You can choose references from our reading list
  • Scope: 250 words

Natura 2000

Natura 2000 is a network of ptoected areas connecting countries of the European Union. It is a directive ( Directive 92/43/EEC ) valid for all countries of EU and a superiror law in natural protection for all members of the EU. The aim of protection is to ensure diversity and conservation of wild species (flora and fauna) among their natural habitat. Protected areas of Natura 2000 are called Special Areas od Conservation. There are two types of conservation - The Habitats directive and The Birds directive. [1]

  • The Habitats Direcitve (FFH)
    Directive 92/43/EEC focuses mainly on protection of flora and fauna, epspecially on indangered and endemic species. In addition, there are also few habitats, which are protected because of their rarity. Protection covers mainly native and wild species and their habitat. [2]
  • The Birds Directive
    For is really important, that Natura 2000 is a network. Espeacially for mirgrating birds it is necessary to ensure, that also places across borders are suitable for protected species. Natural habitat is being rapidly reduced by urban sprawl, agriculture, industry and etc. Consequently, this directive focuses on protecting the natural habitat of indangered and migrating species. [3]
    Natura 2000 map - Special Areas of Conservation Areas of conservation.GIF

    A.4 References

    • Laigu, Tõnu. Private house in Tallinn, Neeme Street, view of the building, Architect Edgar Kuusik. 1988. Museums Public Portal, Eesti Arhitektuurimuuseum [online]. Available at: [Accessed 02.04.2019].

    Phase B: Landscape Evaluation and Assessment

    B.1 Assessment Strategy

    Landscape Evaluation and Assessment will be mainly based on a strategy studying environment components as well as land use, in order to understand specificities of East Kopli coastal landscape and its potentials.

    Based on the Landscape System Analysis we have developed, three main goals have been chosen as the most important to evaluate on the East Kopli case:

    - The uniqueness of coastal landscape as a natural, biodiversified, wild and accessible ecosystem.

    - The potential of recreational activities and ecosystem services for Kopli inhabitants as well as further visitors.

    - The development threats of the coast as possible conflicts for actual residents and future ones, but also for environments.

    These elements will be mapped at the Kopli peninsula scale so as to show how East Kopli district should be developed as an integrated part of the whole peninsula landscape.

    B.2 Mapping

    • As defined by your assessment strategy you conduct the mapping and present your findings here
    • As a minimum, at least three different themes need to be mapped, you may choose more if needed

    B.3 Problem definition and priority setting

    • Give a summary of the major findings of your mapping process, what are the problems/potentials identified?
    • Draw a problems/potentials map
    • Set priorities for the most relevant issues

    B.4 Theory reflection

    • Please reflect the assessment and evaluation methods used based on at least three readings
    • Did you encounter limitations'
    • 200 words test contribution

    B.5 References

    • give a full list of the references you have used for this section

    Phase C – Strategy and Master Plan

    C.1 Goal Setting

    • Define strategic planning objectives based on the evaluation findings
    • Link back to your original targets from section one and the Development Goals
    • 150 words text contribution

    C.2 Spatial Strategy and Transect

    • translate your strategic goals into a vision
    • develop a spatial translation of your vision
    • exemplify your vision in the form of a transect with concrete interventions
    • add map(s) and visualizations

    C.3 From Theory of Change to Implementation

    • For implementing your vision: Which partnerships are needed? Which governance model is required?
    • Who needs to act and how? Draw and explain a change/process model/timeline
    • Which resources are needed? On which assets can you build?
    • add 150 words text and visuals

    C.4 References

    • give a full list of the references you have used for this section

    D. Process Reflection

    • Reflect in your intercultural and interdisciplinary team on the outcomes of your study
    • Which limitations were you facing?
    • What have you learnt from each other?
    • What would you do differently next time?
    • You can also use diagrams/visuals
    • 250 words text