A temporary park created as part of the "Green Tracks" project of Tallinn – European Green Capital 2023 has been opened on the medieval town hall square, at the same spot where the world famous Christmas Market stands every year.
The park offers a versatile leisure space and remains open from June to the beginning of September. Several events will take place on its stage during the summer.
"The purpose of the temporary park is to take such a familiar place in the city and look at it from a new perspective. In addition, the park offers what has been highlighted in many urban space discussions: the old town should have more greenery and public space where you don’t need to buy anything to spend time there," said Vladimir Svet, Deputy Mayor of Tallinn.
In the park, you can sit in comfortable basket-chairs and numerous seats, read, listen to concerts, and see performances on the outdoor stage, or just watch people passing by. The first phase of the park has now been opened, which includes a stage, seating and nearly 20 landscaping containers of various plants. In the second phase, before Midsummer’s Eve (23rd of June), the park will also get more trees, a relaxation area, and a reading pavilion with a bookshelf courtesy of the Estonian National Library.
The authors of the park are Ann Kristiin Entson and Hannes Aava from the Spatial Development Department of the Tallinn Strategy Center, the latter is also the project manager of “Green Tracks”.
According to Aava, the park was thought of because of the concerns raised in several discussions about the Old Town – the lack of greenery and a consumption-free public space. "Based on that we wanted to carry out an extensive spatial experiment on the European Green Capital year, which on the one hand would offer a fresh perspective and at the same time encourages people to think and talk about the issues of the Old Town, as well as public space in general," said Aava.
He added that the basic plan of the park forms a circle by design, which is easily passable by people just walking through the town hall square in a hurry, but also creates a partially closed mini-world buried in greenery.
"The greenery planted in the containers is multi-faceted and multi-species, including, among others, historical species grown in the old town's monastery gardens, such as lavender and monk's flower, as well as many other plants that create value for people and pollinators," described Aava.
The plants are accompanied with signs that introduce them and invite people to interact with them – smell, touch or taste, depending on the plant.
Once the park is closed in the autumn, all the greenery will be planted somewhere in Tallinn’s urban space.
One of the goals of Tallinn – European Green Capital 2023 is to contribute to changes in the urban space. The "Green Tracks" project aims to improve the quality of green areas in Tallinn, create new greenery, and improve urban space in densely used places, support the development of urban green networks and test new urban spatial solutions. More information: https://greentallinn.eu/en/green-tracks/