Tallinn Wet City | EKA

We highlight here the limitations of framing the relation between built environment and green systems with traditional zoning logics and propose an approach where green areas and built ones are treated as part of a co-evolving network in recognition of their current complex interaction.

by Claudia Pasquero, Marco Poletto JA, Konstantinos Alexopoulos
published in City Unfinished - Tallin Green - Networks, by Estonian Academy of Arts Faculty of Architecture and Kapitel, p. 38 - 51


A strong ideological bias influences the way the discipline of architecture conceptualises Nature and that ideological position is a critical obstacle to innovation in our discipline.Contemporary design culture is driven by a sanitised ideal of Nature deprived of its most uncontrollable aspects. This may well be one of the most persistent influences that we inherited from modernity and that has come to determine the shape of our contemporary cities in a definitive way.

Parks and other recreational areas were initially designed to manage the side-effects of industrialisation on human health and productivity. Modernism embraced that attitude and turned it into a style symbolizing human’s rational ability to frame nature. Modern master- planning rationally separates all functions; zones of production and treatment of waste were moved further out of city centres, technically preventing possible contamination. The consequence of this, however, is that today part of our daily perception of reality is that waste, pollution, decay and other by-products of urbanisation simply disappear from our world. We rationally acknowledge their existence but at the basic level of our experience they vanish.

This is the origin of the modern, industrialized and metabolically linear city. Resources go in on one side and waste comes out on the other. It is up to the Biosphere to close the loop.