Lasnamäe Canal


Laagna Road, Tallinn, Estonia


Completed in 1995


Kert Saarma


Landscape and Urban Planning



Although not completed to the extent that Soviet architects had planned, Lasnamäe is still the largest district of Tallinn accommodating more than 115,000 people, quarter of the city’s population. The area is complicated both socially and from the perspective of urban planning. The central role in its utopian vision belonged to the dynamic thorough-fare, a fifty­ metre­ wide trench dug into the limestone clint, which was to be the backbone of transport in and through Lasnamäe, including a fast tram line. In recent years, Lasnamäe canal has also found alternative use as a location for public art projects and installations. In spring 2016, at the initiative of interior design students of the Estonian Academy of Arts, barley was sown in the area between the traffic lanes and on the unused staircases of Pallasti bridge, which were originally intended to service the trams. Inspired by historical grainfields on the local alvars, the installation drew attention to the culture of asphalt roads dominating Tallinn’s urban environment.