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Blank Space: Exploring the Sublime Qualities of Urban Wilderness at the Former Fishing Harbour in Tallinn, Estonia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Article numberNA
Pages (from-to)3-20
Number of pages18
JournalLandscape Research
Issue numberNA
Publication statusPublished - 2013


The gradual relocation of industry and other related activities out of the core areas of cities often results in gaps in the urban structure – space that is “left over”. These places – in transition between their former and future functions – are landscapes with no formal spatial arrangement or present use. They introduce or permit a variety of informal uses and therefore may enrich the urban structure, albeit temporarily, with their diversity. However, such places are usually shown as blank areas on maps and accepted as awaiting some future use: thus, the space is considered to be empty. As a case study, the temporary in-between status of a disused and abandoned harbour in Tallinn, Estonia, is documented, in order to present and discuss means of analysing the positive and negative aspects of dereliction in a post-Soviet context before major redevelopment takes place. This blankness, the paper concludes, is an opportunity and a quality, not always a vice but at some cases a virtue and the rich content of derelict places is worthy of consideration in city planning.

    Research areas

  • Urban derelict places, unregulated space, the sublime, waterfront regeneration, Estonia

ID: 4946014