laupäev, jaanuar 05, 2008

burn baby burn

The Estonian economic miracle may have built Tallinna kaubamaja and brought skyscrapers to downtown Tallinn. It may have built dozens of geometrically ambitious homes in Viimsi Vald, the luxury suburb north of the city. But if the flat tax is bringing investment to Estonia, somebody clearly forgot to steer the investors to the Kopli district of Tallinn.

When we went apartment hunting years ago we entertained the prospect of relocating to Kopli or North Tallinn, but then realized that the place was some sort of 24-hour, open air Soviet museum. The sharp contrast between the modern city center and these downtrodden neighborhoods is indicative of the kind of wealth gap that exists in a country that is constantly trying to grow the pie, rather than readjust the size of each piece everyone gets.

Standing there among the half burned homes and crumbling tenement blocks I wondered how these neighborhoods would finally turn out. Would the Estonian business elite wait until the last stateless pensioner died, then knock it all down to build a marina and a golf course? Would proponents of social democracy sweep in, salvage what they could, tear down the rest, and erect affordable housing?

The solution, it appears, is neither. Instead nature, and by nature I mean fire, has been taking its course on this less well off section of Tallinn. Over the past few days there have been a number of fires in the neighborhood, and according to Urmas Tooming we can expect it to continue.

15 kommentaari:

Blogaddict ütles ...

Tartu Maantee and Kopli serve the same purpose - thinning the herd, getting rid of the sick and the slow. 20 years form now Estonians will be true ubermench. Already you'll never see a down baby estonian or a estonian in a wheelchair. So Kopli is just about mopping up the last pieces of dirt. Am I right or am I right?

Andres ütles ...

Would the Estonian business elite wait until the last stateless pensioner died, then knock it all down to build a marina and a golf course?

That seems to be the plan:
http://www.postimees.ee/061007/esileht/ak/287690.php

Also some business man wanted to build a multibillion EEK leisure and business centre with a harbour to Paljassaare peninsula.

And didn't you mean Viimsi vald, rather than Pirita vald? Pirita is a district of Tallinn.

Andres ütles ...

The grand plan to fix up Paljassaare and Kopli:

http://paber.ekspress.ee/viewdoc/85E6415D6E121FF1C2257265005A2B5F

Giustino ütles ...

And didn't you mean Viimsi vald, rather than Pirita vald? Pirita is a district of Tallinn.

Yes, I did. I'll fix that.

Wv Sky ütles ...

Already you'll never see a down baby estonian ...

Is this actually true? Are there no Down Syndrome cases among Estonians?

Thomas ütles ...

Certainly, if I would be in real estate gambling I would bet on that area...Kopli, Kalamaja and all this area around....its close to sea, oldtown, city center, harbor and main railway station but the main advantage for investment would be, its still undeveloped...so, its just needs little investment, no high maintenance costs, just keep the plot, property or whatever, maintain it and I'd say in 5 years arco vara or whoever will knock on your day and offer you x-times more than you paid in beginning of 2008...

plasma-jack ütles ...


Is this actually true? Are there no Down Syndrome cases among Estonians?


This is bullshit, of course.

richardlith ütles ...

"Already you'll never see a down baby estonian ..."

Rhe reason for this is that having a down syndrome, or otherwide handicapped baby is still seen as a social shame in Estonia, as well as across post-communist Europe.

Parents fear that they will be labelled "asocial" or "alcoholics" if bring up a Down Syndrome baby.

Down syndrome babies are born, but they are then given up by the parents and sent to live in th "special" internats and children's homes in country villages or on the edge of povincial tonwns, well out of the way of the public. They are then rarely if seen out on the street, walking about or doing normal things.

Indeed, here in the UK, many E Europeans have told me that they are amazed to see Down Syndrom children and adults out and about in the strreets, doing normal things (like travelling by bus, even having a job). They then tell me how there are nearly no Down children in their country (bullshit, as one comment put it do well.)

This treatment of Down syndrome children is a great scandal in Estonia and worthy of serious jounralistic investigation, as indeed in the wider mental healthcare systeme (all those "special" internats, psychiatric hospitals hidden away in the countryside)

It also needs a social change for Estonian parents to accept that disabled children (mentally or physically) are not a social stigma. I know it will take time for attidutes to change, it took decades in "the West."

richardlith ütles ...

"Already you'll never see a down baby estonian ..."

Rhe reason for this is that having a down syndrome, or otherwide handicapped baby is still seen as a social shame in Estonia, as well as across post-communist Europe.

Parents fear that they will be labelled "asocial" or "alcoholics" if bring up a Down Syndrome baby.

Down syndrome babies are born, but they are then given up by the parents and sent to live in th "special" internats and children's homes in country villages or on the edge of povincial tonwns, well out of the way of the public. They are then rarely if seen out on the street, walking about or doing normal things.

Indeed, here in the UK, many E Europeans have told me that they are amazed to see Down Syndrom children and adults out and about in the strreets, doing normal things (like travelling by bus, even having a job). They then tell me how there are nearly no Down children in their country (bullshit, as one comment put it do well.)

This treatment of Down syndrome children is a great scandal in Estonia and worthy of serious jounralistic investigation, as indeed in the wider mental healthcare systeme (all those "special" internats, psychiatric hospitals hidden away in the countryside)

It also needs a social change for Estonian parents to accept that disabled children (mentally or physically) are not a social stigma. I know it will take time for attidutes to change, it took decades in "the West."

Andres ütles ...
Autor on selle kommentaari eemaldanud.
Andres ütles ...

I don't think it's so much the scare of being labelled asocial. Something like that could just mess with the parents' mind. They expected a healthy baby, they already had plans etc and now a severely handicapped child was born. The inability to cope with such pain is what I see as the cause to send away your children.

About "special psychiatric clinics in the countryside".. would you care to specify? I haven't heard of any place like that except Maarja küla (that was for the handicapped and not for the simply abandoned, right?). Oh, there's one in Rakvere too that I remember. But such facilities must exist IMO, where would you send babies like that then? If the parents cant handle him/her? To the street?

I have also seen Down children walking on the town with their parents and I haven't witnessed everybody sending any "displeased" signals towards the parents. People might look, but if only, then maybe out of compassion and not contempt. At least this is my POV.

Blogaddict ütles ...

But what about estonian gimps in wheelchairs happily cruising around on the potholed streets of e-Stonia and having the time of their life? Where are they? By my count there must be like hundreds of these rullnokad who maim themselves with abandon joining the glorious gimphood every year, but somehow they mysteriously disappear? It just does not make sense. Do they like die off quickly or do they just stay indoors forever after that last swansong of a kiirendus on some Kapa-Kohila maantee that they effed up? Well, whatever the deal, you never see anybody in a wheelchair in Estonia. What gives?

plasma-jack ütles ...

Because you can't move around (at least not in Tallinn) in the wheelchair.

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