Today Kadi Mägi defended her PhD thesis „Ethnic residential segregation and integration of the Russian-speaking population in Estonia“.
Senior researcher Dr. Kadri Leetmaa (University of Tartu)
Prof. Gideon Bolt (Utrechti University, The Netherlands)
Senior researcher Dr Kadri Leetmaa, Dr. Kadi Mägi and Dr. Gideon Bolt
This thesis focuses on ethnic residential segregation and integration of large Russian-speaking population in Estonia who formed mainly in the Soviet period and who settled in larger cities and industrial areas where they in turn concentrated to certain neighbourhoods. Ethnic divisions in different domains of life have received quite a lot of attention, however, there is a lack of studies that investigate ethnic residential segregation from the perspective of individuals. This thesis tries to fill this gap and aims to explore how and why ethnic residential segregation context changes for members of the majority and minority population of Estonia and how living in different ethnic contexts may affect individual’s acculturation processes. The findings of this thesis show that high levels of ethnic residential segregation in Estonia are very persistent and have even increased. The mobility behavior of both ethnic groups have contributed to these trends. Russian-speaking population has been relatively immobile within the last decades and therefore, their residential patterns are largely similar to those developed in the Soviet period. When Russian-speakers change their place of residence, they predominantly move towards minority concentration neighbourhoods and most of their moves result in an increased presence of Russian-speakers in their immediate residential environment. In contrast, when Estonians move, their destination neighbourhood generally turns more Estonian. Russian-speakers have lived in Estonia for a long time already, however, most of the members of the minority population strongly self-identify themselves with Russian identity. The results of this thesis indicate that ethnic residential context which frames individuals’ lives is essential in the development of ethnic identity and those Russians and Russian-speakers who live in Estonian-dominated neighbourhoods and regions are more likely to change their ethnic identity to Estonian compared to those who live in minority-rich areas. This thesis has also highlighted some of the most problematic trends in the development of ethnic segregation in Estonia: ethnic segregation is increasingly overlapping with socio-economic segregation
Senior researcher in human geography – Dr. Kadri Leetmaa is the new director of the Centre for Migration and Urban Studies from 2018 to 2020.
Kadri joined our team already 2005 as a PhD student. Since then she has been supervisor for many students at various study levels and senior collegue for many junior researchers. Many of us have initially joined with our research team as her student.
Kadri’s main ambitions are related to developing a scientifically productive research team and to further increase the visibility and impact of our Centre. „We would like to be a creative team, inspiring each other, students from Estonia and abroad and our international partners“, she says, „we aim to be visible at international conferences as well as a valuable partner for decision makers in Estonia“.
Our director for the last two years, Dr. Daniel B. Hess, has succesfully finished his work in Estonia on the research of the Soviet-era estates in Baltic states and has returned to the US. His new work will be the chair of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at University at Buffalo, effective January 1, 2018.
National URBACT Point in Estonia is now at University of Tartu, Centre for Migration and Urban Studies.
URBACT enables cities to work together to develop new and sustainable solutions to major urban challenges, through networking, sharing knowledge, and building capacities for urban practitioners. It is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and EU Partner and Member States since 2002.
For more information: http://urbact.eu/urbact-eesti or www.urbact.eu
NUP Estonia contact person: Kadri Leetmaa, email@example.com
Human Development Report 2016/2017 “Estonia in the Age of Migration” is readable online in both Estonian and English on www.inimareng.ee/en.
Main messages of the Human Development Report 2016/2017
- Well-being and immigration are closely related to each other and, according to the human development index, human well-being in Estonia in the last 25 years is one of the fastest growing in Europe.
- Therefore, an image of Estonia as a country of emigration is now crumbling; there are more and more people who want to live in Estonia.
- Immigration cannot be a magic wand that will solve all the problems in Estonia.
- Estonia is pressing to adopt so-called a Cinderella-type migration policy, which is not viable. Cinderella did all the unpleasant work in the stepfamily, but she did not succeed in integrating into the family. If we look at the recent history of Estonia and to what is happening in other European cities, we can see how problematic a Cinderella-type immigration policy is.
- We have to consider immigration; however, the cornerstone of economic sustainability, in particular, is climbing up the value chain, which will also increase the tax revenue.
- The base of demographic sustainability is, primarily, a family policy, and there cannot be too much of this. A housing policy is one of the unused measures.
- Cultural and lingual sustainability can be assured if we take a broader view of the Estonian identity. In the migration era, the Estonian identity is no longer uniquely linked to the territory of Estonia. Today, Estonia is a multinational country, with its interconnected villages and towns both abroad and in Estonia.
On 28th december our PhD student Mari Nuga defended her doctoral thesis “Soviet-era summerhouses. On homes and planning in post-socialist suburbia”
Supervisor: Senior Research Fellow in Human Geography Kadri Leetmaa
Oponent: Professor Craig Young (Manchester Metropolitan University, UK)
Full thesis available here: http://dspace.ut.ee/handle/10062/53241
Dr. Daniel B. Hess and Rector of University of Tartu Volli Kalm
The Centre for Migration and Urban Studies at the University of Tartu is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Daniel B. Hess as a new Director. The Centre explores contemporary challenges facing urban regions including migration, residential mobility, housing and neighbourhood change, as well as the integration of immigrants and ethnic minorities across multiple life domains (such as places of residence and work, as well as intermarriages).
“We have worked with Daniel successfully for several years already,” said Professor Tiit Tammaru the outgoing Director. “We were very happy when he received a prestigious Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship from the European Commission that allows us to elevate our collaborative research to a higher and more competitive level.”
Dr. Hess is a Professor in the School of Architecture and Planning at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York. In Estonia, his research focuses on the formation, evolution and current planning challenges of large panel housing areas. He opted to join the Centre because its excellent international reputation. “I am delighted by the high quality of research in the Centre,” said Dr. Hess. “There are five major European-funded projects running at the moment addressing various aspects of mobility, segregation and planning, and the team is young and energetic. Estonia is a small country, and this allows the researchers to be closely linked to decision makers, making research socially relevant in impressive ways.”
The Dean of Social Sciences at the University of Tartu, Professor Raul Eamets, appreciates the appointment of Daniel Hess very much. He said, “One of the important strategic goals of the University of Tartu is the improve its international visibility. Dr. Hess is the first non-EU scholar in the Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship program’s history to win the award at the University of Tartu. We warmly welcome him as the new Director of the the Centre for Migration and Urban Studies and we wish him a fruitful stay in Tartu.”
For more information contact: Daniel B. Hess firstname.lastname@example.org
Architecture and urban planning students from University of Buffalo and Alfred State College came to visit us at the end of May. The group was led by professor and our visiting scholar Daniel Hess. During the visit the students had a tour in Tallinn, where they learned about city and transportation planning. They also visited Kiviõli, Narva, Sillamäe and spent a week in Tartu.
At University of Tartu Geography department the students started working on their planning projects. At the end of the 48hour planning challenge the students presented their recommendations for Urban Regeneration Schemes in Tartu City Centre (presented by teams of Estonian and American students). Students and professor Hess at Narva.
Preparing the planning projects at University of Tartu Geography department.
Students presenting their recommendations for Urban Regeneration Schemes in Tartu City Centre.
Coline Dalimier from Lille University of Science and Technology finished her urban planning internship at CMUS. Before leaving, Coline made a presentation about the situation of suburban areas near Paris. Renewing the panel housing areas in the suburbia of Paris is difficult because a lot of asbestos has been used and the renovations would be very expensive due to that. Also there is a problem of poverty and the areas are turning into ghettos.
Slides from the presentation are available here.