Estonia elected to head European Commission's spatial design expert group

  • 2020-02-19
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – On Tuesday, Estonia was elected to head the high-quality architecture and built environment expert group established at the European Commission.

Estonia's representative in the expert, now one of the heads of the group, is Veronika Valk-Siska, adviser for architecture and design at the Ministry of Culture. The responsibility of leadership is shared with France.

The high-quality architecture and built environment expert group was established at the European Commission and includes experts from EU member states. The working group must reach policy recommendations that would help ensure a high-level built environment for everyone.

"The existence of such a working group at the European Commission is already a major asset to the architecture industry. There are many other bodies in the European Union that deal with construction, cultural heritage and sustainable development issues, but the focus on architecture and the quality of the built environment is first-time and unique. This is a good opportunity to take issues pertaining to the quality of spatial design to a whole new level," Valk-Siska said. "We can already see that the task force has proved very popular and the member states have a great interest in it," she added.

The expert group's tasks include, among other things, international comparisons of best practice in high-quality spatial planning, the enhancement of spatial competence in society, and the analysis of cross-disciplinary inclusive governance models. It also looks at the impact of citizens' initiatives, the possibilities for flexible use of space and the issues of cultural innovation and co-creation. Accessibility and good spatial solutions are seen as important elements in improving coherence and overall well-being. The mandate of the working group lasts for one and a half years and its report will be completed in 2021.

Broader EU cultural cooperation is based on the work plan for 2019-2022. The architecture expert group is one of eight working groups established on the basis of said plan.