Tartu discusses plans for new river cafes and recreational areas

The Emajõgi River. Source: Kerly Ilves

Tartu City Government discussed which recreational, athletic and port structures may be planned along the banks of the Emajõgi River under the new comprehensive plan.

Mayor Urmas Klaas said making the Emajõgi River and its banks more attractive has been one of the city's priorities.

"Over the past few years, we have brought more life and people to the banks of the Emajõgi River, opened summer cafes and cleaned up the banks of the river, which brings more and more people to spend time by the river. We definitely have potential untapped opportunities here – be they river cafes or other recreational areas either on or by the river," the mayor said.

In the new comprehensive plan, the City Government is planning areas along the Emajõgi River where they can build recreational areas and catering establishments, including community cafes.

Buildings which are permanently connected to the shore and offering public services could be planned along the city centre side of the river, between the Kaarsild and Kroonuaia bridges, near the intersection of Emajõe and Kartuli streets, and near the intersection of Siili and Sõbra streets on the right bank of the Emajõgi River, in the vicinity of Fortuuna Street 10 plot on the left bank of the Emajõgi River, and at the Ihaste marina.

Vessels on which catering and recreational services will be provided on the river must be compatible with the urban space and, if vessels that are unfit for navigation are used for this purpose, they must be in a condition that suits the urban space.

Vessels operating on the river must offer services directed to the general public, which is why the long-term anchoring of houseboats and floating saunas outside of port areas is not planned within the city limits. 'The goal is to keep the water area and banks of the river open for use by everyone', said Klaas.

The prerequisite for the arrival of river cafes is the adoption of a new comprehensive plan by the Tartu City Council, which, according to current plans, will take place in September of 2021.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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