Workshop “Sustainable City” for young architects and architecture students


Area covered in the workshop , aims : 2
The social aspect and long term impact : 3
The immediate goals of the workshop : 3
Residential population and phases : 3
Design principles and key considerations : 3 – 5
Organisatorial aspects : 5 – 6
Required format of the work : 6
Adjudication, prizes and remuneration : 6

Area covered in the workshop, aims:

Drone video: Clever Cities : District New Pärnu

Clever Cities - District New Pärnu

The Clever Cities - District New Pärnu is a 10-minute walkable city district built over a 10-ha plot.

1 - We aim to create a replicable ecosystem that attracts, retains and grows talents in the high-technology industries. 
2 - The game Industry is the primary high-tech sector we will focus on in Clever Cities - District New Pärnu, our first ecosystem. (We plan multiple such ecosystems around the world)
3 - All our ecosystems follow a replicable 4E Model:

Education: Through FullCycle Game Academy and other such institutions, the ecosystem focuses on providing industry-specific, employable education to individuals, enabling them to gain skills that lead to meaningful employment in specific high-tech sectors.

Employment: CLEVER CITIES connects high-tech companies with the right talents possessing the necessary skills and knowledge to help these companies thrive. The initial ecosystem in District New Pärnu focuses on the game industry. In addition to Pärnu’s global game studio Gamecan, We also have LOIs with Finnish and Swedish Game Co.s  to establish their satellite studios in Pärnu.

Entertainment: Within the Clever Cities SMART city district, CCG incorporates well-designed offices, residences, and entertainment venues such as arcades, pubs, music venues, clubs, and coffee shops. These amenities enhance the quality of life and work-life balance, increasing retention and desirability for residents, employees, and visitors.

Environment: CCG prioritises sustainable development with a Passivhaus standard, going off the grid, and adopting practical principles of the circular economy. The ecosystem provides open spaces, wide sidewalks, biking paths, outdoor work areas, recreational areas, and opportunities for learning and growth.

These features attract and retain tech talent while offering a happier and more fulfilling lifestyle. 

This Project is a not-for-sale development, and we plan to add genuine value to the Pärnu, and we will be part of its long-term development.The development of Clever Cities District New Pärnu follows a city-as-a-service approach, supporting high cash flow and a target socioeconomic group with high purchasing power, ensuring sustainable prosperity for all stakeholders.

The Social Aspect and long term impact

- Smaller cities face challenges as their young CITYzens venture to larger cities in search of better job opportunities. 
- This migration also means a diminished workforce and reduced tax contributions which in turn puts a strain on the local economy and impacts the amount of money that can be spent on the infrastructure and healthcare of an ageing population. 
- Another factor is that real estate development has historically favoured a select few.  Often profits flow back to developers or property buyers from larger cities instead of the local community.
- As a result, investor apartments stay empty after summer, and businesses reduce staff, leading to a stagnant local economy. 
- Our unwavering mission is to rewrite this narrative by providing well-paying jobs and transforming smaller towns into irresistible destinations for young individuals seeking a brighter future.

The Immediate Goals of this workshop :
- Create an innovative and cohesive design for a walkable city district on a 10-hectare site with a small pier, with actual sustainability in mind.
- Ensure the design aligns with the Pärnu City development plan. 
- Determine the number of buildings and usable areas that can be constructed within this mixed-use urban space.
- This workshop is a precursor to a larger competition.

Residential Population and Phases :
The planned resident population for the city district is 1,700 residents.

-Phase 1 should accommodate a maximum of 600 people as residents. However, this may be a 1:3 ratio. Meaning for every resident, there would be 3 locals or visitors. Example: In  Masdar City, Abu Dhabi (UAE), the ratio is 4:5. For every four residents, there are five daily commuters. While in Songdo International Business District (South Korea), the ratio of residents to commuters is 13:60. Closer home in Ulemiste City, Tallinn the ratio is 1:3.

Design Principles and Key Considerations :
1 -
People-Centric Design :
- Develop a walkable city with a focus on pedestrian-friendly environments.
- Consider the needs of children and senior citizens, the needs of others will fall in place.
- Install features that prioritise accessibility and inclusivity for individuals with disabilities.
- Incorporate wide sidewalks with benches to promote social interactions and a sense of community, taking inspiration from the Champs-Élysées.
- Connect buildings with covered or transparent walkways to allow free access for pedestrians, bicycles, and e-bikes, encouraging sustainable commuting, especially in winter.

2. Sustainable and Energy-Efficient Design :
- Design buildings to meet or exceed PassivHaus standards for optimal energy usage.
- Create multi-use spaces that can be adapted for various purposes example same auditorium area can be used for Sports as well as theatre etc.
- Utilise innovative insulation materials like Aerogel (Quartzene) or Reticular Root or improvedenergy efficiency. example: Quartzene and Rootman
- Integrate renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, or vortex turbines with hydrogen as a battery for energy storage.
- Implement rainwater, snow harvesting systems, and greywater recycling to conserve water resources.
- Look at solutions that utelise the clay soil and the topology of the site to create appropriate solutions.
- Employ eco-friendly sewage disposal systems ( Vermicomposting) . example Aquatron Systems from Sweden that is proven since 1986. (How it works - Aquatron | Ecologic toilet system)

3. Green Spaces and Recreation :
Create open parks and green areas throughout the development to enhance the residents' quality of life.
- Incorporate biomimicry principles to design heating and cooling systems inspired by nature's efficiency in cold climates.
- Prioritise high-density development while ensuring easy walkability through covered or transparent walkways.
- Establish dedicated paths for bicycles, e-bikes, and delivery robots to promote sustainable and efficient transportation options, which ensuring cars parking spaces are provided within parking towers with easy access to bikes and pedestrains.

4. Education and Innovation :
Establish a centre of excellence for technology and education, focusing on the gaming and high-technology industries.
- Design adaptable spaces for art, science, and creative activities to encourage innovation and collaboration.
- Create multi-purpose areas that can be easily reconfigured to accommodate different functions and events.
- Provide auditoriums, conference centres, and classrooms equipped with state-of-the-art technology.
- Educational facilities for young families.
- We will have about 80 to 100 offices/ gaming studios with a Green datacenter to support the companies.

5. Community Facilities :
Include facilities such as kindergartens, playgrounds, and easy access between residential areas and play areas for children.
- Ensure on-site medical services, including emergency facilities, prioritise the well-being of residents and physical and mental health.
- To promote social interaction and a vibrant community, incorporate food courts, restaurants, sports facilities, and bowling alleys.
- Laundromat and other services.

6. Sustainable Construction :
Prioritise carbon sequestration using wood and Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) for construction, exploring other sustainable options like utilise the clay on site.
- Encourage prefabricated construction techniques to ensure high quality and longer building life.
- Include garbage chutes in all buildings for efficient waste management.
- Implement district heating systems utilising heat recovery from data centres and other sources.

7. Transportation and Infrastructure :
Design roads using recycled plastic materials suitable for landfill, reducing environmental impact and improving road quality.
- Integrate efficient public transportation options, including dedicated bus lanes, large bus shelters, and park-and-ride facilities.
- Prioritise sustainable transportation options and restrict the speed of e-scooters to ensure pedestrian safety.
- Consider parking towers for cars near the district entrances.

8. Cultural Integration :
Celebrate the local culture and heritage of Pärnu while incorporating international influences, considering the diverse population.
- Incorporate public art installations, cultural events, and spaces for exhibitions and performances to foster creativity and community engagement.

We plan to go live with Clever Cities: District New Pärnu Phase 1 in 2026. 
This is an aggressive timeline. Hence we are planning to go prefab.
- Pärnu has predominantly clay soil, so this could be a challenge - or an opportunity to be innovative and sustainable.
We will request a change in the detailed plan as the need for mixed-use commercial and residential space is larger. This could mean a much longer time frame than expected.
- Car parking is another issue that could be challenging for a walkable city environment.
- Pinterest for references

Organisational aspects :
The workshop takes place at the rippsaal (II floor) of the Pärnu Keskraamatukogu, Akadeemia 3, Pärnu.
The working language of the workshop is English.


Indrek Allmann (Arhitektuuribüroo PLUSS, Estonia)
Sirkku Huisko (Lundén Architecture Company, Finland)
Oskars Vāvere (RUUME arhitekti, Latvia).

Schedule :

Wednesday, 14.06.
Arrivals and check-in at the hotel Tervis
16.30 Bus tour of the area and Pärnu, starting in front of the hotel
19.00 Welcome event at Fööniks

Thursday, 15.06.
9.00 Introduction to the workshop
9.20 The work begins
11.00 – 11.20 Coffee break
13.00 –14.00 Lunch
14.00 Work continues
16.00 – 16.20 Coffee break
16.20 – 18.00 Work continues, daily summary (each team for mentors) and feedback

Friday, 17.06.
9.00 Work continues
10.45 – 11.00 Coffee break
11.00 Work continues
13.00 – 14.00 Lunch
14.00 Work continues
15.45 – 16.00 Coffee break
16.00 – 18.00 Work continues, daily summary (each team for mentors) and feedback

Saturday, 17.06.
9.00 Finalizing of the ideas
10.45 – 11.00 Coffee breakA workshop for young architects and architecture students 6/6
11.00 Finalizing of the designs
13.00 – 14.00 Lunch
14.00 Finalizing of the designs
16.00 – 18.00 Presentations to the jury
19.30 Announcement of the winner and dinner at Rannahotell


The workshop is open to 7 teams of 4 young architects and architecture students from Estonia,Finland, Latvia and Ukraine. Each team will have members from different schools/countries.

Required format of the work

The end result of the workshop must be a professionally prepared PowerPoint presentation and a onepager in A1 landscape format, including the following:•

- Conceptual site plan and building layout.•
- Floor plans and elevations of key buildings and public spaces.•
- Sustainable design strategies and energy efficiency measures.•
- Proposed phasing plan for the development.•
- Sketches that illustrate the design intent (3D models, physical models, VR-models etc aremore than welcome to be presented)


President of the Estonian Association of Architects : Andro Mänd
Mentors : Indrek Allmann, Sirkku Huisko, OskarsVāvere
Representative of Pärnu City Government, the Mayor : Romek Kosenkranius
Architect (Linnak), former City Architect : Karri Tiigisoon
Representative of Clever Cities Group : Thomas Abraham
Representative of GameCan : Marten Palu

Prizes and remuneration

A prize of 1200 euros* will be awarded to the best group work (team). There is a participation bonusof 100 euros* for all the other participants.

* Value added tax is added to the amount.


The author(s) of the design submitted in the workshop own the moral and economic copyrights to thedesign in accordance with the applicable copyright law.