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Speakers at the Conference: “Vibrant Old Towns. Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Urban Centres”

The Conference: “Vibrant Old Towns. Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Urban Centres” takes place on 27th August 2021 at Lihula and is available for viewing online and include synchronised translation.



Siim Raie


Siim Raie is the Director of the National Heritage Board of Estonia since 2015. He has a degree in heritage protection and conservation from the Estonian Academy of Arts and a degree in business administration from the Estonian Business School. Previously, Siim Raie was the Director of the Office of the President of Estonia and the Director General of the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.


Else Berit Eikeland


Else Berit Eikeland is the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Norway to Estonia. She started working for the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1987 where she held different roles before embarking on a Counsellor position at the Norwegian embassy in London from 2004 to 2006. She returned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a Senior Adviser, and was appointed as the Head of the department from 2007. She served as the Norwegian Ambassador to Canada from 2009 to 2012, Polar Affairs Adviser and Ambassador to the Arctic Council from 2012 to 2016, and Ambassador to Ireland from 2016.


Garri Raagmaa


Garri Raagmaa is Estonian human geographer, Associate Professor of Regional Planning at the University of Tartu and the Director of the University of Tartu Pärnu College. He graduated from the University of Tartu in 1992 as an economic geographer and in 2000 defended his doctoral degree in human geography at the University of Tartu. He was Adviser to the Minister of Regional Affairs 1994–1995, Project Manager of the National Plan of Estonia 2010 at the Estonian Institute for Future Studies 1995–1996,  Mayor of Tapain 1997, Researcher of Economic Geography 2009-2010, Department of Geography, University of Tartu and Associate Professor of Regional Planning 2011-2018. From 2001 to 2009 and again from 2018, Garri Raagmaa is the director of Pärnu College of the University of Tartu. Garri Raagmaa has studied the impact of new entrepreneurship, regional identity, innovation, leadership, administrative structures, marginalisation and the role of social capital on regional development and participated in the discussion of Estonian regional development and administrative reform.


Åse Bitustøl


Åse Bitustøl is Senior Advisor at the Section for spatial planning and environment at Riksantikvaren, Norway. She has many years’ experience working with heritage and communication, value creation projects, Norwegian NGO’s, cultural heritage related tourism and the project “Cultural heritage walks ”.


Vignir Freyr Helgason


Vignir Freyr Helgason is a Senior Adviser/Architect at the Section for spatial planning and environment at Riksantikvaren, Norway. His work at the Directorate is mainly related to urban cultural heritage environments of national interest, the Directorate's "Strategy for Management of Urban Cultural Heritage" and projects related to city- and place development.


Noelle Dahl-Poppe


Noelle Dahl-Poppe is a Project manager at the International section at Riksantikvaren. She has years of experience with international projects such as the previous partnership project “Manor schools - preservation through use”. Noelle Dahl-Poppe coordinates the directorate’s projects related to EEA-funding, and is responsible for the Baltic Sea-collaboration and bilateral cooperation with Russia.


Liina Jänes


Liina Jänes is an architectural historian and Heritage Protection Adviser at the Estonian Ministry of Culture. She is the author and co-implementer of the idea of ​​the European Economic Area and Norwegian grant program "Heritage Protected Areas in Historic Town Centres".


Kaarel Truu


Kaarel Truu is a heritage specialist and Advisor to the Old Towns at the National Heritage Board of Estonia. He deals with the daily changes in heritage protection areas and is a part of the process of drawing up heritage protection procedures.


Ola Fjeldheim


Ola Fjeldheim is Secretary General at the National Trust of Norway. He is educated in environmental technology, cultural history, traditional crafts and heritage protection.


Raiko Puustusmaa


Raiko Puustusmaa is Housing Expert at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications. He helps to shape support measures for housing reconstruction and participates in the preparations for the EU Cohesion Policy Funds for the period 2021-2027. He has previously contributed to the creation of a long-term strategy “Estonia 2035”, a joint project between the State Chancellery and the Ministry of Finance. In 2021, he defended his master's thesis at TalTech on the topic of sustainability in the apartment building reconstruction sector.


Tüüne-Kristin Vaikla


Tüüne-Kristin Vaikla is a spatial researcher, practicing interior architect and the Head of the Department of Interior Architecture and a visiting professor at the Estonian Academy of Arts. She received her design education from Professor Bruno Tomberg, an interior architect, and defended her doctoral dissertation  ‘Re-purposing Space: The Role and Potential of Spatial Intervention” at the Estonian Academy of Arts on creative spatial research on changing spatial values ​​in the context rethinking building use. Tüüne-Kristin Vaikla is the curator of the Estonian exhibition of the 13th Venice Architecture Biennale, co-curator of SISU, editor-in-chief of SISU-LINE Spatial Research and co-founder of the recent art residency KORDON in Hiiumaa.


Rainer Eidemiller


Rainer Eidemiller has been promoting the history and sustainable renovation of Paide since 2004. The Paide Sustainable Renovation Information Center was founded in 2007 by the residents of the town, Paide Government and the Estonian Heritage Society. He was active at the center until 2019, now he participates dominantly as a volunteer in organsing training events, consulting, and collecting historic building material.


Kalle Vellevoog


Kalle Vellevoog is a professional architect-expert, level 8. From 2014 he has managed the EV100 “Good Public Space” project. From 2017 to 2018 he was the Head of the “Spatial Decision” Working Group at the Government Office of the Republic of Estonia. He is one of the authors of the Estonian exposition at the 12th Venice Biennale of Architecture.


Triin Talk


Triin Talk is a heritage conservationist who has previously worked at the Tallinn Cultural Heritage Board and the National Heritage Board of Estonia. Since 2019, Triin has been a doctoral student and researcher at the Estonian Academy of Arts, whose field of research is mainly the Old Town of Tallinn. Through the processes of inventorying the old towns and compiling protection orders, she has been involved in dealing with smaller heritage conservation areas in recent years.


Indrek Allmann


Indrek Allmann is an Estonian architect and urban planner. He has been working as the leading architect and partner of the architectural firm PLUSS since 2004.  Indrek Allmann is a spokesperson for responsible construction and emphasises in his work that the most environmentally friendly square meter is one that does not require construction. Allmann avoids everything that is not practical and places great emphasis on planning in order to create a high-quality integrated environment. Indrek Allmann is one of the authors and leaders of the idea of ​​the climate-neutral district of Hundipea. The pilot project will build a new climate-neutral neighborhood in Paljasaare, North Tallinn


Eik Hermann


Eik Hermann is a lecturer on philosophy and practice-based theory at the Estonian Academy of Arts and editor-in-chief of the architecture magazine Ehituskunst. He completed his MA in philosophy at the Estonian Institute of Humanities, Tallinn University in 2005. His current focus lies mainly in the grey areas between the theoretical and practical, material and mental, psychological and political, and technical and poetic.