This research traces the demilitarisation of Raadi airbase in Tartu, Esto- nia, where an early twentieth century aviation facility was transformed, during the Soviet occupation of Estonia, into a Cold War military power centre. Using archival documents and images, the contested urban space that contained this transformation is explored in this chapter through several lenses: the shifting ownership and uses of a key urban site, ad- ministrative restraints that limited urban growth and physical barriers that controlled security. The sheer size of the airfield, and the need to ‘close’ the section of the city in which it was situated, has strongly shaped urban growth throughout the twentieth century. Cultural space and mil- itary demands have competed throughout history to dominate this im- portant urban site, formerly a prestigious manor house, occupied by the ‘secret’ airfield, where a new national museum was recently dedicated on a former runway.
Hess, Daniel Baldwin and Taavi Pae. 2020. Competing militarisation and urban development during the Cold War: how a large Soviet air base came to dominate Tartu, Estonia in Cold War Cities: Politics, Culture and Atomic Urbanism, 1945‐65. (Richard Brook, Martin Dodge, and Jonathan Hogg, eds.) pp. 148-166. London, UK: Routledge. ISBN 9781138573611