This article is a contribution to the discussions pertaining to the Estonian administrative reform, analysing the issue from the urban planning point of view and making proposals as to how the administrative borders could be changed in urban sprawls. Based on the development of the urban region of Tartu in the context of theoretical urban models, discussed in depth in a Master’s thesis by Kertu Anni, the authors try to point out if and to what extent the general principles of urban planning should be taken into account when changing the administrative borders in urban regions in the course of the implementation of the administrative reform. We also discuss the reasonability of taking whole administrative units as “units” in the “merging and dividing”, and what the alternatives are. On the example of the urban region of Tartu, a more detailed insight is provided into what directions and to what extent the development of the city could go in the perspective of the next 30 years, and a theoretically suitable border solution. As a result, the authors identify the “third stage” (the first was the leasing of the manorial lands surrounding the city, and the second was the transfer thereof to the city) mechanism of extending the city lands in the more general context of Estonia.
* Peer-reviewed article.