Inguss Vircavs,
MSc geog.

Riga City Development Departament
Address: Architect’s Office, City Planning Branch 4, Amatu Street
Riga, LV-1050,
Tel.: +371-7-012848
Fax: +371-7-012922

The Clash Between Mobility And Automobilization In Riga


In modern life people mobility is important especially within urban areas and thus is affected by the development of transport. Transport provides communications between suburbs of Riga city as well as other regions and towns around it. Regarding to growing automobilization during last 10 years the transportation economy has become very significant for Riga planners. Moreover, it is obvious that the “quality of mobility” is insufficient because transport possibilities in Riga dissatisfy both drivers of private cars and commuters. Thus planning of transport can contribute the improvement of people mobility.

The crossing of the river Daugava and the considerable transport volumes in the city core were observed. They are the particular features of Riga transportation system and thus often congestions occur. It is influenced by the fact that street network and other infrastructure are not ready for modern traffic. Besides, bottlenecks are mainly located in the city core as well as in streets leading towards centre. This problem is accelerated due to the lack of unified system of main expressways and the fact that “daily city life” is concentrated within urban core.

Modelling of future transport alternatives has been made using The Computer-based Riga Model. In conformity with the results there are noted infrastructure projects like City Centre Bypass as well as Daugava River crossings that have prior importance.

However the advancement of transport is necessary to solve by improving infrastructure concurrently emphasizing suburban development outside city centre, which already occurs. There is the essential importance of mass transportation as well as Park & Ride strategies, because it is impossible to work for mobility by only improving transport infrastructure thus on its turn encouraging more car-use.

The additional problem is concerned modern Latvian mentality to use private car whenever everybody wants that hinders opportunities to improve mobility. It unfortunately seems impossible to intervene by planners, as automobilization is rather recent feature in Latvia. The assumption is that people will habituate to cars and change little by little their daily life-style as well as opinion for public transport in general.

The essential way the planners could work for mobility in Riga is to take into account all the above-mentioned features of Riga. Therefore planning innovations will be implemented using complex approach thus it is necessary for city development.


The living area of modern people is wider than before. It is caused by the fact of industrialization and development of various technologies especially in the field of transportation that generates growing automobilization including private car use. The noted development is connected with the expansion of urban territories and metropolitan areas.

The mobility describes people movement as well as the ability to move within the space. People working life and perception of individuals affect it. Thus the mobility of urban people plays an important role in daily routine.

Transportation system has a significant influence on the mobility especially in connection with the supplement of individuals and society in general. Besides, economic development plays the role of a great importance to the possibilities of movement and mobility. Moreover the above-mentioned factors are also premises for urban development process. In the context of everyday working life the transportation system provides the possibilities for people to move between the suburbs of Riga city as well as from Riga metropolitan area to the city and vice versa.

During the period of socialism Latvia as well as other Eastern European countries had rather slow automobilization. Since Latvia has re-gained the independence in 1991, the country encountered reorganisation of economical and political orientation contributing the notable fastening of automobilization and thus a great importance of transportation. Furthermore it is observed 10% new cars per year on the average that increases traffic volumes in Riga street network.

Since the times of Hanseatic League in the Middle Ages, Riga always is one of the largest cities in the Baltic Sea area. It was estimated about 759.3 thous. inhabitants in Riga City referred to the beginning of 2001.

Therefore the issues related to the traffic and mobility advancement are important for Riga City. Within the context of growing automobilization it is necessary to achieve the possibility for quick and comfortable movement because the essence of technological development was better mobility for people who need it.

The research of transport and appropriate planning are the key factors that can contribute to the improvement of people mobility in urban territories. Therefore this paper attempts to analyse Riga transportation system and to assess development strategies that are the essential features particularly for Riga future.

This paper is formed as a review concerning transport situation, accessibility of places as well as land use features. The discussion about advanced transport in Riga is based on the results of EMME/2 Riga Transportation Model. The Model shows current transport volumes in street network as well as future forecasts (The Riga Model, 1997, Daugava River. City Traffic Study, 2000).

Urban Structure Features Affecting Transport

The advantage of Riga is its geographical location at the crossroads of commodities and capital flows between Western and Eastern Europe, more specifically Russia. It always serves the advanced possibilities of transportation development.

Figure 1 The Urban Structure Of Riga

Source: Riga City Development Department

Based on the historical features Riga is considered as monocentral city with ~37% of employment working in the centre. However since 1991 the situation tend to be changed and various services are rendered in the Riga suburbs. In general the radial structure (Fig. 1) still consists of the following urban pattern that is typical for other European cities with long history (Grava, 1993; Vircavs, 1999):

1)      The Old Hanseatic Town, which is still the metropolitan core as administrative, economic, financial and cultural centre;

2)      Modern city centre that was built as residential area in the style of the late 19th century (until the beginning of the 20th century). Now this area is used both for commerce and housing.

3)      The territories for the factories and plants built during the 19th and the 20th centuries. A great number of employment is still concentrated in the industrial belt.

4)      New residential districts that were mainly built after the World War II. At present approx. 65% of current inhabitants are living there.

To sum up the historical features of Riga forming – its location at the banks of the river Daugava, radial urban structure, monocentral pattern of economic activities as well as different land-use in suburbs. The noted historical aspects influence modern communications within the city.

Current Transportation

Private Car Transport

Likewise in other cities the rapid process of automobilization contributes the notable traffic volumes. In this respect it is estimated that in the city of Riga car ownership increases by 10% per year. Within Riga district, which in a great extent comprises Riga metropolitan area, the yearly car ownership increases by aprox. 13% (Table). Thus current car ownership in Riga is 245.1 vehicles per 1000 inhabitants. However the mentioned characteristic is less in comparison with car ownership in other European cities. Mainly it is caused by slower automobilization during socialism period that took place in Latvia as well as in other Eastern European countries.

Table. The Number Of Registered Vehicles (beginning of year)







Riga City


119 714

133 077

146 195

163 807

175 767

186 105


17 511

18 617

20 032

23 580

25 536

28 102

Riga District [1]


22 262

25 528

29 095

33 229

36 474

39 229


4 229

4 532

4 832

5 496

5 940

6 447

Total Cars

141 976

158 605

175 290

197 036

212 241

225 334

Total Trucks

21 740

23 149

24 864

29 076

31 476

34 549

Source: Road Traffic Safety Directorate of Latvia

The spatial structure affected by historical particularity determines different kind of land-use in Riga suburbs and districts as mentioned above. This on its turn works on the layout of traffic and of course affects common trip destinations. A lot of working places, banking, enterprises, shopping, cultural events etc. are concentrated in the downtown. Therefore the city core and close adjacent territories has very high attractiveness for various activities that of course determine high transportation volumes down to the city centre (Fig. 2).

In addition the location of the existed 3 bridges over the river Daugava contribute to the transit traffic via city centre. As a result the traffic in the city core contains both transport with destination into the centre and transit over the river between suburbs and outside city. Daily traffic over the river Daugava has been estimated about 410 thous. passengers, but half of them are using private cars. Therefore notable numbers of vehicles enter streets of the city core. Moreover there are significant transit centres of mass transportation – international as well as local bus and railway terminals. Besides, most of the inner city public transport roots have termination in the central part of Riga city.

The considerable vehicle concentration occurs close to the bridges because there are insufficient possibilities to integrate bridge traffic into street network. The volume of this traffic is estimated 135-149 thous. vehicles daily, from which 74 thous. go towards urban core. It has been noted that during morning peak hour the transport volume going down the centre from bridges is observed about 15 thous. vehicles. Particularly the major traffic comprises Salu Bridge (44%) while others: Vansu Bridge constitutes 32% and lastly Akmens Bridge – 24%. It is the main reason for regular overloading of Lacplesa Street that is deemed as the important axis integrating traffic into Eastern part of CBD. Besides, there are regular bottlenecks in Kr.Valdemara Street that is affected by Vansu Bridge.

Figure 2 The Traffic Flows In Riga (morning peak hour)

Therefore there are significant transport volumes in the streets going around the Old Town or joining traffic between bridges, urban core and suburbs. Thus there is considerable overloading of transport volumes especially in the circle of boulevards mingled with green and built-up areas enclosing Old Town. It is caused by the fact that capacity of CBD street network is not appropriate for so intensive flows. Often bottlenecks are mainly occurring there as well as in the streets taking traffic from the bridges (Fig. 2). The street network of Riga suburbs is principally more recent and thus there are less traffic problems. Nevertheless the network of the main streets is still incomplete. There is impossible to use completely some wide streets as their capacity allows.

The dense housing of Riga CBD that in a current shape was built on the late 19th century, mainly comprises the above-mentioned transport problems. The restrictions for reconstructions of street infrastructure is determined by the fact that area within urban core and the Old Town has received international recognition for its unique architecture and is included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage.

The lack of parking spaces within the centre causes parking directly in the streets as well as remarkable queues of vehicles searching for appropriate parking. Besides, there is allowed charged traffic in the Old Town, where the narrowness of medieval street network is not appropriate for common transport vehicles. These are the additional problems for Riga traffic mainly due to the lack of policies that regulates parking and prohibiting daily traffic in the Old Town.

As regards to the industrialization since the late 19th century until the end of the 20th century there are industrial built-up belts enclosing city centre as well as expanding along railroads and sea port areas in suburbs (Fig. 1). Thus the commercial and industrial territories are principally located in the inner city. Besides, a lot of them are located close to the urban core. It is observed that there are increasing auto volumes exactly towards these areas (Fig. 2) such as Rinuzi, Kundzinsala, Sarkandaugava, Biekensala, Podrags etc. In order to reach these places vehicles mainly have to pass through the city core.

The above-mentioned land-use pattern serves difficulties for connections between suburbs and downtown. There are few extensive chances to expand CBD street network in order to plan advanced transport infrastructure for reaching city centre.

Regarding to the Riga metropolitan area there is considered volumes of transport coming from territories outside city especially from Jurmala (Western) and Vidzeme (Eastern) directions. There are about 50% of outside traffic that is coming into the city via few indispensable streets – mainly K.Ulmana Avenue and Brivibas Street. Thus due to the atractivity of city centre there is observed significant impact on traffic over the river Daugava caused by transport generating in Riga metropolitan area. This part of the transport has the most flows on Salu Bridge that creates some bottlenecks in the links of Lacplesa Street. As mentioned above on the other hand there is a problem to integrate traffic from Vidzeme direction through Gaisa Bridge. That was built in 1906 and now its capacity is insufficient for modern auto volumes. About 2 thous. cars are crossing this bridge during morning peak hour. Consequently the traffic partially goes through the axis of Lielvardes Street – Darzciema Street and subsequently to the Slavu Bridge and Krasta Street along the River Daugava. Unfortunately this is one of the reasons why there is big overloading at the junctions of Slavu Bridge. In the context of morning peak hour this junction gets the traffic (about 5 thous. cars down the CBD) both from outside city and dense populated suburbs of Riga (Fig. 1) such as Plavnieki (52 thous. inhabitants), Darzciems (22 thous. inhabitants) as well as Kengarags (62 thous. inhabitants).

Mass Transportation

The network of public transport in Riga is successful only in general. The essential feature is the fact that public transport system is most of all based on the connections between suburbs and city core with few routes connecting suburbs bypassing city centre.

It has been noted that trams and trolleybuses make vital passenger flows. Troleybuses serve the movement of people living in dense populated suburbs such as Kengarags, Plavnieki, Purvciems, Ziepniekkalns. Trams making the backbone of public transport system provide the connections to the centre of old residential districts (Mezaparks, Sarkandaugava, Tornakalns) as well as some recent built-up districts like Ilguciems, Jugla, Kengarags (Fig. 1).

Furthermore according to “The Riga Official Plan 1995 – 2005” buses are used to connect at most remote and less populated areas where the traffic flows are not very intensive such as Daugavgriva, Marupe, Bergi. In addition there are various routes of minibuses and private buses, which provide passenger transport both to the dense populated districts and remote districts as well as outside city in metropolitan area.

Besides, railway transport based on the existing infrastructure is very important for the mobility of people. In despite of the enormous loses of passengers during the last 5 years it still plays a considerable role of the traffic in Riga metropolitan area especially for towns Jelgava, Jurmala, Ogre, Olaine, Salaspils, Saulkrasti as well as for recreation areas namely Jurmala, Carnikava, Saulkrasti, Sigulda etc. Moreover there is railway infrastructure about 60 km inside Riga city available for commuters. Due to this fact there are good possibilities for integrating metropolitan rail into Riga inner mass transportation system as rail infrastructure crosses dense populated districts such as Imanta, Kengarags, Vecmilgravis, Zolitude etc. (Fig. 1).

In despite of the above mentioned there are several problems that plays important role in the Riga transport system affecting the attractiveness of mass transit [2] . They are the following:

Future Traffic Trends

It has been mentioned above that Riga has entered into considerable process of automobilization with yearly increase of 10% new cars. Rapid automobilization is proposed to continue in near future and thus traffic volumes could increase even though there are already obvious transport problems.

Moreover it is anticipated that transport flows in Riga will increase by 50% for the cars and 100% for the trucks to the date of 2030. Average trip time will increase by 19%, which is the essential feature showing decrease of mobility in the near future. Regarding street network it is anticipated that the most transport increase will occur especially on 3 existed bridges over the river Daugava. The major increase of transport will be in Salu Bridge (80%) while in Vansu and Akmens bridges the shift of vehicle flows is proposed about 20 – 30%.

Such forecast will follow to weak and worthless transportation service and thus deteriorate urban people mobility. In order to avoid this a great attention to the projects concerning transport improvement has to be paid in near future.

Transport Development Policies

Concerning the discussion in previous chapters it is inevitable that there are a lot of needs in order to improve Riga transport system. Both the private car drivers and commuters are dissatisfied with communications and mobility. The transport problems are topical for Riga inhabitants and there are big discussions about it.

Therefore consistence implementing of the appropriate strategies and policies are of a great importance to get the best result. Besides, the complete planning taking into account all transport peculiarities is necessary feature. Therefore it has to be avoided from unsuccessful planning like projects of construction Iron Bridge (1872) as well as Vansu Bridge (1981). These bridges did not solve essential transport problems mainly due to the unconformable street network managing transport coming from them.

In order to improve communications the first solution was to develop infrastructure according to the traffic pattern and volumes. Thus the priority is concerned to improve traffic in CBD by reducing vehicle volumes. Therefore there were started various projects concerning building of new transport infrastructure such as parking lots in downtown, new CBD bypass as well as studies about additional Daugava river crossings.

At present it seems that they are the indispensable issues for Riga. However it has been noted that such kind infrastructure problems to a great extent are already solved in other metropolises for instance Stockholm and Brussels. In this respect there are another approach in order to improve people mobility. The topics of great importance are mainly connected with strategies related to energy saving systems, car sharing, “green cities”, “car free cities” etc. Nevertheless the results of this experience show that transport problems still persists despite of various completed infrastructure projects.

Probably the essential problem is notable automobilization with extensive car-use. However current car ownership in European cities is almost twice as much as in Riga for instance. It is estimated on the average about 435 cars in 1995. Thus the current car ownership in Riga is similar as in European cities in 1970-ties. According to the recent statistics it seems that in near future more and more vehicles will ride in Riga streets apparently leading to the following transport overloading even though the new infrastructure projects are carried out. The corresponding conclusion for Riga development is the necessity of planning approach in order to avoid this. Is it still possible? Nevertheless perhaps it is typical feature of urban world in general… with limited possibilities for planners to change it.

Basically the concept of cities was to concentrate all required activities in order to avoid excessive movements as well as to improve the quality of people life. Unfortunately modern people needs and urban life is become different. Besides, location pattern of daily services contributing to the advanced mobility needs. The need for moving will remain however there is rapid development of Internet technologies allowing making various actions using personal computer.

Therefore the infrastructure projects of course will facilitate transport movement. Certainly it is the target the planners are working for, but anyway it could not be the solution for traffic of full value. Apparently the complex approach for Riga transport development is needed. The emphasis on the new crossings of Daugava as well as construction of other transport infrastructure elements has to be supplemented concurrently by realizing additional strategies concerning human behaviour and mobility.

Finally it has to be noted that the process of Riga centre decentralization is already started of the own accord without promoting strategies. The advancement of suburbs is very important for Riga further development including transportation as well.

The main reason for that is growing economical activities as well as the notable investments in Riga. There are not enough spaces for all the projects within city centre. Another important fact is that there were only few commercial centres in Riga large-scale housing districts, which were built during the period of socialism.

It is very important for Riga, because at now there are too many activities concentrated within CBD. It changes the traffic pattern little by little with particular shift on using urban territories outside centre. Besides, this process reimburses the future trends and accelerates investments in infrastructure.

Infrastructure Strategies

Planners and public discuss the projects described in this chapter. The following infrastructure projects are supposed as the essentials for transport system improvement.

City Centre Bypass

As mentioned in previous chapters transit flows are mainly going towards downtown noted by the features of Riga land-use. Thus it is concluded that transit flows particularly trucks have to be turned off the city centre. Concerning to this the consequential project is Eastern Expressway comprising CBD bypass (Fig. 3). Eastern Expressway is under construction at present. Some its links are already finished. The integration of complete bypass into the street net, especially close to the seaport areas has to reduce transport load in city centre.

Besides, more intensive use of the industrial belt area enclosing CBD will be strongly influenced by Eastern Expressway. These development zones will have good possibilities for connections with suburbs and commercial areas thus contributing better mobility of people working there.

Regarding traffic forecast for near future there is anticipated considerable increase of transport flows. However it is supposed that Eastern Expressway could not be the single issue for solving the transport problems in Riga. There are estimated increased transport load up to 3.5 thous. vehicles on Vansu and Akmens Bridges and 6 thous. vehicles on Salu Bridge. It is a considerable amount that is not corresponded to the capacity of streets in city centre. Therefore the street network of urban core operating transport towards bridges and vice versa will have to face with serious congestions.

It is inevitable the necessity for additional projects. Using The Riga Transport Model it is concluded that the best way to do it is to connect Eastern Expressway with streets of territories in Riga western part through the new Daugava River crossing.

Figure 3. The Pattern Of Riga Development

The River Daugava Crossings

Using The Riga Transportation Model the location of the river Daugava crossing is determined north of the existing bridges (Fig. 3).

It is estimated that The North Crossing will deteriorate transport load in the crucial places of city centre. Moreover the most effect will occur in existed bridges especially in Salu Bridge contributed to the less traffic through CBD. Heavy transport that operating seaport will be “turned off” the city core. Furthermore The North Crossing will contribute to the economical development of northern suburbs especially industrial and commercial areas.

For all that the discussion is still ongoing about what kind it has to be – bridge or tunnel as well as about finances in this respect. At now this project unfortunately gets political sense thus hindering its realization.

However the rise of new development territories along main streets shows the ongoing decentralization towards southern part of city (Fig. 3). Regarding to this the discussion is about another crossing – South Bridge connecting vital streets of southern suburbs in the axis of Slavu Rotary. Thus the main effect will be for Eastern Expressway to cross its traffic over River Daugava as well as to integrate this transport into southern suburbs. This will contribute to unloading city centre from heavy transport as well as to solve the critical bottleneck problem of the intersection of Maskavas Street and Slavu Bridge (Fig. 2).

Moreover the building of this bridge is connected with advancement of the areas close the International Airport “Riga” such as Livciems, Ziepniekkalns as well as territories of Riga Region, especially Marupe and Kekava civil parishes [3] .

Apparently both issues are a matter of great importance and thus have the significance in foreseen future. It is necessary to implement it, as the system of street infrastructure in Riga is scarce even for the current transportation. However it is evident that additional effect will be more attractive transport system for car use instead mass transit for instance.

Better Mobility Tools

There are some strategies that could help to avoid from further extensive car use and thus unwelcome additional traffic in various streets. The most common is development of mass transportation because such kind of communications is still weak in Riga as mentioned-above. Thus strategy of mass transit development could have the essential impact on transportation. In order to get this it is necessary to maintain mass transit system according to the public needs. It is very difficult of course as people wants very cheap, fast and frequent as well as safe and convenient communications. This is strong challenge for each metropolitan centre, and the effectiveness of results shows the quality of mobility and thus people life of course.

Besides, it is proved in European cities that enhancement of people mobility is principally achieved by policies integrating public and private transport systems. At first the effective way is development of parking system. It has to be done according to the strategies concerned future transport needs. The strategy of approved “Riga Official Plan 1995 – 2005” shows that the network of parking lots has to be located outside CBD making framework of Park & Ride operating system. This is a new approach for Riga transport development that is never used before while it is successfully implemented in other metropolitan centres, like Stockholm, Toronto, Bremen and others. Therefore the parking in Riga suburbs outside vital congestion zone and advanced use of mass transportation is expected to achieve. The main effect is supposed less traffic in CBD and thus advanced people mobility both in urban core and suburbs.

The trend of ongoing process is unfortunately contrary to the transport development. There were built several parking lots in city core only thus contributing to the more traffic in CBD. Basically the main reason was concerned business advantages. Besides, despite on the recently built parking lots in the centre, only few drivers use it. They prefer to search for free of charge parking in streets or other places by forming congestions. Due to this the bottleneck problem still is not solved.

The essence of Park & Ride is based on the well-developed and integrated mass transit system. However the current transport system of Riga does not correspond to it. Therefore to some extent it is necessary to reorganize urban transport system in Riga. This means the making Park & Ride facilities as collector sites for mass transport and private vehicles with fixed location for passengers interchange from one route or vehicle to another.

Concerning “The Concept Of Riga Public Transport” trams will be the main mass transportation mode in Riga transport system. Besides, trams will have to provide communications within the framework of Park & Ride system. There are suggested locations of 5 proposed Park & Ride transit centres at the vital entrances to the city (Fig. 3).

The integration of Park & Ride facility into urban transport system is appropriate way how to reduce transport intensity to the city centre. It will enhance mass transportation system and increase the flows of passengers. Transit Centres will have to be located close to the main entrances to the city or CBD as it shown in Fig. 3. The development of local commercial centres around these transfer centres are supposed as additional feature. Such development of suburban transit – commercial centres will change land-use pattern in a way of city decentralization.

This is the way to make considerable changes of transport system in Riga by implementing certain concepts. In this respect the strong strategy promoting mass transit ability to compete with private car users will be the backbone for further investments in proper public transport infrastructure including the above-mentioned Park & Ride terminals of course.

It is very important to accept mass transportation strategies by public, because there are remarkable funds needed for such investments. Without any public support it is very difficult to realize. It is very essential for Riga, because for now people in Riga talk a lot about needs and targets of improved mobility, but anyway do not want to change their life-style. Planners in Riga need to change psychological approach of these problems. Thus the main target is to encourage the use of public transport instead of private cars. It is stated as the matter of a great importance because nowadays people in Latvia prefer to use private car wherever they want. Therefore it is another challenge to break this opinion in order to get more public transport passengers. It could be done by getting more information, explaining mass transit opportunities and at the same time investing in the infrastructure.

Finally the new cycling strategy was accepted last year, but it is still not fully implemented and thus there are a few effects for people mobility. However such kind strategies are not a priority for Riga planners. They are involved mainly in the “basic problems” described above, which are already solved in various European cities. Therefore at present there are no challenges for the strategies like car-pooling, car-sharing, “car-free cities” and other advanced projects in Riga.


Riga is the city with good historical traditions and thus the street network, especially in the urban core, is narrow for modern transportation flows. In this respect transport improvements induced by appropriate planning strategies are the key factors that can contribute better people mobility in Riga.

The crossing of the river Daugava and the dense traffic in the city core were noted as the particular problems of Riga transportation system. As a result, often congestions occur in Riga especially in the city core. It is conduced by the fact that Riga transport infrastructure is not ready for intensive automobilization that is typical for Riga during last years. Therefore the quality of mobility is scarce because the traffic in Riga dissatisfies both drivers of private cars and commuters.

The overloaded junctions decelerating traffic are mainly located in the city core and streets leading towards downtown. This problem is accelerated due to the insufficient transport infrastructure. The reason is the lack of unified expressway system that connects vital commercial and housing areas including additional Daugava river crossings.

The complex approach for Riga transportation planning is needed. It means that emphases on infrastructure strategies have to be compared with strategies for mass transportation as well. Major infrastructure projects – Eastern Expressway and the river Daugava crossings will be implemented as the priority with significant impact on Riga transport system.

Besides, mass transportation strategies are the matter of a great importance for Riga. In this respect there is a need to join suburbs and development centres bypassing city centre as well as to promote public transport usage in general. In this respect the notable effect will have certain parking strategies that promote parking outside congested area.

However the question is: “will Riga avoid from further traffic increase as it is obvious that infrastructure strategies promote the additional use of private cars?” At present the planning of public transport development and parking strategies is the principal way the planners could work for traffic in Riga.

Other feature such as Riga centre decentralization already occurs without certain strategy. However it is a fact of a great importance in order to diminish the role of historical centre in city economy. Thus planning approach has to coincide to the spatial changes thus making the full effect. Finally there is a problem of modern Latvian mentality to use private car wherever and whenever. At now it unfortunately seems impossible for planners to change something, as automobilization is recent feature in Latvia. Probably in the meantime people will habituate of the “car availability” and little by little change their opinion for public transport.


          Daugava River. City Traffic Study. (2000) Traffic forecasting note. COWI, Riga City Council, Ministry of Transport of Latvia. Riga.

          Grava S. (1993) The Urban Heritage of the Soviet Regime. Journal of the American Planning Association, Vol. 59. No1. Chicage.

          Riga Official Plan 1995 – 2005. (1995) Riga City Council. Riga.

          The Riga Model. (1997) A computer based modelling system for transportation analysis. Final Report. INREGIA AB, Riga Council. Stockholm, Riga.

          Vircavs I. (1999) Rigas Transporta Analize Pilsetas Teritorialas Attîstibas Konteksta (The Analysis Of Riga Traffic In The Context Of City Territorial Growth). Human Geography Department, The University of Latvia, Riga.

[1] Riga district is the administrative unit and is the part of Riga Metropolitan Area

[2] The data of Riga City Traffic Department

[3] local municipalities of Latvia