- Urban Regeneration and Strengthening of local Neighbourhoods – the Way of Riga    click here to open paper content1174 kb
by    Kublacovs, Andis | andis_kublacovs@yahoo.com   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
The study analyses the spatial development processes in the Baltic metropolis Riga. It examines the city’s actual spatial development initiatives, e.g. the internal expansion, strengthening of the local neighbourhoods and urban regeneration.
The study refers to analysis of the actual spatial development processes in Riga city, also reviewing and examining the proposed spatial development initiatives of the recently adopted city’s comprehensive plan. Being the biggest metropolis of the Baltic States and also the capital city of Latvia it has to deal with a number of different urban problems and challenges in the sphere of spatial planning.
The ongoing urban sprawl process beyond the city borders is one of those major problems. It is caused by many reasons, including the fast growth of the personal income level and economy in general, lack of appropriate choice of the housing, more stringent rules and more bureaucratic process for building in Riga city than in its surroundings, seemingly predominant short-term thinking in spatial development and planning practice and, most probably, not an adequate spatial planning legislation in the conditions of the free market economy. The outcomes of such a process are well known – shrinking population number in the city, ever increasing traffic congestions and flows of daily commuters, waste of resources and, more locally specific, slower growth of the city budget as its main part is strictly tied to the amount of personal income tax paid only by the permanent city residents.
The new spatial development policy of Riga brings forward several interesting initiatives that embed in the relatively liberal spatial planning approach. Among the most important one should mention identification of the existing and planned local neighbourhoods fostering to strengthen their liveability through multifunctionality and densification, transformation of the former industrial and commercial port areas particularly inside the inner city and establishment of a new administrative and commercial centre in a neighbourhood located outside the existing city centre.
Riga, internal expansion, urban planning
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