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Presentation delivered by Vita Jermoloviča (Councillor
Vice Chairman of the City Development Committee / Riga City Council) for URBACT Training for Elected Representatives on Integrated and Sustainable Urban Development.
Seminar 3 (2-4 December 2013, Brussels, Belgium): Sustainability and change. How can cities tackle the challenges of climate change and assess their progress? And how to intervene in complex energy transitions while improving a city's quality of life?

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  1. 1. USER – Changes and conflicts in using public spaces LOGO PROJECT URBACT Project USERin RIGA Vita Jermoloviča, Councillor Vice Chairman of the City Development Committee / Riga City Council Brussels, December3rd,2013
  2. 2. Contents 1.Introduction of Riga 2.USER Project Challenges 3.USER Local Support Group 4.USER Local Action Plan 2
  3. 3. RIGA– Rich Historical and Cultural Heritage Historic Centre of Riga has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List on December 6, 1997 (site Nr. 852) BorderoftheHistoricC entreofRiga 6
  4. 4. UNESCO World Heritage – The Historic Centre of Riga has retained its medieval and later urban fabric relatively intact… 7
  5. 5. UNESCO World Heritage – Art Nouveau architecture in Riga is unparalleled anywhere in the world 8
  6. 6. UNESCO World Heritage – 19th century wooden architecture 9
  7. 7. RIGA – Diverse Cultural Life • Concert halls regularly offer world-class classic and popular music concerts • Latvian National Opera gathers world-level artists • Exhibition halls present works of world-known classical and contemporary artists 10
  8. 8. RIGA – Capital of Culture 2014 Rich cultural programme You can find it here: 13
  9. 9. RIGA - USER Project 15
  10. 10. Essence of the USER Project USER project deals with the quality of public space It mobilises everyone who in reality use public space for a common activity towards its improvement USER concept - “ideal public space” should serve as an example of how to design or manage public spaces 16
  11. 11. USER - Main Goal Solving changes and conflicts in urban public spaces through users involvement  More convivial and interactive public spaces by solving dysfunctions and conflict of uses Safer public spaces in a friendlier city  Cleaner, comfortable, better maintained and upgraded public spaces for a more efficient city 17
  12. 12. USER in Riga “Changes and conflicts in urban public spaces in the Historical Centre of Riga” : interaction of local users (residents, state and municipality institutions and private businesses) vs. new tourism activities and considerable increase of tourist flows visiting our city 18
  13. 13. Key Components of the “Ideal Public Space” Local Action Plan should analyse the following ATTRIBUTES of public space quality: Accessible  Safe Comfortable With its own identity Multifunctional, with mixed use Connected  Inclusive Convivial and diverse Alive and animated With high quality image 19
  14. 14. Institutional Schemes: USER Local Support Group (LSG) Political leadership Political supervision Local Support Group (Core and Wider) Administrative (USER Project Team) USERs of the public space USERS Wider LSG Core LSG USER team 20
  15. 15. Local Support Group (LSG) USER team Urban Planning professionals & Project Administration Core LSG (15 institutions) Riga City departments, experts = key decision-makers Wider LSG (52 institutions) Core LSG members + government and municipal institutions, associations, NGOs, businesses = advisory force … and USERS! 21
  16. 16. Pilot Sites Evaluation – 1st Stage (by Core LSG) Spīķeru Streetandadjacentterrit ory Vaļņu street – potentialshoppingstreet Public space of St. Peter’s church Līvu Square Latviešu strēlnieku Square Doma Square RCT Pils Square 22
  17. 17. Pilot Sites Evaluation – 2nd Stage (by Wider LSG) • Pils Square • LatviešuStrēlnieku Square • Spīķeru Street and adjacent territory • Līvu Square 23
  18. 18. Methodology of Wider LSG Work The «World Café» Method – four urban sites at four «World Café» tables: PILS LĪVU STRĒLNIEKU SPĪĶERU 24
  19. 19. Methodology of Wider LSG Work(cont’d) The participants divided into four working groups: PILS LĪVU STRĒLNIEKU SPĪĶERU Each group answers two questions on the urban site: + Qualities and assets ​| 7min - Weaknesses and dysfunctions | 7min 25
  20. 20. Questions for Local Support Group: 1. What are the existing public space qualities and assets? 2. What are the existing weaknesses and dysfunctions? – Latviešustrēlnieku Square – Latviešustrēlnieku Square – Pils Square – Pils Square – Spīķeru street and adjacent territory – Spīķeru street and adjacent territory – Līvu Square – Līvu Square 26
  21. 21. Methodology of Wider LSG Work(cont’d) Eachworkinggroup moves to the next table: PILS LĪVU STRĒLNIEKU SPĪĶERU Leader of the group presents the results of the previous group | 1 min Each team answers the same two questions | 7 + 7 min + complements - don’t repeat 27
  22. 22. Methodology of Wider LSG work (continuation) After a full circle each «World Café» table host presented the summary of all urban sites… PILS LĪVU STRĒLNIEKU SPĪĶERU Participants select priority project site and vote for it Arguments for their preferred site must be provided 28
  23. 23. Evaluation and Final Vote: 29
  24. 24. Preferred Sites No 2 Spīķeru street and adjacent territory No 1 Latviešu strēlnieku Square 30
  25. 25. LatviešuStrēlnieku Square Key functions: Public outdoor space for social function, cultural events and recreation in relation to development of the Daugava Embankment, Museum of the Occupation of Latvia and Riga Technical University, transit for pedestrians and bicyclers. 31
  26. 26. Spīķeru Street and Adjacent Territory Key functions: Public outdoor space serves for provision of market complex functions and commercial activity, in the interim it is also used for socialising events. 32
  27. 27. LAP - Expected Results Elaborated ACTION PLAN, to improve the overall quality of the public space management – renovation and maintenance processes Decisions for implementation ACCEPTED New knowledge PUT INTO PRACTICE for further use beyond the project 33
  28. 28. Contents of USER Local Action Plan (LAP) 1. City Context and definition of the initial problem/ policy challenge 2. Setting of focus and objectives 3. Actions / Schedule 4. Funding scheme 5. Framework for delivery 6. Description of the process 7. Risk analysis 34
  29. 29. Development of LocalActionPlan: NextSteps • Meeting with users (stakeholders) of Spīķeri Street • Meeting with USER team members • In-depth analysis of current situation conducted by Social & Political Geography students • Development visions created by Spatial Planning students • Development visions designed by school children in creative way • Experiments in public space • Core LSG and Wider LSG meetings, elaboration of LAP 35
  30. 30.