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re-use of disadvantaged area

Liepaja

Detailed description of the Good Practice

Regeneration of Karosta territory and facilitation of co-operation between diverse social partners (stakeholder groups) to revitalise life in Karosta through.

1.sustainable tourism through the use of abandoned territories for tourism purposes ( former military sites);
2.early and extensive consultation process in developing tourism strategy;
3.involving stakeholders and city administration in the planning process to reach a common goal.

  • urban planning
  • re-use of disadvantaged area
  • tourism

Objectives of the Good Practice

The objectives include

1.Development of communal services, increasing cooperation between Municipal administration, service companies and citizens
2.Attraction of people to Karosta by organising untraditional cultural events and activities, inclusion of Karosta features in local tourism routes
3.Lively and safe neighbourhood
4.Cooperation and financial support to NGOs and small business

Resulting as:
1.Citizens’ interest to take part in city’s life increased after easier access to information about the location was provided. Additionally less conflicts and abuses of local regula-tions were identified.
2.By simple citizen surveys it is easy to identify priority areas where locals residents would like to see improvements and ensure more effective investments. At the same time these surveys increased citizens’ ownership of the results.
3.There is built active partnership with NGOs in Liepaja and municipality.
4.Through projects and joint activities NGOs capacity is built to ensure that they become partners in decision-making processes within the municipality.


Participants of the Good Practice

The rights to manage formerly abandoned military site territory in Karosta district were delegated to a NGO. Now there is the possibility to return back to the Soviet regime through interactive games in the unique environment of Karosta military buildings.

Important element in the implementation phase was learning and capacity building of the administrative staff, tourism operators, and experience exchange with other cities in Europe.

City administration without commitment and interest of local citizens and stakeholders was not able to ensure sustainable solutions for this abandoned site for years, and thus great emphaisi was given to the involvement of the citizens in the planning process.

Target group of the Good Practice

During the Soviet times karosta was military area and the main settlement of officers’ families with population size over 25000. In the mid 1990s when the territory was abandoned, Karosta experienced enormous social problems with a big burden of unpaid fees for provided commu-nal services. In the following the provision of these basic services was cut (especially district heating) which resulted in environmental degradation, ruined houses, rising unemployment rates and social marginalisation of the remaining 7000 residents of the area.Tus the programme was aimed for the citizens involving them in the development of their residential area.
It was also, as part of the Liepaja Tourism development Strategy for 2003-2010, aimed for the local authorities as method to use further.

More Details of the Good Practice

The city successfully continues to implement its tourism short term goals, the number of visitors increases every year, the number of people staying over night in Liepaja also increases, still there is space for improvements when compared with other Latvian largest cities and average figures in Latvia. Mostly visited objects reflect the outcomes of the city’s efforts to attract people to cultural objects (eg Liepaja museum) and innovative, sometimes even extreme sites( Karosta prison).

Lessons learned include:
1.Sectoral strategies (tourism) shall be integrated into the overall municipal development plan;
2.Planning strategies implementation of which depends on the operators/businessmens’ involvement and dialogue at the planning phase, is essential for success;
3.Overall image of the city is important element to reach success in any of fields, including better recognition;
4.Joint marketing approach with the regional agencies in the tourism sector proves to be successful solution for peripheral areas;
5.Information availability and quality is important.

Available files

Contact details

www.liepaja.lv

Data sources and references

REC-ICLEI consortium in SUSTAINMENT