Within the URBACT City Festival we organised together with FreeRiga a walkshop to discover the potential of vacancy in Riga.
The URBACT City Festival took place in Riga in May 2015 and the TUTUR Network participated together with other 400 people from around Europe. During the festival a series of events took place like masterclasses, lectures, workshops, debates and walkshops. Take a look at what was th Festival all about here. Of the ten walkshops, one was run by the TUTUR Network together with the Riga-based Free Riga NGO, that promotes temporary uses in abandoned buildings in the city. The walk was attended by approximately 50 people that visited sites, spoke to the people that initiated the projects and exchanges their experiences from back home. We visited many interesting places and we met very nice people.
Throughout the walkshop we discovered the main reasons for the abandonment of centrally located properties; what administrative barriers obstruct their revitalization; and how to engage creative and community energies in the revitalization of public properties. Participants were introduced to the various approaches and experiments in the partner cities of TUTUR as well as in Riga, and were invited to share their impressions and ideas. The walkshop took place in the historical centre of Riga, where the challenge of vacancy are most visible with a multitude of buildings, including valuable historical heritage, deteriorating due to the lack of use and maintenance. The walk visited notorious vacant properties and got acquainted with strategies for their revitalization community engagement.