The new Riga City Municipality Culture Strategy 2017-2030 was designed to define the long-term culture policy of the city of Riga, to emphasize the city's cultural values, to serve the inhabitants of the city, promoting the improvement of the quality of life.
Riga City Municipality Culture Strategy 2017-2030 has identified several deficiencies related to access to culture in Riga municipality, uneven coverage of culture institutions, cultural programmes and services in neighborhoods. Culture does not enrich all people equally : the number of culture institutions in 58 neighbourhoods of Riga demonstrates the lack of cultural offer in 70% of neighbourhoods, 71% of culture institutions are concentrated in the central part of Riga. Culture events take place mostly in the center of Riga. In many neighbourhoods of Riga, residents do not have access to cultural services close to their place of residence. A few venues are not physically accessible for people with disabilities. Other challenges include developing closer partnerships with civil society and NGOs. Lack of evidence base is also a challenge.
We are strongly convinced that the ACCESS network will become a platform and a forum for joint learning and sharing of expertise. Riga is committed and eager to participate in exchange of experience on topical issues identified by all ACCESS partners, especially spreading cultural activity across the city, widening participation, collecting, analyzing and using the data for developing tailor made solutions. ACCESS will provide new opportunities for finding effective practical tools that can positively affect the local challenges. No advisory council or similar body has yet been established in the municipality of Riga to create a platform for participation of the non-governmental sector, civil society, inhabitants in the shaping and implementation of the Riga City culture policy. The local stakeholders involved in the ACCESS URBACT Local Group will be the first to develop new strategies and activity plans specifically in the field of access to culture. ACCESS will strengthen the capacity of the city to develop innovative solutions for developing inclusive engagement in culture in Riga and provide more efficient, inclusive, collaborative governance at the same time promoting participatory processes.