Transnational Meeting in Riga

On thursday the 10th and friday the 11th of June, the ACCESS network gathered (albeit online) for the Transnational Meeting in Riga. Here we got a warm welcome from Ints Teterovskis, one of Latvia’s most famous choir conducturs, and the host of the Transnational Meeting. He presented the many-sided cultural life in Riga. From choirs of 20.000 people, to the revivals of Liv culture.

Afterwards, we were accompanied by Viesturs Celmiņš, Managing director at VEFRESH Open Innovation Movement. During his presentation, he spoke about the role of urban testbeds and civic innovation in the era of New European Bauhaus. The talk addressed the tenets and the shift towards ‘participative urban development’ in management of public spaces, community building and civic activism. These principles are illustrated by several case studies of ‘bottom up’ approach in planning and citizen engagement. We also looked at some of the challenges and opportunities underlying adoption of New European Bauhaus at city level and the role of the innovation ecosystem for its relative success.

On the second day, Kaspars Lielgalvis , founder of FREE RIGA, artist and curator, spoke to us about the FREE RIGA story. He shortly introduced Free Riga and its larger created culture sites Lastadija, Viskali and Tallinas Street Quarter and tell us about the methodology which FREE RIGA has developed for activation of cultural life in the “silent” neighbourhoods of Riga within the project “Cultural Planning as a Method of Urban Social Innovation”, in partnership with Riga City Council City Development department. During the Q&A, he gave more insight into how he communicated and constructed his projects with the consent of the surrounding neighbors.
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