International Summer School Big Reset on Neighbourhood Design. Riga: Islands in the Stream

If you are interested in architecture and urban design you are welcome to join the international summer school «Big Reset on Neighbourhood Design. Riga: Islands in the Stream» taking place in Riga from July 26 to August 5, 2017 organized by the Faculty of Architecture of RTU. 

In 2014 Faculty of Architecture of Riga Technical University started participation in the series of Summer Schools The
Big Reset on Neighbourhood Design initiated by Amsterdam Academy of Architecture. 

Within this initiative the following Summer Schools have been held in different cities with the following focuses on:
2014 – Amsterdam. Old Ambitions, New Conditions
2015 – Istanbul. Living Together
2016 – Porto. Between Social and Design Concept

This year it is Riga’s turn to host the Summer School with the focus on:
2017 – Riga. Islands in the Stream: Bridging Neighbourhoods.

System of water areas, over a long period being evolved by both human and natural forces, is one of the cornerstones of the distinct spatial structure of Riga. As defined in the city strategy up the year of 2030, Riga is becoming a city with developed high-quality natural areas, friendly green structures and accessible water areas and waterfronts to preserve ecological diversity and provide recreational availability for inhabitants and guests of the city.

Water areas is one of the most valuable natural resources in the city occupying in general about 16% of the overall territory of Riga. River Daugava as the main water area together with lakes and smaller watercourses substantially affect the city development and its spatial structure. Direct access to the sea and good connections for centuries ensured the development of Riga port and promoted the economic growth of the city. On the other hand, the specific natural conditions, regular floods and unpredictable changes of the river flow has created ecological diversity of the water areas.

Water areas have significantly been affected by the city development in the previous ages, and this still is an ongoing process. Water spaces are significant parts of the territory of Riga having functional, aesthetic
and economic potential. Previously widely used for commercial and recreational needs, it is currently not used to its full extent. Observing the growing interest of public in diverse usage of water areas and waterfronts for both active and passive recreational needs as well as for redeveloping transportation connections, the prerequisites of usage of water areas in better functional and spatial integration in the Riga city life is the field of the current studies.

River Daugava together with the adjacent water areas have played significant role in the formation of the nearby neighbourhoods and their spatial identity. Being wide and not-easy-to-cross water-body till the recent decades it has been more dividing than connecting element of the city. Dependant on seasonality the changing scenery and ways of usage of the river has affected the nearby life. Within The Big Reset on Neighbourhood Design Summer School four case study areas will be thoroughly examined to propose the best ways of using water areas and nearby territories for connecting different parts of the city and creating place and space for diverse public activities.