Spikeri quarter transformed into cultural, educational and recreational space

Infrastructural improvements, linking of environmental, economic, social and cultural aspects and effective public-private partnership have contributed to urban development of the previously derelict Spīķeri quarter in central Riga. The project made the land and adjoining riverbank accessible and safe and rented space to businesses and NGOs active in the fields of culture, design, entertainment, food and services.

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Spīķeri quarter recreational area and pedestrian tunnel © Rīgas domes Pilsētas attīstības departaments Spīķeri quarter recreational area and pedestrian tunnel © Rīgas domes Pilsētas attīstības departaments

" Reconstruction of the Spīkeri quarter included substantial adjustments to the urban environment – making the land and riverbank accessible and safe, and developing a port which can be further used as part of the public water-transport system in the city. The overall development of the Spīķeri quarter demonstrates an innovative approach to fostering the urban development of the area, turning it into an oasis of creative industries through joint public-private actions. "

Armands Rabovičs, Spīkeri quarter project manager

Temporary and unsightly buildings and fences were demolished, following which work was done to establish safe and easy access to the river Daugava embankment including repair of a wall along the riverside. The embankment itself was strengthened and renovated, a waterfront promenade with recreational areas and a cycle path was laid, a concrete skate park was built and a pedestrian bridge over the city canal was rebuilt and fitted with a new access ramp.

The project created open spaces for the public, re-laid roads and footpaths, put down lawns and renovated a pedestrian tunnel including access stairways and a cycle ramp. Traffic management measures were introduced and road signs, fences, trees, flower beds, benches, bins, street barriers and street lighting were installed. Water, sewerage and electricity infrastructure was repaired and additional power lines were fitted.

A cultural and recreational complex

As a result of the project and public-private actions, the area is now a cultural and recreational complex with a concert hall, museums, restaurants, cafés, workshops and offices. In time, jetties will be put up on the riverbank for small ships, yachts and floating platforms.

As of 2014, 25 business were registered in the Spīķeri quarter providing employment for 400 people. This is forecast to rise to about 50 by the end of 2016, with the number of jobs in the quarter similarly expected to double.

The quarter is set to develop further over a 20-year period, becoming a centre for the creative economy in the Baltic Sea Region, which will lead to new jobs in sectors such as leisure, tourism and trade. This will in turn increase economic activity in the area and contribute to the creation of local government jobs.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Spikeri Quarter” is EUR 6 973 700, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund is contributing EUR 3 618 090 from the Operational Programme “Infrastructure and Services” for the 2007 to 2013 programming period.

Draft date