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The Spīķeri Block, a former soviet military base located in the historic centre of Riga, has been lain derelict for more than 10 years and is a socio-economic burden for the city administration. Now, as a result of a number of interventions and a successful public-private partnership, it has turned the corner. It is becoming an important player in the city’s cultural scene, and is attracting an increasing number of Riga’s inhabitants and visitors.

Executive summary

The Spīķeri Block – the area between the Maskavas, Krasta and Turgēņeva Streets – is a former Soviet Army base located in the heart of Riga. For more than a decade it has been derelict and a socio-economic burden for the city administration. At the same time it is part of the historical centre of old Riga and part of a UNESCO-listed World Heritage site. Most of the buildings are now privately owned, whereas the land and one of the buildings are owned by the City of Riga.

The revitalisation of the area started back in 2005 with investments made by the private owners in the renovation of the buildings under their ownership. At that time also the first discussions between the private owners and Riga City Council began. Over the years this has developed into a successful public-private revitalisation partnership and has led to a project co-financed by the ERDF as part of the national Structural Funds programme’s ‘infrastructure and services’ priority for ‘polycentric development’, implemented by Riga City Council.

The project aims to develop the public infrastructure of the Spīķeri Block to provide the basis for the sustainable and integrated urban development of the derelict area. It mainly comprises the reconstruction of the block with substantial adjustments of the urban environment – making the territory and the adjacent bank of the river accessible and safe, and developing a port which can be further used as part of the city’s public water-transport system.

The revitalisation of the Spīķeri Block provides a good example of successful public-private partnership and cooperation among a fairly large number of actors representing diverse fields of operation. The process integrates a number of projects funded from different sources that are implemented by various actors – enterprises, NGOs and the municipality – all leading to the successful regeneration of the former derelict area. It also demonstrates how ‘soft’ activities and ‘hard’ investments can run in parallel to increase the visibility and recognition of the Spīķeri Block among Riga’s inhabitants and visitors.

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Technical information


A former soviet military base turns into the city’s cultural scene

Member State and Region

Latvia, Riga

Duration of project

39 months (10.2010 – 12.2013)


Total budget: 7 033 425 € - ERDF contribution: 3 628 323 €

Cohesion Policy Objective


Managing Authority

Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development (the Ministry of Regional Development and Local Governments by 2011)

CCI nr of OP

2007LV161PO002 OP 'Infrastructure and Services'


Mr Armands Rabovics, Deputy Head of the International Project Section of the City Development Department of Riga City Council

Tel.: +371 67105565

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Integrated approaches, urban renewal, culture