thursday 7 may : 10:15 - 15:00

Walkshops are a mix of urban safari and interactive working sessions, organized by on-going URBACT networks. Browse through the selection of walkshops and find your favorite!

Innovative City Branding: Beyond a Marketing Approach 

  • Miguel Rivas, Coordinator, Lead Expert of the URBACT City Logo Network
  • Stinne Bille, Aarhaus city branding team, Mayor's department, City of Aarhaus
  • Ieva Lasmane, Marketing manager, Riga Tourism Development Bureau
 Riseba (H2O 6)
Ūdens iela 6, Rīga, LV-1007
Re-thinking city branding through a better understanding of the urban way is the goal of the walkshop, where you will encounter the best ways of developing higher quality strategies to promote and market the city. 
In this walkshop you will discover a clear roadmap for effective city branding, including the concept of the city narrative as the first and most fundamental issue; how to turn that narrative into relevant messaging and imagery, with the help of place brand toolkits; understanding collaboration models within the governance system; and discovering a range of communication channels and actions for the city. You will learn about the most common gaps and get inspiration from Europe’s best practices. 
The walkshop will also give you the chance to capture the essence of contemporary Riga. It will connect a number of obvious and not so obvious landmarks related to the different sides of the city – historic Riga, the city as a functional business place, as a hotbed for talent, plus getting to know about residents´ daily urban experience. In order to unveil a more compelling city image, participants will be encouraged to take pictures along the tour, a number of which will be curated to be shown at the plenary. So make sure you have your camera, phone or Instagram! 

Urban Change with a Creative Spin

  • Anika EllwartCoordinatorCultural Manager and External Expert of the URBACT Creative SpIN Network, Essen, Germany
  • Denise Barrett, Programme Manager of the URBACT Creative SpIN Network, Birmingham City Council 
 Café Dali
Spikeri, Maskavas 12 k-1, Rīga LV-1050
This walkshop will analyse challenges of urban change and present and develop tools to trigger spillovers from Culture and Creative Industries (CCI). The idea is  to set innovative strategies and to initiate processes in order to deliver sustainable growth and regeneration.
In this walkshop, you will learn about creative spillovers for innovation and look at best practices from the Creative SpIN Network. You will also get an insight into how the City of Riga deals with challenges of urban change involving culture and creative industries. Additionally, we will have a look at how cities profit from international exchange and learning transfer through European network projects.
You will have a walking tour, exploring Spikeri Quarter with its revitalized waterfront promenade and converted warehouses and brownfield block. Spikeri Quarter in Riga is a complex of buildings between Maskavas, Turgeņeva and Krasta streets. This quarter is one of the city’s epicenters of events and cultural festivals like White Nights, Staro Riga, Riga City Festival. Spikeri welcomes different residents, which combines cultural and creative industries, restaurants and cafes, concert hall, collaboration spaces and clusters, as well as creative offices and staff. You will also have the opportunity for interactive work sessions with the residents of Spikeri. 

"Roll out the Red Carpet" Improving Urban Pathways to Transport Hubs

  • Jean Jacques TerrinCoordinatorLead Expert of the URBACT Enter.Hub Network
  • Mike Molyeneux, Preston city Council, URBACT Enter.Hub Network Partner
  • Noris Kalniņš, Manager of Riga Central Railway Station Building
 Rīga Pasažieru stacija (Riga Central Railway Station)
Have you ever paid attention to the route from the train station to your work or home? Have you ever wanted to change anything? In this walkshop you will be able to try out a ‘walking diagnosis’ and improve your favorite way to the Railway Station! 
Opportunities for the integration of transport networks can be understood by the role and place of a Railway Station in a city. Based on this we can then create improvements to the socio-economic development of the city and of local competitiveness fostering territorial empowerment. 
During this walkshop you will get to understand the expectations of inhabitants and stakeholders of a transportation hub; as well as describe some possible improvements to the infrastructure, its services, environment and access. Based on your interest you will be able to choose from 4 different itineraries: 
1. For event goers a route to Spikeri
2. For tourists a route to the City Hall Information Center
3. For students a route to Technical University
4. For business people a route to a congress at the Splendid Palace
Join us in analyzing and assessing the Riga Railway Station and take back home with you the ability to improve your Railway Station or transportation hubs!

ESIMeC Cooking Lesson: Cooking up Resilient City Economies

  • Daniel GarnierCoordinatorLead Partner of the URBACT ESIMeC Network 
  • Alison PartridgeCoordinatorLead Expert of the URBACT ESIMeC Network
  • Eva Lapsiņa, Senior Expert, Latvian State Employment Agency
  • Zane Biteniece, Project Group Manager, Education, Culture and Sports Department of Riga City Council
  • ESIMeC partners: Annika Lundqvist, Gävle (SE) Gerard Mayol, Sabadell (ES), Cristina Cudrec and Corina Simon, Bistrita (RO) and Lisa Edwards, Basingstoke (UK)
 Latvian Chamber of Commerce
Kr. Valdemāra iela 35, Rīga, LV-1010     
 Univerisity of Latvia
Raiņa bulvāris 19, Rīga, LV-1586

Ever wondered how to create a perfect recipe for skills and employment needs? How can cities better prepare their people for the skills needs of the future? How can an integrated approach contribute to local skills and employment development? Get a taste of the ESIMeC project results looking at how people and skills are the key ingredients of economic recovery, resilience and growth in medium sized cities. Come and join us in Riga as our kitchen space where you can find answers and cookup your own recipes for success. 

Throughout this walkshop you will learn how cities can create demand-led workforce development strategies/action plans using a mix of ingredients and utensils such as employer engagement, governance and leadership, partnership working, integrated whole-system approach and skills forecasting. You will also have the chance to discover venues in Riga that are part of creating the perfect recipe.


Electric Vehicles The Spark for a New Future

  • Matthew NoonCoordinatorLead Partner of the URBACT EVUE Network, Cross River Partnership/Westminster City Council
  • EVUE Partners: Sture Portvik, Oslo (NO); Ansgar Roese, Frankfurt (De); Dan Dura, Suceava (RO); Adam Lipinski, Katowice (PL)
  • Ashley Abraham, Electro-mobility Consultant
  • Gregory Pomerantsev, LIVERiga Tourism Bureau
  • Arnis Jauzdem, Sixt Baltic States
 Cinema Splendid Palace
Elizabetes iela 61, Rīga, LV-1050
Get ready to embark on an Electro-mobility ride throughout Riga!  Through this walkshop you will have the opportunity to find out how electro-mobility can be incorporated in our cities and what are the key considerations and benefits.
Discover how five cities came together under the EVUE project to address the key challenges faced when implementing strategies and actions to support electro-mobility. See for yourself how Riga has approached this transition in our ‘driveshop,’ where you will have the opportunity to visit some key electro-mobility locations in the city in an electric vehicle!

Cocreating Careers

  • Dmitrijs ZverevsCoordinatorRiga Project leader of the URBACT My Generation at Work Network
  • Robert ArnkilCoordinatorLead Expert of the URBACT My Generation at Work Network
  • Ari-Pekka Leminen, Special Adviser, Ministry of Employment and the Economy, Finland, Coordinator of new counselling initiative
  • Timo Spangar, Thematic expert on counselling for the URBACT My Generation at Work Network
  • Piotr Wolkowinski, Thematic Expert for the URBACT My Generation at Work Network in Gdansk 
 Youth Centre “Kaņieris”
Kaņiera iela 15, Rīga, LV-1063
Throughout this walkshop you will be able to join us on a Riga Young People’s Journey from outreach to education and counseling and to setting up business, and ending up in a reflective workshop on transforming career counseling and city policies. You will hear from examples of Riga, other My Generation at Work project cities around Europe, and reinventing career counseling in Finland. 
The walking route will take you to some of the key locations in My Generation at Work such as, Riga Secondary School of Cultures, which is one of the schools that was granted the role of “support centre” in the field of career counseling. Along with Grīziņkalns skatepark, a location where one of the most numerous youth movements “Ghetto Games” originated from. Their work is an excellent example of outreach, re-socialisation and cross-sectorial cooperation. Join us on this walkshop and discover how to transform career counseling and connect work and city youth policies with young people.

Building Bridges to PREVENT Early School Leaving

  • Jean Jacques DerrienCoordinatorLead Partner of the URBACT PREVENT Network
  • Paul Downes, Thematic Expert of the URBACT PREVENT Network
  • Julien Sauvaget, Comedian
  • PREVENT Partners:Pilar de Amo Moran, Gijon (ES); Tereza Dostolova, Usti Nad Labem (CZ)
 Rīgas Skolēnu pils
Krišjāņa Barona ielā 99, Rīga, LV-1012
This walkshop will address early school leaving prevention including parents as a target group. Take a walk with us through our different bridges and explore the different experience and the initiatives being taken in Riga and elsewhere.
The first stop will lead you to learn about “cultural bridges”, which are crucial in creating a school environment that feels comfortable and safe for students. PREVENT cities will share their experience in involving migrant parents, working with refugees and with Roma parents. On the second stop you will explore “democracy,” where schools work in creating inclusive and grounded communication systems between teachers, parents and students through technologies and other means. The final stop will focus on an outreach approach in involving the whole community to figure out what the high level needs are and how to address them together.
The Riga Pupil’s Palace will be our main stopping point in learning more about Riga initiatives.

My block is Your Block? The Future of Large Housing Estates in Europe

  • Ágnes BöhönyeyCoordinator Lead Expert for the URBACT Re-Block Network
  • Aleksandrs Feltins, Office of the Riga City Architect
  • Melinda Benkő, Budapest Technical University
  • Rūta Matonienė, Vilnius Municipality 
  • Stephan Westermann, Magdeburg planner
  • Jon Matthew Switters, Malaga, Project Manager
 Purvciems Housing Estate          
NVO nams 
Laimdotas iela 42, Rīga, LV-1084
Join the Re-Block network in their off-site Riga exploration visiting Purvciems, which is a typical Soviet style housing estate for about 60.000 inhabitants. During the walk we will see how the prefabricated blocks of flats have been refurbished and how the area of pre-1940 detached houses has been retained as an island in the middle of the housing estate, together with infill development and local social facilities.
If you are interested in the regeneration of housing estates, this is the walkshop for you! You will be able to learn about defining a long term strategic vision for a housing estate; how to ensure that housing estates become sustainable living environments; and what community engagement adds to the regeneration process. The ten European cities involved in the network will share their expertise, to get you thinking on how to address your cities’ issues!

Creating Urban Value from the Unused Potentials of Vacant Buildings

  • Daniela PattiCoordinatorURBACT TUTUR Network
  • Levente Polyak,  URBACT TUTUR Network
  • Jonas Buchel and Marcis Rubenis, Free Riga 
Kaņepes kultūras centrs
Skolas iela 15, Rīga, LV-1010
This walkshop will address the phenomenon of vacancy in Riga, using the Latvian capital as a case study to discuss general tendencies and responses to vacancy in European cities.
Throughout the walkshop you will discover the main reasons for the abandonment of centrally located properties; what administrative barriers obstruct their revitalization; and how to engage creative and community energies in the revitalization of public properties. You will be introduced to the various approaches and experiments in the partner cities of TUTUR as well as in Riga, and will be invited to share your impressions and ideas. 
The walkshop will take place in the historical centre of Riga, where the challenge of vacancy is most visible with a multitude of buildings, including valuable historical heritage, deteriorating due to the lack of use and maintenance. The walk will visit notorious vacant properties and get acquainted with strategies for their revitalization community engagement. 

WoodWalk Recovery of Wooden Districts in European Cities

  • Miguel SousaCoordinatorLead Expert for the URBACT Wood Footprint Network
  • Padraig Maguire, Urban planner, Monaghan, Ireland
  • Rafael Rovira, Coacher and Mentor, Yecla, Spain
  • Jacqueline Ford, Urban planner, Wycombe District Council, United Kingdom
  • Pedro Soutinho, Urban development expert, Porto, Portugal
  • Mati Raamat, Urban Planner, Tartu, Estonia
 Koka Riga (Wooden Riga)
12 Krāsotāju iela, Rīga, LV-1009

The WoodWalk intends to animate a “Riga Intelligent Responses Market” with the goal to facilitate the exchange of ideas between the participants about the recovery of wooden districts in European cities. Riga is a successful example because as time progressed, the wooden architecture of Riga accumulated certain load of social and cultural environment – up till now more prosperous people have tried to avoid of wooden buildings. However, lately, there has been a rise of fans of wooden architecture in Riga who are trying to restore the ancient and most beautiful buildings. The same process is happening in Wood footprint cities like Tartu (EE), Viborg (DK), Paços de Ferreira (PT) or Lecce (IT) that are implementing local plans to raise attractiveness on wooden districts.

The WoodWalk intends to be a sharing space where the participants can “sell” the lessons learned (“Intelligent Responses”) during the transformation process of wooden districts on their cities, select the most interesting ones for their cities and start a “negotiation” with the proposer in order to decide to “buy” or not.  The interaction between the participants will be informal and under a creative environment promoted by the experienced animators that will manage the session. To complete this experience the tour will include visits of Riga’s wooden houses from the 19th century and to Koka Rīga, which is a Centre dedicated to the renovation of wooden buildings. Koka Riga is located in a typical workers dwelling house that is now renovated. The Centre is divided into several areas – there is a museum, a room for seminars and exhibitions and an information Centre.

**This walkshop includes a minimum 2-hour walk.

Discover Riga and URBACT network results through walkshops! 
The walkshops will offer you the chance to discover Riga, get to know its highlights and hidden corners, meet the inhabitants, and get inspired by the urban landscape and Riga’s initiatives. 
Walkshops are created around URBACT’s network themes and this is your chance to explore and further delve into them, by looking at relevant initiatives in Riga. Off-site from the main venue, the walk-shops will be spread all around the city, in cultural districts, youth or employment centers, universities and exhibition spaces. 
Participants will be taking various methods of transportations (walking, biking, electric cars, etc.) in following diverse routes and venues throughout Riga based on their walk-shop choice. There will be many interactive activities during the walkshops along with participatory exercises. 
So bring your comfortable walking shoes and get ready to explore Riga and URBACT network projects!