Riga presented ATELIER at Latvian national conference

In the EU Green Deal era, it is of highest importance to share innovative solutions aimed at responding to current and future climate challenges. With this in mind, on February 26th, 2021 Latvian municipalities, planning regions and regional energy agencies met at the Latvian national conference “On the Way to Climate Neutrality”. This interactive online event aimed to support and encourage Latvian local authorities to find innovative and cost-effective ways to develop more ambitious Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plans (SECAPs). It gathered over 60 professionals from all regions of Latvia – urban planners, energy, environment and climate specialists from public and private sectors, motivated to learn and exchange their knowledge and ideas on how every single municipality of Latvia could contribute to reaching national and European climate and energy goals and policies.

Member of the ATELIER Riga team – Nika Kotoviča – delivered a presentation on the ATELIER project, focusing on the methodological aspects of elaboration of the “Bold City Vision 2050” and “Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan 2030” in Riga city. These policies are being elaborated in the framework of the ATELIER project, following the “Cities4ZERO” methodology – a step-by-step methodology for local authorities to define targets, priority areas and measures for an effective urban transition towards decarbonisation of the city, applying an integrated, highly participatory and multi-sectorial planning approach. Among others, the “Cities4ZERO” methodology urges the cities to collect wide scope of high quality real-time urban data, undertake modelling of scenarios for achieving climate neutrality and analyse the impact of chosen measures on climate neutrality. In such way, the “Cities4ZERO” methodology supports data-driven, informed decision-making to achieve climate neutrality.

Riga as the capital of Latvia is taking decisive steps towards climate neutrality. In the beginning of 2021, Riga joined the Paris climate initiative “Cities Leading the Way to Climate Neutrality” by signing the Paris climate declaration. This declaration has been renewed in honour of the anniversary of the 2015 Paris Agreement. By joining this declaration, Riga confirmed its readiness to address climate issues during this difficult time of the Covid-19 pandemic, pointing out that this is one of the ways to facilitate better urban environment and higher quality of life for Riga city residents. Also, a cross-sectorial supervisory group for achieving the climate neutrality has been established at the Riga City Municipality to coordinate climate and decarbonisation actions, involving politicians, specialists from municipal departments, agencies and municipal services providers responsible for climate-related areas, as well as external experts from local academia and research institutions.

Nika Kotoviča, ATELIER Project Coordinator & Urban Planning Expert, City of Riga