Sustainable Cities 2021

The Sustainable cities in the Nordic-Baltic region 2021 is conducted as an intensive online event 9th-12th of April 2021 with participants from Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Estonia and Latvia. Please see description below.

Sustainable Cities 2021 – Course Description 2021 – RIGA

Programme 2021

The final proposals of multidisciplinary teams taking part in a project Sustainable Cities in the Nordic-Baltic Region 2021 were presented on Monday, 12th of April. The leading themes for the competition were transformation, mobility and social innovation and the actual competition case developing campus of the University of Latvia and its closest surroundings in Riga.

The winning proposal

The award winning proposal, LU campus connects – physically, socially and in time was presented by team 1, consisting of following members:

Victoria Haubenwaller, Creative Sustainability, Aalto university
Joonas Jōevee, Building Technology, Aalto university
Line Stenmann Kantsø, Public Health Science, University of Copenhagen
Stavroula Tsitsiragos, Environment and Natural Resources, University of Iceland
Tutor: Ana Sabanovic

The proposal presents a vision of the Campus as a part of a new, modern area that drives progress for the city of Riga. It is well integrated into the mobility network of the city. It is a multifunctional hub that brings academia, businesses, local people and the environment together.

Including physical, social, and time-related considerations and presenting an integrated approach focused on fostering a symbiotic relationship between students, local inhabitants, businesses on Monk island, and ecosystems in the area, this proposal will set the stage for modernizing the left bank of the Daugava River and the rest of Riga.

Final presentation

All four given proposals in this four-day intensive online event and competition presented thoroughly elaborated conceptual ideas and included implementable ideas for the development of the case area, as well they also showed fruitful and excellent collaboration of multidisciplinary teams.

Team 2 – ‘High 5’ – Ecosystem approach

This proposal creates an inclusive eco-social campus which considers the needs of multiple species. Key aspects are to create an ecosystem of continual wellbeing, learning and connection.

Anna Belova, Landscape architecture and planning, Latvia University
Katie Butcher, Masters of Urban Studies and Planning, University of Helsinki
Tobias Morban, Agricultural Economics, University of Copenhagen
Muhammad Hamza Zubair, Geoinformatics for Urbanised Society, University of Tartu
Tutor: Thilo Wellmann

Final presentation

Team 3 – “Reaching Out”

“Reaching Out” is a concept connecting different spots, representing the university, business centre, library, residential clusters, waterfronts, church and traffic nodes. Features of the networked system will enable connections with the past, the varied cultural and biological heritage, and other groups and individuals by offering a clean, safe, high-quality environment, stable ecosystem and innovative economy.

Madara Ratkevica, patial Planning, Latvia University
Denise Roquille, Master of Science in Global Health, Copenhagen University
Harm Jan Grinwis, Design & Technology Futures, Tallinn University
Erasmus Mseleku, Sustainable Urban Planning & Design, KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Tutor: Anni Müüripeal

Final presentation

Team 4  “Connecting people, connecting nature”

Central to this proposal is an open campus design with university buildings at the periphery of the area to give space for recreation in nature and experiential learning, including space for students to meet-up, learn and invite locals to be part of their research journey, whereas new community centre at the historic Tornakalns train station serves as an innovative pop-up space.

Nora Gagane, Spatial planning, Latvia University
Nadja Najjar, Socio-ecological resilience for sustainable development, Stockholm University
Hanna Pöllänen, Geography, University if Turku
Paulius Kliučininkas, Architecture, Urbanism, TU Delft
William Reynera, Master’s in Environment and Natural Resources, University of Iceland
Tutor: Margarita Vološina

Final presentation


Kevin Drain, PhD student in urban sociology at the University of Helsinki, with research focusing on gentrification in the Nordic welfare context.

Ana Sabanovic is a PhD student at the Faculty of Architecture and member of the Sustainable Development Innovation Laboratory and Laboratory for Sustainable and Resilient Architecture at University of Belgrade.

Margarita Vološina PhD student with theme concerning landscape planning, University of Latvia, spatial planner/project coordinator at the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development of Latvia in the projects within transboundary cooperation context of Baltic sea region and part of NGO Urban Institute, Riga.

Anni Müüripeal, PhD student in Health Behaviour and Wellbeing programme with a focus on age-friendly cities and community gardens, Tallinn University.

Thilo Wellman, PhD-Student at the Lab for Landscape Ecology (HU Berlin) and a guest scientist at the Helmholtz Zentrum für Umweltforschung (UFZ).

Due to the pandemic situation and travelling restrictions the 4-day-event was conducted on line. The participants, working remotely all over the world, got to know the actual case area by multimedial means and the stakeholder meetings taking place on virtual platforms.

Organizers: The project is administered by Hanaholmen and the partners include University of Tallinn, University of Latvia and Stockholm University (Stockholm Resilience Center). In addition, the project group consists of members from collaborative partners such as Aalto University, University of Helsinki, University of Tampere and the Urban Academy Network.

Partners: The city of Riga

Funders: Nordplus Horizontal 2019-2021

About The Nordic City Challenge

The Nordic City Challenge was piloted in 2015 in Espoo, Finland. After the first three years the organizing team has continued to develop the concept, in order to be able to promote multi-sectoral and -disciplinary collaboration concerning sustainable urban development in the future. In 2019 the Project took its current name, Sustainable Cities in the Nordic-Baltic Region