Riga Circular Economy Centre Gets State-of-the-art Interior Solutions

On May 3, 2024, citizens of Riga, the capital of Latvia, were introduced to the concept of the circular economy centres and discussed the practical creation of the first one in Riga.

Published: 10 May 2024

The municipality of Riga is creating the first Circular Economy Centre in Latvia to address the issue of inefficient use of resources, where useful things are often disposed of and can be given a second life. Many residents have expressed their desire to repair or redesign their goods, but the urban environment limits such possibilities.

In preparation for the opening of the Circular Economy Centre, REA invited students of Latvian higher education institutions and students of vocational training schools to submit proposals for modern, ergonomic and functional interior design elements of the Centre. On the 3rd of May, Riga residents had the opportunity to become acquainted with the ideas and works created by young designers, while a jury of material design experts, architects and local government representatives evaluated them and chose the most suitable ones.

Riga Energy Agency (REA) Project Manager Ieva Kalniņa admitted after evaluating the submitted proposals:

“We want Riga City Circular Economy Centre to carry a message of circularity in its interior elements, wall finishing and other solutions. This means that the layout of the premises must be creatively and interestingly designed demonstrating circular economy solutions. We are pleased that the submitted works are both contemporary and workable. The ability of young people to respond and mobilise in a short time to create ideas shows that the circularity concept is topical and easy to understand.“

Ieva Kalniņa, Riga Energy Agency (REA) Project Manager

Based on the CURE+ project findings, as well as on the learnings gathered during the study visits to successful Urban Resource Centres in Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands and Spain, REA has proposed to launch the Centre as a space for community activities and repair.

“We see an opportunity for the municipal companies to collaborate by creating a centre as a demonstration site for co-creation and sustainable urban solutions. Private sector entrepreneurs can also come with cooperation offers in the setting up and operation of the Circular Economy Centre.”

Ieva Kalniņa, Riga Energy Agency (REA) Project Manager

7 youth teams from Riga Technical University, Vidzeme University, Art Academy of Latvia, and Victoria Vocational Secondary School participated in the competition.

The joint proposal of the team formed by students of interior design of the Art Academy of Latvia and the sustainable construction of Vidzeme University was recognized as the best. They covered the entire scope of the Centre and specifically considered accessibility solutions.

Riga Circular Economy Centre is being established within the framework of the project “Centres for Urban Resources, Reuse and Remanufacture (CURE+)”. The Circular Economy Centre will be a multifunctional place where citizens will get acquainted with the principles of the circular economy, as well as repair and prolong the life of different goods in a woodwork workshop; it will also host events such as masterclasses, seminars and lectures.

Riga Energy Agency is implementing EUKI project CURE+ in cooperation with the Tartu City Government, Municipality of Kavala, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences and Elisava Barcelona School of Engineering and Design. The project aims to improve the management of construction and demolition waste generated by households through reuse and repair respecting the principles of the circular economy.

Photos: by Riga City Council.

Responsible for the content of this article is EUKI project CURE+ – Centres for Urban Resources, Reuse and Remanufacture

Zugehöriges Projekt