Cooperation between waterfront communities
Because together we can do more!
SPECIFICITY OF WATERFRONT COMMUNITIES
The waterfront communities have a special annual rhythm, which is determined by the hydrological regime of the near waters, recreational, tourist and sports facilities, common infrastructure challenges and economic barriers due to the complexity and cost of hydro-technical structures, as well as ecological problems related to the proximity of the waterfront, hydrology, sewage, flood control, recuperation of flooded areas, and pollution prevention.
In Latvia, these challenges are not tackled strategically, mainly due to a lack of understanding. For example, the banks of the Daugava River do not develop because there are concerns about pollution caused by tourists, there is no understanding of the legal framework on the part of construction boards (admin. barriers) and there is a lack of information about the possibilities for population-driven development. The society considers population-led development, which is rooted in public participation, to be a necessary element to initiate safe and well-maintained waterfront development throughout Latvia, to educate the society about waterfront communities and to achieve the understanding and support of municipalities to waterfront communities both in the form of funding for public initiatives and support for the maintenance of already landscaped areas.
INVOLVEMENT OF THE PUBLIC
The Society “Ūdensmalu attīstībai”(“Waterfront Development”) is a member of the Partnership “Daugavkrasts” Council. The partnership has established and maintains the Ķekava Municipality NGO Platform. The partnership implements three levels of public engagement in its work:
- education of the population
- engagement in activities
- inclusion in decision-making processes.
The achievements of the “Daugavkrasts” partnership in 2014-2022.
An active part of the NGO platform of Ķekava municipality are our communities of residents of the municipality. Communities are formed by active citizen, who are encouraged by the “Daugavkrasts” Partnership to cooperate and to do networking in projects supported by the Active Citizens Fund.
What do community folks have in common? Brand manager Lolita Ozoliņa’s offer for Ķekava municipality is rooted in placemaking, so that it concerns equally to all residents of the municipality. The local community plays a crucial and essential role in the representation and reinvigoration of human local identity. The community is a socially constructed concept with several meanings, but the main features that characterize it are a common identity, a sense of place, building relationships with the environment and with people and, unequivocally, culture.
In the opinion of Lolita Ozoliņa, the diversity of Ķekava municipality, which is a necessary element in the process of creating a unique place, is also formed by each co-citizens home and each of us. In surveys and focus groups, the place, affiliation for various reasons, and concerns about the development of places have been the main motive. The most widespread comments in different groups of the population on social networks are caused directly by topics related to the disorder of places, changes, or their development. At the same time, the residents of the district admit that they do not know the sites of their district, they would like to get to know them better and also the people living there.
The brand manager believes that all leaders share a desire for their community, for thought exchange and co-creation, to learn, think, influence, and persuade, called the “identity of aspiration”. As a result of the reform of the counties, the merger of Ķekava and Baldone counties provides an opportunity to take a new look at the life of the municipality and the places where we live.
WATERFRONT COMMUNITY PROBLEMS
Waterfront communities have a unique, unifying set of challenges:
- the impact of climate change;
- the need to restructure port infrastructure;
- use of degraded areas;
- preserving the basic historical and natural values and creating a safe life.