Raising awareness through Clean-Up Days, Riga

Description of the practice: 



The Riga City Council City Development Department organised Clean-Up Days in 2016 and 2017 in the brownfield area around Mūkusala area (Riga, Latvia). The events have been outstanding examples of how a city can raise awareness of brownfield development activities among the local stakeholder groups. Furthermore, the cleaning days helped to identify key stakeholders who had concerns about the brownfield site in question and to establish a viable contact with them for further cooperation. 

  • To identify concerned individuals and establish new contacts for further cooperation 
  • To inspect and clean the project territory from the Railway Bridge to Bieķensalas Street and from Mūkusalas Street to Jelgavas Street
  • To inform the participants about forthcoming changes in the area. 
  • Cleaning day activities combined with informative discussions regarding the brownfield pilot site of Mūkusala

During the events, City representatives with volunteers inspected and tidied up the brownfield site from the railway bridge to Biekensalas Street and from Mūkusalas Street to Jelgavas Street. Besides cleaning, the event offered a great opportunity to inform participating students and local inhabitants about the upcoming changes in the area and listen to their opinions and concerns regarding the development.

Overall, the results of the cleaning days involved 170 bags of waste. Surprisingly, the star of the event was a turtle found in the pilot site. The news about the found wandering turtle in 2017 reached 35 different media outlets and brought added publicity to the brownfield site, making it possible for the City to tell a story that resonated with the general public.The participants were students, civil enthusiasts and companies. Citizens from “Tuvā Pārdaugava” (a civil society organization) also participated. At the first event, which took place on a Saturday morning, 70 participants attended to clean the area. At the second, 40 volunteers turned up. The participants were invited through the project’s contact list.

Further description of the experiences: 

It is a useful method how to involve local inhabitants and the public to get awareness about interested site. It’s great method how to clean area and unite the community. Clean – Up days in Latvia are organized once a year as national event and clean-up activities are organized in Riga and other cities and villages yearly.