Restoration of Miera garden recreational area

Description of the practice: 
June 2011 - July 2015

The main aim of the project was to clean environment in Riga city, with upgrading Miera garden and creating attractive and comfortable environment for recreation and entertainment but at the same time preserve cultural and historical heritage.  

The area of a Miera garden is 3,29 hectares and it islocated in Latgale suburb in Riga (Katoļu Street, territory between Katoļu, Kalupes and Jekabpils Streets). Miera garden is national culturally historical monument with local significance. Over the years Miera garden has lost its public significance.

The place seemed abandoned and unattractive - tree crowns were not groomed and updated, garden was shady and not suitable for recreation and sport. Only grounds has been left of the bandstand because of a fire. Children's playground with pool had collapsed in Soviet years and was used as an unofficial compost square. Grounds of decorative vase were ruinous and public toilet vandalized.

Historically, Miera garden was designed for quiet recreation, enjoying garden landscape, children recreation and public and cultural events as well as for aesthetic enjoyment, creating attractive garden space.

Before the project was developed and implemented, Miera garden did not attract citizens to spend time in the garden because of overgrown plants and collapsed small architectural forms.

The project was developed and implemented by - Municipality of Riga (Riga City Council: City Development Department). The steering group involved three different units of Riga City Council: City Development Department (project implementation), SIA Rigas Mezi (maintenance of the project results after its completion) and Committee of City Development (project’s link with the political level of the city).

  • Create attractive and comfortable environment for recreation and entertainment while preserving cultural and historical heritage
  • To develop the technical design for the area’s improvement;

Main activities during the project implementation were:

  • Renovation of children's playground
  • re-building of multifunctional playground, where different sports can be practiced
  • bringing in exercise machines;
  • arranging place for street gymnasts
  • creating largest concrete skate park in Baltics, which would be suitable for both – beginners and experienced athletes;
  • carrying out construction of external communication
  • restoring tracks, to fix supporting wall and ladder
  • upgrading and greening the garden territory
  • setting up drinking water faucet and building public toilet
  • setting up video surveillance cameras and travel directions.

The primary stakeholders in the process were Miera garden residents, that were involved though community involvement methods where local residents, NGO’s, universities and other interested could participate in the process; visitors in Riga and athletes. Athletes were consulted when the city was building a skate park. With their active involvement elements from concrete were placed the way that both – profesionals and beginners are able to perform the tricks. Foreign experience was taken into account, as well as creative ideas, that students from Latvian Agriculture university provided.


One of the unattractive and abandoned gardens in Riga was restored and attractive and comfortable environment for recreation and entertainment taking into account the user’s needs was created.


Further description of the experiences: 
Lessons learned & challenges

A challenge in the process was that the area where the garden located has a bad reputation of being unsafe. An old graveyard that has located in the area several decades ago also brought additional challenges. What was learned from the project that it is necessary to have a clear development strategy before implementation of large-scale and complex projects and to work with the wider public from the very first days of project and the panning process ensuring a two-way communication.

Possibilities that were opened up for the area?
  • New possibilities for recreation
  • Active and sport life: skatepark, children playground, soccer field
  • Safer environment for locals, less crimes occurring
  • An attractive area for business (tourism, recreation, entertainment, hotels, restaurants, banks, post office, other business).