Student Competition as a planning method for brownfields, Riga

Description of the practice: 
2017 September - 2018 February 

The City of Riga organized a student competition in  order to find new and fresh ideas for the development of Mūkusala pilot site but also to test a new planning method. Multidisciplinary student teams consisting of architecture, spatial planning, transport engineering, landscape architecture, geography, environmental science, sociology, culture, economy and communication students from three Riga based universities were invited to participate in the 6 months competition (2017 September – 2018 February).


The task was to come up with a development proposal for the pilot site taking into account the results of baseline analysis and the feedback and ideas collected from different stakeholder groups. In addition, different topics of interest were further discussed in several stakeholder workshops.


The competition was supervised by local architect studio. Jury consisting of persons from different city’s departments, users of Mūkusala territory and several professional architects and landscape specialists selected the final winner. All groups visioned the site as a multifunctional urban environment that would be organic for residents, existing and prospective developers and visitors. The city was very satisfied with the competition producing three perspectives and innovative and creative proposals for Mūkusala pilot site development.


Process of the student competition and on citizen participation & stakeholder involvement:
TEAM Nr.1 Rīgas Tehniskās Universitāte”

TEAM Nr.2 Latvijas Universitāte



Further description of the experiences: 

It is a great method to use for developing innovative and creative proposals for degraded territories. Knowledge, enthusiasm, unconventional ideas and a desire to do the best characterizes the overall development and joint learning process.


• got information about the existing and potential users needs
• new ideas which can greatly enhance the attractiveness of the territory
• by involving all stakeholders developer got the best possible solution
• gains a good reputation

• can influence the future development of the territory
• have been heard
• awareness that the user is able to influence the development process
• creates a sense of belonging to the particular territory
• promotes further interest in the revitalization and development of a particular area

• got realistic practice
• experience in team work
• experience in implementing real projects
• possibility to continue cooperation with the developer
• possibility to get new job proposal

• new professionals with experience
• improves young professionals' competitiveness
• reduces youth employment problems