Riga Planning Region
The region in brief
Riga Planning Region is the capital region of Latvia. Its central location amongst the states of the Baltic – bordering both European and Eastern cultures – has shaped Riga Region as a bridge between different countries and their populations.
Riga planning region consists of 30 local municipalities. Its area is 10,438 km2, or 16.2% of the total area of Latvia. The capital region is the most densely populated region, home to 1,089,960 inhabitants or 50.5% of the total population of Latvia. Riga Region is the economic centre of the country with € 14,480 GDP per capita and a concentration of 80% of all foreign direct investment.
The region is characterised by the dynamic capital city Rīga, where the impact of natural integration between various nations can be felt. Other cities and towns in the region are also significant – they include Jūrmala, Limbaži, Tukums, Ogre and Sigulda, as well as the rural environment that has not been touched by industrialisation. The region is given special value by its position on the coast of the Riga Gulf of the Baltic Sea, which extends to 185 km, as well as by its internal water sources. The Riga port and four small ports – Salacgrīva, Skulte, Jūrmala and Engure are also located in the region.
The blue economy in Riga Planning Region today
Riga Planning Region’s development assets within the context of the Baltic Sea Region are a green environment, creative industries, information technology development, and knowledge of foreign languages. These open up opportunities for development of knowledge-intensive production facilities based on chemical technologies and health tourism.
The Gulf of Riga is one of the most productive marine areas in the Baltic Sea - in terms of produced biomass. Innovative and sustainable use of marine resources is a key factor for the long-term prosperity of the region. The capacity of marine ecosystems is therefore already monitored and researched to maintain the longevity of this natural potential. A concentration of research and development resources in the region provides an excellent opportunity for further progress in the technologies - simultaneously promoting growth and protecting the environment.
Latvia’s RIS3 identifies the following priorities: high added value products, productive innovation systems, energy efficiency, modern ICT, modern education, the knowledge base and polycentric development in specialisation areas such as bio economics, bio pharmacy and biotechnology, advanced materials, engineering systems, smart energy and ICT.
The blue economy of tomorrow in Riga Planning Region - our vision
Riga Planning Region aims to use the unique resources of the Gulf of Riga more efficiently for the economic prosperity of the region. Within the framework of the Smart Blue Regions project, Riga Planning Region will elaborate the Blue Growth strategy based on transnational exchange of regional RIS3 strategies and innovative investment projects in the fields of health, energy and aquaculture by using smart technologies.
The natural resources of the Gulf of Riga give rise to new opportunities for the development of medical products and services. The treasures of the resort city Jūrmala are the city’s natural resources: an ionized and clean pine tree forest air, rich in phytoncides, a clean and accessible white quartz sand beach, mineral waters rich in hydrogen sulfide, bromine and sodium chloride composition and medical mud. Medical spa treatments attract tourists from a wealth of different countries and it is expected that the region will strengthen its positions as a health improvement destination in the entire Baltic Sea region. These resources also open up opportunities for the development of medical products based on marine resources.
Of equal importance is the development of a network of attractive and accessible marinas in the region (with up-to-date services for sailors and visitors) to open the gates for tourism and recreation.