European Regional Development Fund
European Regional Development Fund



Welcome to the 3rd and final UrbCulturalPlanning conference, taking place in Riga online and offline from 15 – 17 September 2021!

The central question of the conference is: How can cultural planning translate into innovative strategies?

We will be reviewing and challenging the UrbCulturalPlanning activities through its 2,5-year course, and will look at the future beyond the project – challenging and designing the programmes of cultural planning in the Baltic Sea Region!


The conference is organized by Riga City Council City Development Department. UrbCulturalPlanning project is funded by the Interreg Baltic Sea Region (BSR) programme and is a BSR flagship project.

In the conference, we will:

  • Look at cultural planning from a broader scope and formulate the approach to it within the UCP project;
  • Reflect on the various project actions, such as artist residencies, gamification and demonstrator projects;
  • Hear the stories from 10 different neighbourhoods and 8 municipalities around the Baltic Sea Region on their experiences and approaches to cultural planning;
  • Be able to test out various tools at the gamification studio by running a parallel programme;
  • Participate in guided tours through Riga’s demonstrator neighbourhoods – Sarkandaugava and Bolderāja;
  • Present various tools developed within the project, such as the Urban Toolkit and Policy Roadmap;
  • Discuss the possible future perspectives within the Hubs of Cultural Planning – a network launched to further the UrbCulturalPlanning energy.

A team of rapporteurs representing various sectors will reflect and challenge the themes discussed.

You can find the full official programme by clicking HERE.

The registration is open until 10 September 23:59, and you can sign up for the event in the form below or by clicking HERE!

NB! Please note that the conference will partly take place offline therefore a valid certificate of vaccination or past illness will need to be presented!


Christian Pagh – “(Re)forming communities”.
Reflections on practices of placemaking and the neighbourhood scale.

In a time when the world is facing major social and environmental challenges, Oslo Architecture Triennale 2022 spotlights neighbourhood as a place and horizon for rethinking our cities. With the working title Mission Neighbourhood – (Re)forming communities, the Triennale explores how we form the places we share. In this keynote, Christian will share his perspective on placemaking as an integrated social and spatial practice, focusing on how we practically can consider and improve neighbourhoods – and thus support everyday (community) life in cities.

Christian Pagh, urbcultural, urban cultural planning, conference, 2021

Christian Pagh (1975) is Director and Chief curator of the Oslo Architecture Triennale. Before joining the triennale, Christian was partner and cultural director in the Danish strategic design office Urgent.Agency. He has headed a range of projects within urban planning, strategic design, architecture and cultural development. He is an external lecturer in Copenhagen Business School and holds a master’s degree in Modern culture and Philosophy from Copenhagen University.


Anastasiya Matyushkina – sociologist, Phd candidate at the Dortmund university

Renāte Lagzdiņa – arts manager and curator with an MA degree from Hunter College in New York City. Currently works at the Riga City Council’s Culture Division and is the Founder and Executive Director of the urban garden and community project Sporta pils darzi. (She is interested in exploring social responsibility and the role of the arts in shaping and shifting humanity’s future through interdisciplinary approaches.)

Jaana Simula – former cultural director of City of Pori. Jaana has been involved in the activities of the Union of the Baltic Cities and in 2015-2017 as the Chairperson of its Cultural Cities Commission. Jaana is one of the founding members of the Cultural Planning Finland (2018) and since 2019 the chairperson of the association. Currently Jaana is working at Globe Art Point, an association advocating for cultural equity, diversity and inclusion in the arts and cultural sector in Finland.

Lucyna Kolendo – Gdansk based artist, working also as an assistant at the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdansk.


Inese Andersone – Member of Riga City Council, Chair of the Committee on Urban Development.

Simon Drewsen Holmberg – director of Danish Cultural Institute in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Olaf Gerlach Hansen – Senior advisor Danish Cultural Institute.

Magdalena Zakrzewska-Duda –  Senior Specialist on Strategic Partnerships, THE BALTIC SEA CULTURAL CENTRE.

Aleksandra Grzonkowska – president of Chmura Visual Culture Foundation.

Björn Berg Marklund – University of Skövde.

Lissa Holloway-Attaway – PhD, Associate Professor, Media Arts, Aesthetics, and Narration Media, Technology, and Culture (MTEC) Research Group Leader, School of Informatics, Dept. of Game Development, University of Skövde.

Līva Kreislere – architect and urbanist, working with Copenhagen International Theatre as UCP project consultant.

Kaspars Lielgalvis – cultural driver in NGO Free Riga, founder of art centre Totaldobže, part of Viskaļi team.

Oksana Denisenko – Vilnius Tech university and NGO Urban Stories.

Guntars Ruskuls – Riga City Council City Development Department Head of Strategic Managemnt Board.

Kasia Werner – social animator, leader of the initiative of Local Guides around Nowy Port. Co-author of the Nowy Port Guide. Member of the #zielonynowyport group. A full-time civil servant. UCP local coordinator in Nowy Port.

Natalia Cyrzan – cultural manager, head of projects at the City Culture Institute since 2012, specializing in art in public space events.

Yulia Bardun – curator, Baltic Branch of the National Centre for Contemporary Arts (part of Pushkin State Museum of Fine Art).

Lea Lükemeier – district management Kiel-Gaarden.

Diana Gerlach – cultural consultant in Guldborgsund Municipality and as project manager of regional strategic collaborations between cultural institutions and schools. She has many years of experience with children and youth culture and art communication from municipalities and art museums. She has focused on art and culture with children, youth and ‘non-users’ as target group, especially in collaborations between cultural institutions, artists, schools, kindergardens and language schools. In her work she focuses on co-creation, citizenship and an intercultural and social inclusive perspective. She is also organizing the annual “Dannelseskonference” in Guldborgsund.

Kati Fager – Coordinator for UrbCulturalPlanning project in the city of Pori, Finland. She also works as a Community Manager for co-working community Crazy Town. In UCP Kati’s main role is to manage transnational cooperation and the administration of local activities.

Harri Sippola – Harri Sippola is a producer and artist, who is working in urban development projects for both culture & business departments in the city of Pori, Finland. In UCP Harri’s main role is to manage the local demonstator projects.

Annette Wiese-Krukowska – Head of the department Creative City Kiel.

Sari Kivioja – Community Planner, City of Pori, Economic Development and Environment Division. Sari has cooperated actively In Pori DP activities and she is in charge of Pori City Centre Development Program.

Jekaterina Lavrinec – professor at Vilnius Tech University, founder of NGO Laimikis.lt.

Natalia Brylowska –cultural manager and researcher responsible for Cultural Observatory led by City Culture Institute in Gdansk.

Dorota Kamrowska-Załuska – architect and urban planner, assistant professor Gdańsk University of Technology, Society of Polish Town Planners, BSCC, CCI.

Hanna Obracht-Prondzyńska – architect and urban planner, assistant professor University of Gdańsk, Society of Polish Town Planners, BSCC.

Kerstin Liliedahl – graphic artist Sunscale Studios.

Trevor Davies – director of Copenhagen international theatre and festival art in public space Metropolis. Consultant in UCP project.

Dr. Živilė Sederevičiūtė Pačiauskienė – Dean of the Faculty of Creative Industries, Vilnius Tech university, Lithuania.

Krystyna Wroblewska – Baltic co-operation expert on behalf of the Baltic Sea.

Rūta Stepanovaitė – chairwoman at Lithuanian Council for Culture.

Dirk Scheelje – Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung Schleswig-Holstein e.V.



Moderator: Justīne Paneļējeva – Member of Riga City Council, Vice Chair of Committee on City Development, former Deputy Head of Strategic Planning Division, City Development Department

Technical support: Esporta skola


Mārtiņš Eņģelis – head of communication at UCP, urban explorer tourism critic and journalist, Latvia.

15 September


On the 15 September, guided tours will be organized to Sarkandaugava neighbourhood by the NGO Free Riga and Bolderāja and Daugavgrīva fortress by the festival Komēta team. From the main venue Viskaļi, we will transport participants to the locations and back to Riga city centre.

urban lab riga, riga, cultural planning, urban cultural planning, bsr, ucp

As an evening activity, after the tours, it will be possible to visit an event at Sporta Pils dārzi urban garden project.

If one is thirsty for more cultural activities, on the way to the hotel Stabu sēta, in Vidzemes market, one can find the performance When I walk in boots I found.

15 – 16 September


A separate studio will run a parallel programme in the venue Viskaļi. The studio space and its activities are organized by Lissa-Holloway Attaway and Björn Berg Marklund from the University of Skövde.

  • Minecraft Scavenger Hunt

The day and a half program will include a workshop for youngsters called Minecraft Scavenger Hunt. In this game, they will explore various locations in Riga in Minecraft space and complete different tasks.

  • UCP Minecraft

In a drop-in manner, participants will be able to test out the various Minecraft environments created during the UCP project – Rīga, Karlskrona, Gdansk and Kiel.

  • City Builders

Sarkandaugava, a neighbourhood in Riga, is re-created in a board game. A role-play problem-solving game will invite players to engage in discussions from different stakeholder perspectives.

  • Minecraft Riga – building a strategic road map for Riga

On the 16th of September, a discussion aimed at highlighting outcomes of UCP Riga Minecraft activities, defining learned lessons, opportunities, risk and developing a strategic roadmap for the next steps for Riga City to use the potential that MC can offer in urban planning and design, education, and youth involvement.

urb cultural planning, minecraft, riga, workshop, cultural planning, gamification, daugavgriva, bolderaja

All the relevant stakeholders would be invited to participate. Moderated by Justīne Panteļējeva. The session is in Latvian.

16 September

TOUR AROUND THE VENUE and informal closure of the project

The curators of the venue space, Viskaļi, will take us on tour around the newly established quality of life design institute. During the tour, we will be able to explore the building, surrounding areas, the gamification studio and take a look at the BSR demonstrator project documentation.

riga conference, urb cultural planning, urban cultural planning, cultural planning, bsr, viskaļu, sarkandaugava, rspd, free riga, danish cultural institute

If one is thirsty for more cultural activities at 19:30 Homo Novus international contemporary theatre festival performance – Witness Stand is taking place 10min drive away from our venue.

  • Schedule and participation requirements.

The conference will start on Wednesday, 15 September at 10:00 (EEST) and end on Friday, 17 September at 15:00 (EEST).
Please note – to participate in-person, a valid European digital COVID-19 certificate in form of PDF document or QR code, confirming the completion of vaccination or recovery from the disease, will be required.

  • Covid-19 regulations for entering Latvia.

As of 26 August, entering Latvia from the EU / EEZ / UK without a required self-isolation or testing are allowed for persons who hold an interoperable vaccination or recovery certificate issued by EU Member States, EEZ countries, Swiss Confederation, or the UK. For further information please check COVID-19 FAQ provided by the RIX.

For other persons a compulsory 10-day self-isolation after arrival and testing before and after entering Latvia may be required. For the current (26 August) entering requirements, please check “List of countries subject to special safety measures” issued by the Center of Disease Prevention and Control of Latvia.

Please note that the “List of countries subject to special safety measures” are updated weekly and the country-specific entering requirements may change. The latest list updated every Friday you can find on the webpage here.

  • Logistics

Arriving to Riga: the most conveniently is to fly to RIGA International Airport (RIX).
The Conference will be held at “Viskaļi – dzīves kvalitātes dizaina institūts”, Viskaļu Street 36 (RIGA).

  • TAXI

The best and quickest way to get to the venue from RIX is by TAXI (destination: 36 Viskaļu street, Riga). We suggest using Redcab +3718383 or Baltic Taxi +371 20008500 services only, approximate costs 20 EUR and the trip would take about 30-60 minutes depending on the traffic. You can hire a taxi immediately at the exit of the arrivals terminal.

  • Public transport

You can reach the conference venue “Viskaļi” by public transport as well. From RIX you can take bus Nr.22, then transfer to Bus N0.9 and get off the bus N0.9 at the stop “Krustabaznīcas iela” – about 3min walk from the venue. The trip normally would take about 1h15min to 1h30min.

However, when travelling by Bus No.9 from the centre, it takes bout 25 – 30 mins to the venue. For further information please check the public transport services webpage here.

  • UrbCultural SHUTTLE

During the conference there will be a shuttle bus taking participants from Riga city center near Hotel “Stabu Sēta Residence” to conference (on the morning of 16 and 17 September) and taking back to city center (on the evening of 15 and 16 September). After the closure of the conference on the 17 September, the shuttle bus will take participants from the conference venue to the RIX (arriving at RIX approx. 16:30 EEST).

  • Accommodation

We have secured 20 rooms for conference participants from 15 to 17 September in Hotel “Stabu Sēta Residence” (Address: 8 Stabu street), situated right in the center of Riga (phone +371 23225505). After registering for the conference, only then you will receive the price info and a special reservation code that includes breakfast and Wi-Fi. Payment can be made at the place during “Check-in”.

Also, there should be available many other options for accommodation in central Riga that can serve different tastes and budgets as tourism is not very busy these days.

  • Cultural programme

During your visit, there are two significant international events happening in Riga. 1) SurvivalKit is a contemporary art festival-forum, organized by Latvian Centre of Contemporary art. 2) Homo Novus is a festival of contemporary theatre. It is possible to fit some evening cultural explorations of Riga within our programme.

For convenience, we have added both events and the conference locations in a map below!