Guntis ŠOLKS, Ádám NÉMETH
Abstract: The aim of this research is to evaluate the implication of the credit crash for urban regeneration in Riga. Examples of project development in urban brownfields and the implication of the economic downturn on them are analyzed in this study. GDP increment rate of Latvia was the highest among the European Union member states during the rapid growth of economy. It was mostly determined by rapid development of the construction and real estate sectors. High demand for dwellings caused one of the highest rates of price rise for real estate properties in the world. As a reaction to rapid increase in demand, development of real estate projects increased as well. Significant number of them was developed in Riga – the most important economic centre in Latvia and the biggest city in the Baltic states. Riga as a post-industrial city has significant proportion of brownfields, which are used ineffectively. The structures of these former industrial territories were formed mostly at the end of the 19th century and during the Soviet occupation period. Nowadays they are undergoing regeneration in order to construct new dwellings and commercial premises, because an advantage of these territories is their location close to the city centre. Latvia has experienced a rapid economic downturn, which has affected all economic sectors in Latvia negatively. Banking sector has faced problems as well, resulting in unavailability of the credits. Overproduction of dwellings and decreasing purchasing ability has caused the highest rate of price decrease in the world. It has resulted in rapid decline in construction sector, and the regeneration of brownfields in Riga is affected negatively, too. Several regeneration projects are suspended, but some have not been started. Many companies have faced bankruptcy, but, despite unfavorable economic conditions, some urban regeneration projects are in progress because of the decreasing implementation costs.