Latvia, Riga and Cesis

Event City

when 27 July 2012 - 11 August 2012
duration 3 weeks
credits 3 ECTS
fee EUR 635

Cities of the world are continuously undergoing transformations, and today urbanists argue that the era of large scale visionary planning is over. They have come to realize that taking smaller steps and letting everyone participate in decision making can be more sustainable – environmentally, economically and socially. Similarly as cities are constantly reinventing themselves, urban planners and architects are taking on new roles – next to finding balance between individual and common interests and translating those into urban form, they are more than ever before becoming initiators and mediators of both temporary interventions and long lasting processes. One side of this new situation calls for a “zoom in”, meaning a closer look on space, time and programme. The toolkit of an urbanist now includes small-scale solutions, pop-up facilities, flexible programming and adaptable design. Another aspect is repositioning towards user-oriented processes: being closely engaged with local communities, developing a deep understanding of their needs, providing them with more control over their environment, restoring old and creating new collective values. The third issue is regulating the spontaneous processes of a transforming city – changing rules that are too rigid and introducing ones that encourage entrepreneurship and interaction. During the Summer School students will be offered a wide program consisting of lectures and discussions, workshops and sightseeing tours. The first day of the Summer School is spent in Riga, in the capital of Latvia. A sightseeing tour will give participants an impression of Riga’s architectural treasures: starting from the historical centre of Riga, one of the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Sites, and ending with latest developments.rnrnLectures, discussions, project planning and workshops will take place in Cesis. Students will work in a multidisciplinary and multinational environment and look for different experiences, concepts and ideas, create their own visions and proposals for public space, built form, preservation and integration of new developments into the city structure. The results of the summer school will be presented at an exhibition and displayed on the internet.

Course leader

Toms Kokins, Evelina Ozola, Evita Serjogina

Target group

Students of diverse fields and specializations (architecture, urban planning and design, landscape architecture, geography, fine arts and social sciences), interested in the formation of urban environments and processes. Participants should have finished at least one year of studies by the time the Summer School starts and speak fluent English.

Course aim

The International Summer School is going to invite students of urban planning, architecture, landscape architecture, geography, fine arts and social sciences to co-create new urban conditions together with residents of Cesis, ranging from small pop-up interventions in physical spaces to further-reaching organizational “software”, searching for answers to questions: how can the city become more responsive to its residents? What circumstances are fruitful for participation and innovation? What can I do to change my city?

Credits info

Certificate of Further Education of Riga Technical University and ECTS credit points will be awarded upon completion of the program.

Fee info

EUR 635: The participation fee includs registration, tuition, accommodation, meals (breakfast and dinner) and social program. Students should be able to cover their own travel expenses and health insurance.


A limited number of partial bursaries is available.