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Coal-free port areas in Andrejsala and Eksportosta to be used for the city

Since 10 March 2019, when the last load of coal was removed from the territory of Eksportosta in the city centre, eco-friendly coal handling takes place only at Krievusala terminals on the left bank of the Daugava. The largest infrastructure development project in the history of the port “Development of infrastructure in Krievusala to remove port activities from the city centre” has not only cleaned the air from coal dust, but also made new territories available for the development of the city.

Currently, the freed territories of port terminals in Andrejsala and Eksportosta are cleaned up to rid them of the last signs of coal handling close to the centre of Riga. By removing operations from these areas, the port has granted the city new space for development. Now the city council has to decide about their best future use. “I can definitely say that Krievusala project which resulted in the removal of coal handling operations from the city centre has given the city excellent opportunities to grow and develop these territories of strategic importance in Andrejsala and Eksportosta,” says Gvido Princis, the Architect of Riga.

Every modern port city has to deal with issues that are related to incorporation of ports in the urban environment, and development of marinas and nearby areas. There are many good examples in Europe, where former industrial ports have been transformed into modern multifunctional space for people, offices and entertainment, as well as passenger ports for cruise ships and yachts, modern warehouses, eco-friendly manufacturing plants, and R&D centres. For example, in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Hamburg, Oslo, and Helsinki. 

Gvido Princis continues: “It is clear that in the context of Riga this area between the historic centre of Riga and the port on the river Daugava is unique.” There is a lot of room for development that promises banks, hotels and offices with a river view, entertainment hotspots and direct waterfront access. Besides, Andrejsala and Eksportosta are ideal for a new, advanced and eco-friendly infrastructure for cruise ships. 

Historians, urban planners and port development experts have confirmed that the Soviet industrialisation policies have resulted in an artificial separation of the port and river Daugava from the rest of the city making the local inhabitants believe that ports are not a natural pre-condition for continued existence of the city and that the public aquatorium cannot become a part of their daily lives. Returning such waterfront areas as Andrejsala and Eksportosta to the local people and putting them to good use will allow to change these perceptions. “The Krievusala project and removal of operations from the right bank of river Daugava have given us a chance to think about the development of local waters and nearby areas. It’s a huge opportunity and a huge responsibility,” emphasizes Gvido Princis.