Out now: The Country Profile of Latvia

ARL International ARL International
published on 24/03/2023

New in our collection of Country Profiles: The Country Profile of Latvia authored by Lita Akmentiņa.

The country of Latvia is interesting due to the comparatively novel spatial planning system, which over the last 30 years, shifted from a centralised, top-down planning system to a decentralised, integrated, and comprehensive system. 

Latvia became a member of the EU in 2004 and the planning system as we know it today, dates back to the first administrative-territorial reform in 2009.

Latvia‘s population density is very low (30 inhabitants/km²), with half of the population living in the Riga metropolitan area. This poses challenges for strategic and spatial planning on national, regional, and local levels.

The overall goal of the territorial development policy in Latvia is to achieve a well-balanced and sustainable development of the country. An overarching guiding principle for all development planning documents that the responsible institutions must consider is: "The Model for Growth of Latvia: Human Being in the First Place".