Daugavpils fortress redevelopment wins Council of Europe award

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The Landscape Award of the Council of Europe has been given to the project for regeneration of the Daugavpils Fortress in Daugavpils, south eastern Latvia, the Latvian Ministry of Environment and Regional Development announced October 4.

The Award was launched in 2008 and this year there were 13 applications from Andorra, Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Norway, Serbia, Slovakia and Spain.

The international jury decided to confer the award to the Daugavpils Fortress project for regeneration of a degraded symbolic landscape.

“Regeneration of Daugavpils Fortress to Preserve Cultural and Historical Objects” is a large-scale project which has helped people regain ownership of a highly symbolic urban landscape. It has enabled a new urban landscape to be created, with various services made available to the public for their well-being," the jury said.

The objective of the Landscape Award of the Council of Europe is to acknowledge exemplary practical initiatives aimed at successful landscape quality objectives on the territories of the Parties to the European Landscape Convention.

The project for regeneration of the Daugavpils Fortress is being implemented by the Daugavpils City Council with the help of financing from the European Regional Development Fund, the Latvia-Lithuania Cross-Border Cooperation Program, the Norwegian Financial Mechanism and the Latvian State Culture Capital Foundation.

According to the submission by Latvia:

"Daugavpils Fortress is the last bastion-type fortification complex, built in the 19th century, which is preserved in a relatively good condition until nowadays. After the Soviet army left the Fortress, its territory was not used; it was an abandoned, degraded and unattractive space of urban environment. The initiative of the local municipality was to define the territory of Daugavpils Fortress as a part of the city for prior development, including it in all planning documents.

 Several activities have been implemented: restoration of the Water Lifting Building to create Daugavpils Fortress Culture and Information Centre, reconstruction of the Arsenal building and improvement of the adjacent territory to create Daugavpils Mark Rothko Art Centre, development of public infrastructure of the Fortress by complex improvement of streets and construction of engineering networks and takeover, and proper maintenance of the ramparts of the huge fortress.

The jury made its selection September 27.

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