At the beginning of May, the IN-HABIT project held a two-day site visit at the reopened and renovated Āgenskalns market in Riga. Here, IN-HABIT aims to promote healthy and inclusive lifestyles by developing the market as a multifunctional, creative food hub. IN-HABIT’s Riga team was joined by the partners from the University of Reading (United Kingdom), TESSERAE (Germany), and Book on a Tree (United Kingdom) to discuss and coordinate further transversal work on gender, stakeholder involvement, and communication.
The meeting started with a visit to the market during which the renovators and managers of the Kalnciema Quarter (KQ) market introduced the project team to the market and its planned activities, including its co-creation kitchen, e-shop, audio showers of Latvian literature, space for nature, and so on. The co-owner of Kalnciema Quarter, Karlis Dambergs, and architect Liene Griezite talked about the take-over and renovation of the market. Darja Trizna from KQ explained the planned functioning of the market and the broad range of partners whose involvement will help to co-develop the market as an educational, creative, and inclusive space for different social groups.
During the meeting, the project partners discussed the current situation and challenges in the four domains of IN-HABIT work at the Āgenskalns market: the development of the co-creation kitchen, the online food purchasing system, waste minimisation, and the transformation of the outdoor space. The development of the Āgenskalns market was reflected upon in a wider context of urban development taking into consideration integrated urban policy, cooperation, territorial development, and the mix of technical and social solutions. A separate session was dedicated to gender landscapes in Riga. Representatives of the Ministry of Welfare, Riga municipality, NGOs, and researchers discussed a range of issues linked to gender, gender equality, and family welfare in Riga and Āgenskalns, such as access to women’s health care and kindergartens, and building a safe and inclusive urban environment for women, the elderly, disabled people, young families, poor people, etc. Different stakeholders – nutritional professionals, researchers, chefs, entrepreneurs, and policy makers – joined a workshop in the afternoon to develop the concept of the co-creation kitchen. The working groups developed ideas on how to better use the co-creation kitchen for community activities, child and youth engagement, and the involvement of vulnerable groups. The lessons and proposals from the meeting will be used in the IN-HABIT project’s future research and practical activities in Āgenskalns.
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