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In the Klaipėda district, exceptional population growth poses development management challenges

Representatives of the Construction Sector Development Agency (SSDA) presented the solutions of the Lithuanian general plan, the good practice of preparation of general plans of municipalities and cities, discussed the challenges posed by extensive urban development and the possibilities of their management during the training of members of the Klaipėda district municipal council and administration employees.

Klaipėda district municipality is one of the few in Lithuania where the population is growing. During 1996-2024 they increased by 22.6 thousand. and reached a total of 67.2 thousand. population.

This is a large growth that poses challenges for development management, preservation of uniqueness and landscape, development of infrastructure and quality of life.

“The attraction of Klaipėda as a strong urban center encourages new residents to settle in the entire Klaipėda region, and Klaipėda residents themselves to look for a quieter life in a cleaner environment on the periphery”, – the head of SSVA’s Urbanistics department, Mindaugas Pakalnis, assesses the demographic changes.

The data available by the State Data Agency show that apartment blocks were built in Klaipėda itself during the Soviet period between 2011 and 2021. lost about 15 thousand population. At that time, the historical city center was filled with about 2,000 people, and the peripheral zone – 12,000. population.

According to M. Pakalnis, the majority of suburban residents settle in agricultural areas, thus creating chaotic, hard-to-reach residential areas planned according to the boundaries of plots suitable for agriculture.

“In such settlements, a system of public spaces and greenery is not usually created, not to mention social infrastructure. Since the population density in them is less than 15 inhabitants per hectare, the amount of taxes paid to the municipal budget is insufficient neither for the creation of this infrastructure nor for its subsequent maintenance,” he says.

According to Mr. Pakalnis, by acting creatively, self-government can create various development management methods that are most suitable for local conditions. Municipal master plans could be an excellent tool to identify and legitimize such development management methods.

Unfortunately, as in many other circular municipalities, effective development management mechanisms have not been created in the general plans of the Klaipėda district municipality that have been valid until now, and the development possibilities are too large. The area of ​​the territories where it is possible to build several times exceeds the area of ​​the current city of Klaipėda.

The municipality of Klaipėda district, while creating recreational and other infrastructure necessary for the needs of residents, using different infrastructure development tax rates, aims to return the development to the existing urban centers.

Such development of Gargžda, Priekulė, Dreverna and other historical cities and towns of the Klaipėda district should be a priority, by mobilizing the funds and development contributions of the municipality and private real estate developers for the development of their infrastructure.

The Urban Planning Department of the Agency provides active methodological assistance to municipalities in territorial planning, urban development, urban planning policy formulation and implementation. SSVA advises Lithuanian municipalities, explores the problems of these territories and possible solutions oriented towards sustainability and the future.

When starting to prepare the general plans of their territory or parts of it, individual cities, municipalities must apply to SSVA regarding the territorial planning conditions for their preparation, and later also regarding the coordination of their decisions.

The agency aims to implement Lithuanian urban policy directions, solutions of the new general plan of the territory of Lithuania and other strategic planning documents and guidelines aimed at the sustainable development of the country.

According to the press release

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– 2024-04-17 06:50:49

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