Residential differentiation and mobility in post-Soviet city: the case of Riga, Latvia

Room K
Monday, 31 August 2015
13.00 – 14.45
mobility, Post-Soviet city, residential differentiation, Riga

The economic and social restructuring in Central and Eastern European cities since 1990s is producing socio-spatial differences. In post-Socialist cities residential mobility has been considered as a major process of adjustment, where explaining factor could be differences in social structure (Ruoppila, 2006). Significant feature of post-socialist cities is high share of owner occupied housing (Kovacs, Herfert, 2011). In the last decades size of population in Riga have decreased thereby have increased share of residents living in large housing estate neighborhoods (Krišjāne, Bērziņš, 2014). This paper investigates socio-spatial differentiation in Riga over the last decade and residential mobility patterns between neighborhoods using an empirical evidence. The aim of research is to evaluate socio-spatial differentiation and residential mobility patterns in Riga city. The changes of socio-spatial differences over the last decade were analyzed using Population Census Data from years 2000 and 2011. Socio-spatial differences between neighborhoods and mobility patterns were analyzed using resident survey carried out in year 2012 and 2013. Empirical data shows that since 1990s half of actual living residents of Riga have moved. 72% of population live in soviet time built estates. Moreover 92% of residents live in housing estates. Over the last decade have increased share of owner-occupied estates by 50.6 (2000) to 65.6% (2011). The author concludes that population of Riga is on adjustment process where residential mobility takes place.

Baiba Svane
Faculty of Geography and Earth Sciences, University of Latvia
baiba.svane [at]

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