Seasonal residents and settlement in rural areas of Latvia
The new social stratum – seasonal residents has entered in countryside of Latvia at the end of the 20th and the beginning of 21st century. They have farmsteads, which are mainly used as a rest place at the weekend, holidays and/or summers. The most important criteria for the choice of the second house are proximity to the city, good road network, environment quality and landscape attractiveness.
The study is analysed the seasonal settlement from 4 Parishes in the cultural-historical area with mosaic landscape – in Vidzeme Upland, and 4 Parishes in the borderland in Latgale Region. Altogether 92 seasonal household residents have been analysed.
Types of the second home vary from individual houses in local centres and its surroundings to farmsteads in periphery, however preference by seasonal residents has been given to the farmsteads. They usually are located near the rivers, lakes, surrounded by beautiful landscape. Most of residents farmsteads is a family estate or home is owned by more than 20 years.
The seasonal residents are not engaged in agricultural activities, however usually land around the property is managed and the old buildings are preserved. In absence of seasonal residents the houses are preserved or they are looked after by neighbours. Usually the main home of seasonal residents is in Riga or other largest cities of Latvia. Further the majority of respondents in the future plan to continue to use farmsteads as a second home. The main factors of seasonal living in rural parishes are property ownership, landscape, peace and quiet.