Klaipeda residents need leisure and cultural spaces the most

More than 400 suggestions from Klaipeda residents were received by Klaipeda City Municipality, which invited residents to actively participate in creating the future of the city.

During 28 September to 15 October 2020, Klaipeda City Municipality has invited residents to get involved in the preparation of the strategic development plan of Klaipeda City Municipality for 2021–2030 and submission of proposals for the measures of the strategic development plan.

More than 120 people expressed their opinions, wishes and suggestions about what the city of Klaipeda lacks in order to make it more attractive to residents, guests, or investors. They submitted as many as 435 proposals, which can be grouped into 7 themes: infrastructure, urban spaces, architecture, pollution – noise, traffic, education, urban development, and management.

“The opinion of the residents and their suggestions for increasing the attractiveness of the city by creating new, high-quality spaces for their leisure, improving their quality of life and promotion of business of the city are very important to us. Only through common initiatives and ideas will the city become energetic, smart, inclusive. These are the three main strategic directions of Klaipeda city, which were recently approved in the concept of Klaipeda city strategic development plan for 2021-2030. The set vision of the upcoming decade provides new opportunities for the development of the city, enables the representatives of the city authorities to take more ambitious decisions and actions so that Klaipeda would be a city where one feels great to work, live, create and always want to return”, – says Klaipeda Mayor Vytautas Grubliauskas, while thanking the survey participants for their activity and important contribution to creating the future of Klaipeda city.

More than a third of the measures proposed by the residents of the city are related to the establishment or renovation and improvement of modern public, leisure, and cultural spaces in the city. Klaipeda residents are especially looking forward to youth centers, cultural spaces – museums, exhibition spaces, green areas for walks or gatherings, children’s playgrounds, and sports grounds. Residents of the port city would also like a water theme park.

The other (most) of the proposals are on the issues of urban development and governance. It is proposed to review the tax system for entrepreneurs in the Old Town and to promote business development in Klaipeda. Citizens want more consistent communication between city government representatives and communities, as well as more active involvement of residents in city governance. It is also proposed to expand social services, create benefits for citizens – to create a Klaipeda resident card, which would provide free public transport, discounts for visiting cultural institutions. Klaipeda residents invite to foster the city’s marinist theme, and to develop newly activated urban spaces (Dane river, Smiltynės).

Citizens also actively spoke on the topic of traffic regulation and road maintenance. It is proposed to ban motor vehicles in the Old Town, to solve the problems of Rimkai crossing, to restrict the movement of freight transport in the city, to install modern traffic regulation systems, to install a southern bypass, to improve street and pedestrian lighting, to increase the number of parking lots without destroying green areas.

Reducing pollution and noise is an important issue in shaping the future of the city. City residents are calling for a reduction in industrial pollution in the city by moving such industries away from residential areas or by applying stricter environmental requirements. It is also proposed to improve the garbage removal system – to install more sorting containers, to remove waste more often, to educate the public on sorting issues. Klaipeda residents offer to implement noise reduction measures and innovative technologies that would help identify and reduce the city’s pollution and odor problems.
Klaipeda residents also have suggestions on the topic of urban architecture. Proposals have been received to restore or demolish unsupervised buildings, to restore the uniqueness of the old town by renovating as many authentic buildings as possible. Residents of the city would like to intensify the renovation of apartment buildings, pay even more attention to landscaping, planting new trees and preserving old ones.

Improving kindergartens, schools and educational programs are areas that, according to the survey participants, should be included in the measures for the implementation of the Strategic development plan. The establishment of pre-school and school education institutions is highly anticipated in Paupis district, and in order to attract more young people to the city, it is proposed to renew the study programs of higher education institutions and change the image of educational institutions.

The measures proposed by the residents will be included in the measure plan of the Strategic development plan of Klaipeda city Municipality for 2021–2030.