At the beginning of May, the In-Habit project held a meeting at the reopened renovated Āgenskalns market in Riga. In Riga, the project aims at promoting healthy and inclusive lifestyles in Āgenskalns neighbourhood by developing the Āgenskalns market as a multifunctional, creative food hub. In-Habit Riga team was joined by the partners from the University of Reading (United Kingdom), TESSERAE (Germany) and Book on the Tree (United Kingdom) to discuss and coordinate the further transversal work on gender, stakeholder involvement, and communication.
The meeting started by a visit in the market during which the renovators and managers of the market Kalnciema Quarter (KQ) introduced the project team with the market and its planned activities, including its co-creation kitchen, e-shop, audio-showers of Latvian literature, space for nature, etc. 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, online food purchasing system, waste minimisation, and 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, building a safe and inclusive urban environment for women, seniors, 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 future research and practical activities of the In-Habit project in Āgenskalns.