Thematic plan of landscape structures in the Babīte Municipality
The landscape of Latvia has built by the interaction between human actions and natural processes. The analysis of historical changes, landscape structure, specific elements, resources, nature and aesthetic values of landscapes are very important assets of the territorial planning and support of Landscape policy of Latvia which is based on the European Landscape Convention. The first aim of the convention is to encourage member states to introduce a national landscape policy that is not restricted to the protection of exceptional landscapes but also takes everyday landscapes into consideration.
To analyse a potential and ensure sustainable use of landscapes, as well as taking human needs into consideration a goal-oriented management of landscape changes is required. Nature, cultural heritage and landscape quality have a fundamental role in the Strategy of sustainable development of the Babīte Municipality. Identifying landscape structures of Babīte, the project team developed a base of information and recommendations for sustainable management of the territory.
To analyse a geomorphological structure of the Babīte municipality territory, identify characteristic landscapes and their elements in Babīte, as well as indicate areas with the highest potential for tourism and recreation.
Digital Terrain Model of the Babīte Municipality (lang: LV). Image: IES
By using historical, spatial and geographical data information, the project team identified specific landscape areas; classified the elements that characterize the territory of particular municipality; described geomorphological structure; collected and structured the protected areas and cultural heritage; identified the elements with the tourism potential; assessed the access to the water bodies; as well as developed recommendations for sustainable landscape management in the future.
The natural landscape of the Babīte municipality has strongly impacted by the evaluation of the Baltic Sea. It is located on two lowland plains – Tīreļi plain and Rīgava plain, which lie on the coastline of the ancient Litorīna Sea. The evaluation of the sea has also made the dunes (Nordeķi – Kalnciems and Krāčkalni dunes) and the lagoon lake (the Babīte Lake). However, the most important causes of the Babīte landscape changes are related to the human actions.
Nature elements in the Babīte Municipality (lang: LV). Image: IES
By analysing the types and area specifics of the landscapes in Babīte territory, the prject team identifies 11 types of landscapes and 45 areas with unique and specific landscape elements. Landscape types in Babīte are similar to the other landscapes in Latvia: urban village landscapes; polder meadows; rural areas; transport corridors; landscapes of services; rural villages; villages located in forest areas; forest landscapes; wetlands; rivers and water canals; lake landscapes. The municipality holds a significant bunch of areas that consist of unique elements, such as Straupciems, the Pavasara – Odiņu polder, Long dunes, Boži forest, Babīte-Spilve area etc.
Landscape types and specific landscape elemets in Babīte territory (lang: LV). Image: IES
Recreational, cultural and nature values of Babīte landscapes in nowadays (lang: LV). Image: IES
By analysing and evaluating the status of historical elements, spatial structures and recreational values of nowadays, the researchers developed the recommendations for sustainable management of Babīte landscapes. The recommendations consist of the following activities: new nature protection plan for Beberbeķi Nature Park; potential renaturalization of polders; restoration of cultural heritage (e.g. Anna’s church, Romu – Kalniņu camp, Baznīckalns, Babīte hillfort, Pluģu bastion, Sīpolciems camp); building of individual shelter belts; management and improvement of visual values within the landscapes; development of public recreation zones; planning of area development taking the cultural and natural heritage into account; inventory and research of historical elements; development of management plans for water bodies; research of nature values; surveys of war zones; building of polder history museum; status announcement of cultural heritages; placement of informational stands.
Recommendations for sustainable management of Babīte landscapes (lang: LV). Image: IES
Project duration: 2016
Project manager: leading researcher Dr. Anita Zariņa
Financially supported by: Babīte Municipality