Urbanistic forum about the problems and future of the country’s urban development2007-10-25
“The great boom of real estate, rapid development of urban construction, spontaneous expansion of suburban areas, transport-related and other current problems - all this reiterates how important the urban policy is for our daily life," said Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas in his opening speech for the urbanistic forum "Creating a System for Lithuania's Sustainable Spatial Development”, which was held today, on the 25th of October, in Vilnius. According to the head of the Government, in the formation of this policy the extra significant role falls on the capacity of public authorities, and active involvement of municipalities and the society is of utmost importance.
The forum called by the Ministry of Environment received over two hundred participants: heads and specialists from public authorities, county governor administrations, municipalities, architect and builder organisations and businesses, researchers, and independent experts. They discussed the evolution and the twists and turns of Lithuanian urban development, problems of related state governance and the topicalities of the housing sector. Guests from the United Kingdom, Austria, Latvia, Holland, Germany, Norway, Estonia and Denmark shared experience in their countries.
According to Minister of Environment Arūnas Kundrotas, this forum has been the attempt to join efforts in assessing the current complicated situation of the country’s urban development and to promote joint search for best ways of changing it. Many current problems are the result of state governance reforms. During 1990-2000, the state area planning system was cancelled in the hope that all will be settled by the market. Issues of urban development were delegated to even six ministries: environment, economy, agriculture, the interior, culture and finance.
Achieving sustainable urban development – this objective of state importance, in the opinion of the environment minister, can be successfully achieved only through continuous improvement of the planning and construction organisation system, and close co-operation between all levels of this system: architects, investors, builders was well as public and municipal authorities in charge of architectural, urban and area planning.
President of the Lithuanian Real Estate Development Association Robertas Dargis says that although the Ministry of Environment together with public organisations seeks to improve the area planning system, sustainable development must become part of the state's general economic policy. This requires a new urban policy and co-ordinated management.
Public Information Division, Tel. 266 3660
25 October 2007