Abandoned airfield revitalisation - placemaking based on the principles of nature


  • Anna Saurova


landscape, wastescape, drosscape, placemaking, airfield


During the last century, the landscape of Latvia has been strongly affected by the era of industrialization, which has left behind remnants of the former industrial boom: abandoned and ruined factories, hangars, railway sections and other structural elements, including mighty horizontal structures in the form of abandoned or unused military and agricultural airfields, which degrade both urban and rural landscapes.

This study is based on three basic aspects: landscape as a part of the quality of human life, waste landscape as an inevitable aspect of the human cultural landscape, and placemaking as a philosophy and a process of place transformation. Humanity is an integral part of nature, and the two constantly interact with and influencing each other in both positive and negative ways. Through the study of the needs of nature and people, a solution is sought for a harmonious and equal coexistence of both participants.

In response to the question of whether it is possible to create a new place with a new functional and sociocultural purpose by recycling and reusing existing degraded landscape structures, the author provides spatial design guidelines for the creation of a community village of aviation enthusiasts on the territory of the former military airfield in Vain╠žode. In the course of the research, it is revealed that by applying a special development strategy and using elements of cultural-historical landscape identity and placemaking principles, it is possible to give the territory a new identity, revive it by attracting people, and create a sustainable and self-sufficient community village of flying enthusiasts.