Riga in the spotlight: About the urban challenges of a small capital city

Interview with Janis Ikaunieks

Janis Ikaunieks



Janis Ikaunieks


Director Riga Energy Agency




Riga, Latvia


What is it like to be the young director of a capital city’s energy agency? I found some answers when talking with Janis Ikaunieks. Janis leads the Riga Energy Agency in Latvia since 2 years. He told us how his agency is tackling the city’s challenges, which spots help him relax and why innovation is not always the first thing to do.

Riga is known for its wooden buildings, art nouveau architecture and medieval Old Town. But the city leaders look towards the future: Riga is one of 10 pilot cities who are developing and implementing pathways and scenarios towards climate neutrality within the EUCityCalc project.

The EUCityCalc project supports cities in data-driven decision-making: With funding from the EU Horizon 2020 program, the project will release the European City Calculator webtool. This is an open-source instrument with which cities can plan their measures to bring CO2 emissions down to zero.