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Trans in Form (TiF) - Count Theodor fon Medem interested in revival of Eleja Manor in Jelgava (Latvia)

In the end of March in Rouen, France, Chairman of the Jelgava Local Municipality Ziedonis Caune met with the descendant of Medem`s family – the count Theodor von Medem, who now lives in France, to discuss the future of Eleja Manor park. This issue has been brought forward in connection with the pilot project being implemented in Eleja Manor park within the Baltic Sea region programme`s project „Trans in Form”.

Count Medem admits that he could return to Latvia and resume development projects of his heirlooms, including Eleja manor. Already while living in Latvia (from 2002 till 2004) he had an idea to renovate Eleja manor and establish a hotel there. He has not given up on this idea and still intends to realize it in cooperation with producers and suppliers of products of Latvian biological agriculture. Moreover, when the French television featured his film about Latvia it created a great interest in France and evidences a potential tourist flow to Latvia.

During the meeting Z. Caune informed Theodor von Medem about the idea of renovation of the park and reconstruction of the open-air stage implemented by Jelgava Local Municipality. Currently the public procurement has been finished about the dendrological audit of the park and development of the design for the park landscape.

Th. von Medem has accepted the invitation to participate in the first festival of Jelgava region in the beginning of July in order to discuss further activities. Until then the municipality should clarify all the issues concerning ownership of Eleja Manor park and buildings. These issues have not been solved due to frequent changes of owners. The descendant of Eleja manor owners’ family plans to attract financing from the European Union, and his ideas are supported by the expert of Latvian art and architecture, director of Rundāle Palace Imants Lancmanis.

Count von Medem is representative of the Medem family, which lived in Latvia since the 13th century.

Duke Johann Friedrich von Medem bought Eleja manor in 1753. Marriage of his daughter Dorothea with the Duke of Kurland, Peter, in 1779 gave von Medems’ the title of the Dukes of the Holy Roman Empire and provided them a special place in the history of Kurland nobility.

Eleja Palace was built from 1806 till 1810. From 1840 till 1860 Eleja Manor ensemble was considered to be a distinguished example of architecture in the whole Europe. It embraced 19 buildings, a park, beer brewery, stockyards, stables, wind mills, brick and lime kilns, pond system, grove and 1500 hectares of land and woods.

Eleja manor was destroyed in July 1915, when Russian army burned down 18 out of 19 buildings. In 1925 and 1927 there were renovation projects developed, but they proved to be too expensive. In 1933 the decision was taken to demolish ruins of the palace. Several buildings in Eleja have been built from the bricks of the palace.

Nowadays Eleja Manor ensemble is a cultural monument of Latvia. Within the manor complex there have been guest house and theatre house restored, as well as the tea house, fragments of ruins, hillock and the pond have been preserved.

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Project acronym: Trans in Form (TiF)

Project title: Transforming rural regions by launching scenarios, new narratives and attractive urban design

Application call: 2

Priority: 4. Attractive & competitive cities and regions

Project website:

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Lead Partner:

Notodden kommune
Postbox 193
3672 Notodden
NO
Bjørn Frode Moen
E-mail: bjorn-frode.moen@notodden.kommune.no
Phone: +4735015150
Fax: +4735015010

Project Manager:

Notodden Municipality
Postbox 193
3672 Notodden
NO
Bjørn Frode Moen
E-mail: bjorn-frode.moen@notodden.kommune.no
Phone: +47 97053420
Fax: +47 35015010


Information Manager:

Baltic Innovation Group
Pulko g. 12
62133 Alytus
LT
Alf S. Johansen
E-mail: alf@nku.no
Phone: +370 315 50049
Fax: +47 913 37 013



Summary description of the project:

The partners in Trans in Form are local and regional authorities in Norway, Sweden, Latvia, Lithuania, Germany and Poland. In addition a Norwegian Research Institute.

These countries have historically and today again close relations. We see that migration and political and economic change in Europe is reconnecting the populations more and more. One of the investigations by the project was to find out how migration and attractiveness are connected and how change is influenced by it. One common problem for smaller places in Europe is the lack of access to leading networks and the lack of investments and national attention. As depopulation for smaller places and rural regions is a result of the ongoing European development there is a need for better development strategies. How can success stories be told and how can best practices help to raise awareness among decision makers and professionals in an international environment?

The Trans in Form project has introduced attractive and competitive concepts for development of rural regions and smaller towns. Due to the fact that smaller towns and medium sized cities are usually not paying so much attention to urban design and also disconnected from leading networks of architect and designers there was a need for a project which could connect places outside the metropolitan areas and provide international expertise.

How can smaller places learn from each other and from the metropolitan areas? Is it possible to facelift "ugly towns" through transformation and better ideas? Is it possible to make dull places more vibrant through a more condensed and conscious development?

The project managed to provide international expertise to the regions and local towns by organizing a range of transnational workshops which resulted in the creation of dozens of future scenarios and hundred of urban design ideas and drawings. The content of the different proposals were diverse, however some common principles are running though the proposals, such as; the compact towns with multifunctional space exploitation, the transformation of waist areas and industrial premises into new housing, shops and service premises, the five minutes walk, the importance and potential of social meeting places, modern lightscape and attractive pedestrian areas etc.


Achievements of the project so far:

The project has benchmarked the attractiveness of the partners through an "attractiveness barometer". This research was carried out and gave some very interesting findings. The ongoing political and demographic change in Europe influenced the partners regions even throughout the project. The research showed that the changes are so severe in some countries that local and regional growth strategies have minimal impact. It looks like the national strategies and macro economics are more important than local and regional decisions in some countries. This means that the attractiveness for settlement is linked to the heavy and fundamental structures, like jobs, house construction and communication, which are difficult and expensive to affect locally. The correlation between migration and the number of restaurants, pubs and cafes indicates that there is also a link between attractiveness and a “softer” kind of attribute.

The project has explored how storytelling can be developed through the creation of new narratives which are based on the change of identity and ongoing transformation of social and economic structures. This approach to regional marketing and branding is different from the traditional storytelling where established narratives are reproduced over and over again even though they are not relevant anymore and don't work. The TiF project introduced a more ambient storytelling which is more based on a contemprary approach, transforming the way people experience places by creating multi-mediated marketing campaigns using experiential methodology, shifting from consumer as the target to consumer as collaborator.

In "The Roadmap to Rural Highlight", the concept of ambient media relates to form and content, but it could also be ambient media technology.

The project managed to elaborate plans for investments in Suwalki and Jelgava and influenced signficantly the investments in Notodden and Tranemo. The INTERREG IVB priority 4 limitations to do transnational investments, did not make it possible to have support for hard investments. Suwalki City Municipality still managed to find funding by other means, and show that INTERREG planning projects can be used as a tool for investments.



Project Duration: Sep 2009 - Sep 2012
Approximate total project budget in EUR: 1.625.000,00
ERDF co-financing: 914.150,00
ENPI co-financing: 0,00
Norwegian national contribution: 255.000,00

List of partners

Municipality of Notodden
3672 Notodden | NORWAY
Postbox 193
Region: Sør-Østlandet
Contact person: Bjørn Frode Moen
Phone: +4735015150
E-mail: bmoen@notodden.kommune.no
Web: www.notodden.kommune.no
Approximate total partner budget in EUR:220.000,00
ERDF co-financing:0,00
ENPI co-financing:0,00
Norwegian national contribution:110.000,00
Telemark County Council
1702 Sarpsborg | NORWAY
Postbox 220
Region: Sør-Østlandet
Contact person: Bjørn Reisz
Phone: +47 35 584 451
E-mail: bjorn.reisz@t-fk.no
Web: www.telemark.f-kommune.no
Approximate total partner budget in EUR:30.000,00
ERDF co-financing:0,00
ENPI co-financing:0,00
Norwegian national contribution:15.000,00
Telemark Research Institute, Bø
3833 Bø i Bø | NORWAY
Postbox 4
Region: Sør-Østlandet
Contact person: Knut Vareide
Phone: +4735061500
E-mail: vareide@tmforsk.no
Web: www.tmforskbo.no
Approximate total partner budget in EUR:30.000,00
ERDF co-financing:0,00
ENPI co-financing:0,00
Norwegian national contribution:15.000,00
Østfold County Council
1702 Sarpsborg | NORWAY
Postboks 220
Region: Sør-Østlandet
Contact person: Kjersti Helene Garberg
Phone: +4769117000
E-mail: kjegar@ostfold-f.kommune.no
Web: www.odtfold.f-kommune.no
Approximate total partner budget in EUR:200.000,00
ERDF co-financing:0,00
ENPI co-financing:0,00
Norwegian national contribution:100.000,00
Indre Østfold Regional Council
1803 Askim | NORWAY
Postboks 1004
Region: Sør-Østlandet
Contact person: Alf S. Johansen
Phone: +4769817508
E-mail: alf@bedriftsenteret.no
Web: www.smaalensveven.no/
Approximate total partner budget in EUR:30.000,00
ERDF co-financing:0,00
ENPI co-financing:0,00
Norwegian national contribution:15.000,00
Regional Planning Authority Havelland-Flaeming
D-14513 Teltow | GERMANY
Oderstraße 65
Region: Brandenburg - Südwest
Contact person: Torsten Naubert
Phone: + 49 (0)3328 3354-12
E-mail: torsten.naubert@havelland-flaeming.de
Web: www.havelland-flaeming.de
Approximate total partner budget in EUR:74.715,00
ERDF co-financing:56.036,00
ENPI co-financing:0,00
Norwegian national contribution:0,00
Municipality of Tranemo
51480 Tranemo kommun | SWEDEN
Storgatan 26
Region: Västsverige
Contact person: Karin Stenman
Phone: +46325576026
E-mail: karin.stenman@tranemo.se
Web: www.tranemo.se
Approximate total partner budget in EUR:120.000,00
ERDF co-financing:90.000,00
ENPI co-financing:0,00
Norwegian national contribution:0,00
VidzemePlanning Region
LV-4101 Cesis | LATVIA
Bērzaines iela 5
Region: Latvija
Contact person: Laila Gercane
Phone: +37164127846
E-mail: laila.gercane@vidzeme.lv
Web: www.vidzeme.lv
Approximate total partner budget in EUR:200.000,00
ERDF co-financing:170.000,00
ENPI co-financing:0,00
Norwegian national contribution:0,00
Jelgava Local Municipality
LV-3001 Jelgava | LATVIA
Pasta iela 37
Region: Latvija
Contact person: Vita Kinderevica
Phone: +37163022751
E-mail: vita.kinderevica@jrp.lv
Web: www.jelgavasnovads.lv
Approximate total partner budget in EUR:200.000,00
ERDF co-financing:170.000,00
ENPI co-financing:0,00
Norwegian national contribution:0,00
Alytus County Governor's Administration
LT-62113 Alytus | LITHUANIA
Tvirtoves st. 1/Naujoji st. 2
Region: Lietuva
Contact person: Vilija Vervečkienė
Phone: +370 315 56985
E-mail: apskritis@alytus.aps.lt
Web: http://www.alytus.aps.lt
Approximate total partner budget in EUR:11.737,00
ERDF co-financing:9.976,00
ENPI co-financing:0,00
Norwegian national contribution:0,00
Municipality of Suwalki
16400 Suwalki | POLAND
1 Mickiewicza street
Region: Podlaskie
Contact person: Ewelina A. Suchocka
Phone: +48875628136
E-mail: esuchocka@um.suwalki.pl
Web: www.um.suwalki.pl
Approximate total partner budget in EUR:279.000,00
ERDF co-financing:237.150,00
ENPI co-financing:0,00
Norwegian national contribution:0,00
Joniskis district municipality administration
LT-84124 Joniškis | LITHUANIA
Livonijos st. 4
Region: Lietuva
Contact person: Vilija Aleksienė
Phone: +370 426 52091
E-mail: vilija.aleksiene@joniskis.lt
Web: http://www.joniskis.lt
Approximate total partner budget in EUR:88.262,00
ERDF co-financing:75.023,00
ENPI co-financing:0,00
Norwegian national contribution:0,00
City of Trebbin
14959 Trebbin | GERMANY
Markt 1-3
Region: Brandenburg - Südwest
Contact person: Thomas Berger
Phone: +49 033731/230911
E-mail: thomas.berger@stadt-trebbin.de
Web: http://www.stadt-trebbin.de/
Approximate total partner budget in EUR:141.284,00
ERDF co-financing:105.963,00
ENPI co-financing:0,00
Norwegian national contribution:0,00