A block renovation pilot project in Lithuania2014-10-23
Working meetings of representatives from Lithuanian and German authorities on integrated renovation of whole blocks of buildings in cities took place early this week in Berlin. The first meetings initiated by the Ministry of Environment were held in Berlin a month ago.
During this visit the Vice-minister for Environment, Daiva Matonienė, advisor to the Prime Minister, Jūratė Juozaitienė, the Lithuanian ambassador in Germany, Deividas Matulionis, mayor of Utena, Alvydas Katinas, mayor of Birštonas, Nijolė Dirginčienė, vice-major for the city of Šiauliai, Juras Andriukaitis and the head of the Housing Energy Saving Agency, Valius Serbenta, discussed opportunities of running a joint pilot project for block renovation in Lithuania with representatives from the German federal ministries for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety and for Economy and Energy as well as the Federal Environmental Agency, the Development Bank and other bodies. The project covers three municipalities: Šiauliai, Birštonas and Utena with one block to be renovated in each.
In Berlin, Šiauliai vice-mayor Juras Andriukaitis, Utena mayor Alvydas Katinas and Birštonas mayor Nijolė Dirginčienė presented the planned block renovation projects. Šiauliai is planning to run a pilot project in one of its oldest districts, Kaštonų alley and its approaches. Plans are to attract private investors to renovate this block. Utena intends to reconstruct its Aukštakalnis residential district while the central district block is planned to be overhauled in Birštonas. These projects are expected to be developed later this year. Once they are prepared, specific financing issues will be addressed.
“Renovation of these blocks would become both lesson and model for other municipalities in the country,” vice-minister Daiva Matonienė said. “Lithuania is looking for opportunities to achieve maximum cost-efficiency when it comes to investing in integrated renovation in the cities and to make use of the block renovation experience from other countries. Co-operating with Germany is one of these opportunities”.
The Germans have already overhauled 80 per cent of their old residential buildings and boast vast experience of block renovation. Currently, the country runs 400 projects of this kind. A renovated block in Berlin visited by the Lithuanian delegation was evident proof that these projects have been a success.
Public information division
23 October 2014