Livani, a town of 11,000 in south-western Latvia, is discussed and examined in the view of its capacity to build a sustainable future in this and the two following reports. In this paper the role of the inhabitants is reviewed. The present situation is characterised as one of social discomfort and much passivity, reflecting a typical post-soviet Latvian situation. After the collapse of the Soviet economy, the unemployment raised to 28%, and population decrease has passed 10% over the last ten years. The authors stress, however, that new visions of development are possible and should be discussed with a broad public participation. The resources of the inhabitants include a long cultural and applied arts tradition, and that some 50 individuals are examined from institutions of higher education each year, as a detailed survey of education show. It is found that young, well-educated, and active people pursue local self-government, but they have insufficient institutional capacity due to the weak traditional, local political structures and network of public organisations.
Uppsala: Baltic University Press , 2003, 1. 15-20 p.