19. Zaiga Krišjāne,professor LU, Pēteris Šķiņķis, professor LU. Urban system and development in Latvia.

Latvia is 64,000 km2 in size, with 2.25 million residents.  Of these, 69% reside in cities.  This level of urbanisation has stabilised over the last few decades, despite fundamental changes in population numbers and growth rate structures. Latvia’s network of cities has served as the framework for the settlement pattern of the nation.  Latvia’s cities are fairly evenly distributed; there are 1.2 cities  per 1,000 km2 of territory.  The average distance among the country’s 76 cities is twenty-six kilometres.

Latvia is administratively divided into 5 regions and 118 local municipalitieties.  9 national cities have their own municipal administrations:  Rīga (the capital of Latvia), Liepāja, Daugavpils, Jelgava, Rēzekne, Ventspils, Jūrmala, Jēkabpils and Valmiera.  Sixty seven of the Latvias’s urban centres (cities and towns) are municipal centres and house the administrative authorities for their respective surrounding rural areas. Seventeen cities sustain role of a development centres of regional level .

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