Ludmila Aleksejeva, Viktorija Šipilova, Inta Ostrovska, Elita Jermolajeva, Dmitrijs Oļehnovičs


Within the framework of the Latvian National Programme EKOSOC-LV this paper focuses on the smart growth as a tool for regional development. The research aim is to evaluate the factors that influence the formation of  a smart territory and to estimate interconnections of quantitative indicators and expert opinions. The present study reflects the  quantitative and qualitative assessment of smart growth challenges in the region of Latgale (Latvia) on the level of 19 districts. One of the most important aspects of the implementation of the concept of smart specialization is the participation of all involved actors; thus, one of the solutions of smart growth evaluation is the multiple helix approach. By analysing and summarizing the aspects affecting smart territories, based on the theoretical principles, regional stakeholder’s (local governments, entrepreneurs, representatives of communities, scientists, general public) recommendations, taking into account the national strategic settings and the views of the EKOSOC-LV working group, smart growth index was developed as well as factor hierarchy of the smart territory formation and growth, on the basis of which the Analytic Hierarchy Process method was realized. Logical construction, monographic, analytic hierarchy process, statistical analysis methods are used for research. The quantitative assessment is based on integrated index (Smart Development Index) establishment and testing. The qualitative assessment is based on the regional expert opinions summarized by the Analytic Hierarchy Process methodology.  Complex analysis of the obtained quantitative indicators highlights the People and Resources dimension, but qualitative assessment underlines People and Economy dimensions as the keystones of the smart specialization of the Latgale region. The integrated application of quantitative and qualitative approaches allows a comprehensive assessment of the smart growth process in the Latgale region and its districts.

Keywords: multiple-helix, Latgale region, Analytic Hierarchy Process, smart growth, smart development index

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