About the area:
Riga is the capital and largest city of Latvia, a major industrial, commercial, cultural and financial centre of the Baltics, and an important seaport, situated on the mouth of the Daugava. With 709,145 inhabitants (2010) it is the largest city of the Baltic states and third-largest in the Baltic region, behind Saint Petersburg and Stockholm (counting residents within the city limits). Riga's territory covers 307.17 km2 (118.60 sq mi) and lies between 1 and 10 metres (3.3 and 33 ft) above sea level, on a flat and sandy plain.
Riga's historical centre has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the city is particularly notable for its extensive Jugendstil (German Art Nouveau) architecture, which UNESCO considers to be unparalleled anywhere in the world.
In 2005, 16.2% of the population was living under the poverty level, the highest of any European Union Member state capital city and the most vulnerable groups were children, young adults and senior citizens. Riga is also plagued by very high crime rates, between 1996-2002 it had the second highest murder rate of any capital city in Europe (behind Moscow), and in 2008 it was named "Europe crime capital" by Forbes.