Polska pomoc


Design the Change: Revitalization of the Neighborhood Common Space in Gola Prystan, Kherson oblast, Ukraine

The Hola Prystan Raion (district and municipality) is located in the Kherson Oblast. It is a metropolitan satellite city, a place of leisure and weekend tourism for the inhabitants of Kherson. It has around 16,000 residents and about another 5,000 visit every year for leisure activities. The nature of its existing urban development and its functions predestine it for further development as a garden city, all the more so because of its status as a health resort.

The municipal authorities engage in social dialogue and are open to initiatives that promote budget transparency. The municipality’s development strategy for the years 2005-2015 provides for, among other things, the development of tourism-related services and for exploitation of the town’s tourism potential, including festival tourism. The persistently low rate of participation of young people in street committees and owners/tenants associations has been a problem. These organisations are often chaired by people who are also employees of the local administration. The project creators began their work with the premise that in order to reach out to young people, one should look to modern methods (digital tools) and try to turn consultations and strategies into practice (implementation).

Design the Change: Revitalization of the Neighborhood Common Space in Gola Prystan, Kherson oblast, Ukraine

The project was aimed at preparing local governments in southern Ukraine, primarily in the town of Hola Prystan, for the management of common public space and for the development of mechanisms for establishing social contracts regarding the use of such space. The project provided for the following tasks:

1.           Engagement of citizens in active dialogue with public authorities through the development of innovative tools for civic monitoring, which enables the reporting of problems in urban space. The project developed an online civic monitoring tool (http://gopriplus.org), carried out online social consultations, and organised architectural workshops. The project content was shared and commented on in both social and traditional media—both local and regional—and the events that accompanied the project activities met with great interest.

2.           Improving the competencies and authority of owners/tenants associations that manage residential buildings by including them in consultations aimed at improving the quality of urban space and by jointly drafting the rules for the use of said space. Individual residents engaged directly in actions undertaken for the benefit of urban space while owners/tenants associations took part in the second phase of project activities once the ferry terminal project was completed.

3.           Conducting pilot architectural workshops and holding charrette community consultations. Residents took part only in the final phase of the workshop, the presentation of its results. They joined in the discussion about the urban space and the rights to that space as held by the respective stakeholders (older people, owners of recreational plots, young people, vacationers, etc.).

4.           Strengthening the authority of NGOs and general social engagement by including NGOs in practical tasks that translate directly into the quality of public space and of residents’ lives. Training sessions and a workshop were held as part of the project, with collaborative work focusing on an environmental project (relating to protected areas), the remodelling of kitchens in local kindergartens, a ferry crossing, the engagement of young people and young leaders, in other words, on solutions that were practical and important for the local community.

5.           Promoting sustainable urban management that takes into account the town’s character, strategic development, the needs articulated by its residents and best practices from international experience in the field. The idea of sustainable urban management was promoted in the course of all the events aimed at the local community and other local governments (Nova Kakhovka, Mikolaiev, Kherson). The idea of a “green city” is consistent with the desired direction of Hola Prystan’s development (a holiday town with a diverse character located in a protected area). The idea turned out to be viable and will be pursued further in the following years through, among other things, the pursuit of environmentally sustainable responses to problems resulting from climate change (e.g. storm gardens, drainage, permeable building materials), with the involvement of architects and landscape architects.

The budget earmarked funds for small investment items, such as solar lighting, site clean-ups, hard surfacing of paths, urban greenery and landscaping architecture. One of the factors in the selection of the sites for redevelopment was the degree of residents’ involvement, including declarations that they were willing to do part of the work on a voluntary basis.

Design the Change: Revitalization of the Neighborhood Common Space in Gola Prystan, Kherson oblast, Ukraine

The project tested a methodology that employed civic monitoring, public consultations and implementation of public-space projects with community involvement. All of these aspects were well received: the local community participated in the implemented measures, comments in the mass media and on social media were positive, the civic monitoring tool was very popular. The implementation of the investment project—a light-structure ferry terminal with solar-powered Wi-Fi and lighting—chosen by residents was very well received. Additionally, the project enabled the development of an online civic monitoring tool that is also available as a mobile app. The launch of civic monitoring encouraged local NGOs to carry out thematic reviews, e.g. reviews of the condition of municipal transport stops and of city roads.

As part of the project, a 12-member delegation went on a study tour of Poland, and the town held a conference to share the project results that was combined with the official opening of the ferry terminal. During the conference, a report on project implementation was presented, as were the public consultation methods employed. As a result of these activities, representatives of local governments, non-governmental organisations, journalists and architects were able to learn about tools that serve to improve the quality of urban space and that can assist in the collaborative development of rules for the use of community space.