Fostering Public Space Accessibility through Innovative Public Consultations and Tangible Improvements in Nova Kakhovka

  • UkraineCountry
  • Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI)Donor
  • ENGLanguage
  • social involvementPublic spacecapacity buildingTopics

The Applicant/ Leader (in English)

Regional Development Centre ‘Top-Kaya’ 

The Applicant/ Leader (in local language)

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Background of the applicant

Regional Development Centre "Top-Kaya" is originally a Crimean NGO (est. in 2008) with proven experience of capacity building, network development, information campaigns, etc.; more than 20 partner projects (including international) and 100+ trainings; successful examples of intersectoral partnership development (long-term strategies, communication plans, branding for territories). In 2014, following the annexation of Crimea, Top-Kaya was forced to move out from Crimea, and reregistered in Chernivtsi, though still focusing in its projects on the South of Ukraine and undertaking efforts to maintain Crimea on the agenda of the Ukrainian civil society.

Nova Kakhovka became one of the TK’s partner localities under the “BRD-NET: Transfer of Visegrad experience in regional development to Black Sea EaP countries” project implemented simultaneously in three countries (Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia) under TK’s leadership. The project included an online course on project development followed by offline training, local networking and partnership-building events (Dialogues of Partners) and Local Development Groups aimed at identifying and solving specific problems. The project gave birth to further partnership and initiatives, in particular in Hola Prystan and Nova Kakhovka of Kherson oblast, whose civic activists and local authorities expressed the desire to pilot public consultation projects and incorporate such innovative methodologies into their relations with local communities and administrative practices.

Applicant's legal status & registration data

NGO
2008

Registration & postal address

2, Lomonosova Street, Chernivtsi , 58000, Ukraine

Applicant's email & phone

+38 066 22 77 220

info@develop.org.ua    

Applicant's website/s or facebook

Contact Person for this Project

Vyacheslav Toporov

Title/function: Head of Board

Address:         

2, Lomonosova Street, Chernivtsi , 58000, Ukraine

Phone:            +38 066 22 77 220

E-mail:  vtoporov@gmail.com

Project location

City/village: Nova Kakhovka

State: Kherson oblast

Country: Ukraine

Project Start & End Date:

2016

The project will be implemented over seven (7) months.

Target groups & final beneficiaries:

The total number of beneficiaries of the small tangible infrastructure investments is evaluated at least up to 15-20,000 people, including the groups with limited mobility, i.e. mothers with small children, seniors, disabled, but also other local population using public spaces, especially children and youth. The share of women/girls is estimated as 60-65%.

In addition, at least 40 staff of local government bodies, NGOs, students, activists will acquire new knowledge and skills within the workshops. The total number of charrette participants is planned as high as 200-300 persons.

Overall objective or goal

1.           CFLI Priority: 

X Championing inclusive and accountable governance, peaceful pluralism and respect for diversity, and human rights;

Description of the activities

The purpose of the project is to promote an inclusive and accountable functioning model of public consultations on local development issues, with the main objective to bring up public space accessibility problems to the local development agenda and to pilot several small investments to improve the accessibility of public spaces, in particular for seniors, mothers with little children, and people with disabilities.

Within the project, it is planned to:

-               Create and maintain a special section on accessibility issues on the public consultation website that will shortly be set up for wider consultation purposes in Nova Kakhovka (similar to the existing consultation site in Hola Prystan www.gopriplus.org)

-               Make an audit and integrate accessibility tools/assistive technologies, e.g. for people with visual impairment or unable to use keyboard, into older information/consultation/public relation instruments used in the community (relevant websites of local authorities, communal services, NGOs and associations, etc.) and the new website

-               Gather and analyse the alerts concerning accessibility issues in Nova Kakhovka, submitted by local residents to public consultation website through web or mobile devices

-               Carry out voting/selection of top priority accessibility issues and their possible solutions (web-based voting will be supplemented by sms/paper votes to widen the audience and reach out to those whose are less familiar with modern technologies)

-               Carry out 2 open charrette-type consultation with involvement of local stakeholders (primarily potential end users, but also other members of community, local businesses, authorities and third sector) and young architects/engineers who can suggest easy modern public space solutions incorporating suggestions of various stakeholders

-               Implement 2-5 small investments improving public space accessibility (depending on the required cost of each investment)

-               Organize a widely publicised Public Space Accessibility Day in Nova Kakhovka to both raise the problems of accessibility, and attract the attention of citizens, regional and national media to easy affordable modern solutions of accessibility issues

-               Carry out at least 2 open architectural/engineering/civic activity workshops for students/young professionals/volunteers on public space improvement, local urban space activism and accessibility issues

-               Organize a closing conference/press-conference to sum up the results of the project and ensure wide media coverage and promotion of the results

Outputs or immediate project products or results:

-               A functioning instrument of public consultation and accumulated practical experience of using this instrument by the local community

-               Tangible changes of the local public space allowing better accessibility for groups whose mobility was previously limited by public space infrastructure

-               Improved public awareness of accessibility issues, but more importantly of possible easy solutions and their impact on the quality of life

-               A pool of activists and professionals who will further work on improving public space and its accessibility for diverse groups in Ukrainian communities

Outcomes or long-term results of the project:

It is also expected that the improvement of accessibility (depending on the type of improvements that will be chosen by residents) may positively impact on security (for instance, adaptation of road crossing for strollers and wheel chairs may improve the safety of pedestrians in general), social awareness and cohesion (public spaces become meeting/mixing points for diverse groups who learn to accept and interact with each other; this is all the more important given the number of internally displaced people who need to be integrated into the local community, but also injured/disabled people returning from ATO zone in the East). The project in general will further promote inclusive and accountable decision-making (people get experience of advocating for their needs and obtaining tangible results) and volunteerism (activists get to know each other and learn how to reach their joint objectives). Accessibility issues will be integrated into the agenda of the local community/authorities, and the voice of disabled/impaired people will become better heard thanks to the incorporation of assistive technologies.

Project Management: roles responsibilities of the applicant and the partner/s:

Tetiana Lapenko, responsible for the overall coordination of the project on behalf of RDC Top-Kaya

Vyacheslav Kosteniuk, responsible for local coordination of project implementation, moderator of events

Lech Siedelnik, expert in charge of website management/administration, assistive technologies

Vyacheslav Toporov, expert in charge of analysis, strategic prioritization, co-moderator of events

Wojtek Szpochynski, expert in charge of charrette consultations

Dmytro Gruzinski, expert in charge of technical/engineering control of small investment

Evgeniia Oliinyk, expert in charge of public communication and event organization

Risks & risk-mitigation measures

The risks are mainly related to the overall political and socio-economic situation in the country. Serious escalation of the conflict in the East or near the administrative border of the temporarily occupied Crimea (which is 70 km south of Nova Kakhovka), which cannot be entirely excluded at this moment, may seriously affect the priorities of the society. However, focusing on people with limited mobility whose needs will not disappear in any case, means that the relevance of the project will not be affected. On the contrary, demonstrating modern inclusive human-oriented approaches to public space may positively influence on the public opinion in such a region adjacent to the occupied Crimea.

Another risk are the financial fluctuations linked to unstable Ukrainian hryvnia and the macro-economic situation in general. Possible problems in this regard will be resolved by reviewing and reducing the planned activities (i.e. selecting less investments to implement, organizing less events and therefore reaching less people) but remaining well focused on the results and implementing the whole chain “consultations -tangible investment-promotion” to reach the main objective.

Certain risks exist at the local level, such as misunderstanding and even counterwork of certain local stakeholders who would consider that other issues should be prioritized. The risk will be alleviated through maximum information and explanation, involvement and reflection of all interests in the discussion, and finding compromises. Possible opponents may even become enthusiastic supporters when they see a wider effect of the public space improvement: as Nova Kakhovka and the adjacent area is becoming more and more attractive as a vacation destination in summer, improved accessibility and friendly public spaces may have a positive impact on medium and small local businesses and private housing providers, who will in their turn further improve public spaces.

The project will also be implemented in close coordination with local government’s units in charge of urban planning and communal services, in order to avoid any potential risks/conflicts in terms of authorizations, construction/repairs activities, ownership of created pieces of infrastructure, etc.

Project sustainability

After the end of the project, the local community will be in charge of maintaining the improved public spaces (directly and through municipal services) and is expected to continue such improvements using their own resources (volunteers, local budget, donations).

Cross-cutting issues & project & added-value & gender & environmental & PWDs & innovation employed

·             Describe any possible environmental impacts or benefits the project might have.

All potential public space improvement will be done with account of the best world practices, green approach and environmental friendliness. These may include, for example, renewable energy (sun batteries), effective use of vegetation, modern and/or local materials to reduce the carbon footprint, etc.

Certain improvements of accessibility (e.g. adapted road-crossings), if decided by the community, will make non-motorized vehicles more easy to use and therefore more attractive, which will reduce noise and traffic pollution. In addition, better-quality public spaces tend to stimulate further cleaning/improvement of the areas around, including green spaces, water flows, river banks, thus multiplying the positive environmental impact.

As one of the target groups of the project are mothers with small children, on one hand, and statistically there are more women among Ukrainian pensioners, on the other, the project will certainly have a primary positive impact on women. On the other hand, special efforts will be made in order to involve women into other activities of the project, especially linked to decision-making, in order to push for their more active participation, ensuring relevance of adopted decisions to their needs and, in the long run, fostering their further empowerment in local governance in the context of decentralization reforms.