Thursday, March 14, 2013
Summary of the Initiative
Ensuring the Public Space for Citizens was part of SPACES (Sustainable Public Areas for Culture in Eastern Countries) project. It aimed to add value to the SPACES project (which through cultural action approached issues of urban planning and policies related to public spaces distribution), namely to provide comprehensive theoretical understanding of the transformations of public spaces – an important piece in the democratic infrastructure – in several post-socialist capital cities – Chisinau, Yerevan, Tbilisi and Kyiv after the fall of the USSR. Public places are crucial - they provide sites for socialization, help accommodate differences, mediate and give visibility to political and social conflicts. The Opening of the Public Space for Citizens through Ensuring Their Engagement project will further support our efforts to elaborate concrete decision-making mechanisms and instruments through which local communities (citizens, activists, NGOs) could be given a voice in the process of urban planning and designing of public spaces open to people’s needs and interests.
Anticipated Outcomes and Results of Initiative
By establishing a professional network of researchers and activists in the region concerned with the issue of public space we aim to identify new spaces of possibilities in Chisinau, Yerevan, Kyiv and Tbilisi able to accommodate people’s and community’s needs. Further interested stakeholders from these cities, willing to support and produce the change, will be found and involved. One major result of our initiative will lead to empowerment of the local community and will increase its participation in the process of designing and organizing public spaces. Additionally new possibilities of influencing the decision makers and the existing public policies in terms of protecting, opening access to, developing and creating new public spaces in the region will be created.
Anticipated Impact of Initiative
This initiative brought closer decision makers, urban planners, activists and local communities, and created a framework for their collaboration. With the aim of improve the quality of life in urban areas more generally and of public spaces in involved cities particularly. It will open the access to public places to marginalized categories and will create concrete mechanisms for their inclusion. The working method and its results could serve as a model to be applied and replicated in other urban areas from the region.
This event was part of social study program organized in the frame of the EU project SPACES. The SPACES project was financed by the European Union through the Eastern Partnership Culture Programme.