Innovative solutions for a green city

Dec 7, 2017

Perspective directions for green urban planning in Belarus were discussed in Minsk. International seminar was held within the framework of the project "Belarus: Supporting Green Urban Development in Small and Medium-Sized Cities of Belarus" ("Green Cities").

“If we want to live in a green city, we must understand that the old solutions are no longer working. We should look for new innovative approaches”, underlined Igar Tchoulba, UNDP Programme Analyst.  “On the example of Polack and Novopolack, we will be able to see how to solve modern transport problems.  In Navahrudak we are working on energy-efficient street lighting."

Representatives of Polack, Navapolack & Navahrudak -"Green Cities" project pilot cities were focused on innovative decisions on sustainable urban mobility and energy efficiency. 

“Everyone wants to live in a green city, but just few know what has to be done for this. We are grateful to the project for training in this area that has been held for local authorities and other stakeholders”, said Sergey Leichenko, First Deputy Chairman of Polack Regional Executive Committee. According to him, thanks to the project, it has become possible to combine the infrastructure of the two cities as well as connect Polack and Navapolack with a bicycle network.

On the first day of the work, the "Green Cities" project manager Iryna Usava presented the intermediate results of the project. 

Vicente Ibora (Spain), International Consultant on Green Building, spoke about international experience in developing national plans and policies for green urban development.

Luigi Sipolla (Indonesia), International Expert of the Sustainable Smart Cities, presented an overview of the best international practices for planning smart, sustainable cities.

The international policy on sustainable transport and mobility was presented by Frank Wefering (USA).

 The experience of introducing green urban planning was presented by representatives of Belarusian cities as well as by foreign experts.

Representatives of Tallinn (Estonia), Vinnitsa (Ukraine) and Gdynia (Poland) told about the ways projects aimed at achieving the goals of green development are being implemented in these cities.

Representatives of Polack, Navapolack, Novahrudak, Brest, Chausy, Vilejka - cities of Belarus which confidently began to follow the path of sustainable development- presented their activities.

On the second working day of the seminar, the participants joined the discussions that took place in parallel sessions. The focus was on the implementation by the cities of Belarus of "The Mayor's Agreement on Climate and Energy" initiative, as well as measures to reduce CO2 emissions through the implementation of green urban development plans. The "transport" session discussed the issues of sustainable urban mobility, the involvement of local communities in the implementation of relevant initiatives.

The participants also discussed the issues of green procurement and urban economy partnership management.

 After the discussion that took place on the results of the conference, experts and participants of the “Green Cities” project summed up some results.

The main moderator of the conference, Andrei Pilipchuk, Deputy Head of the Department of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Belarus: "Belarus has good prospects on the way to the carbon market, and the obstacles that exist are quite manageable. The main word that sounded today was "together." The main question is, how do we all coordinate to come to the right result. 

Vera Sysoeva, National consultant of the project on green urban planning: "Of course, some issues remain relevant - how to work in pilot cities, what target audiences should be involved. But for us it is important that both practitioners and theoreticians supported the idea of the involvement of the local community in the implementation of the project. "

Ivan Filiutich, National consultant of the project on energy efficiency: "We saw that the issue of green procurement for Belarus is not something abstract. Today, there are certain barriers to the implementation of the green procurement mechanism. Fortunately, new additional opportunities are opening to obtain green financing. Serious players are coming to Belarus to contribute to the formation of the market for energy-efficient technologies. "

Pavel Astapenya, National consultant of the project on sustainable transport: "Mobility is an instrument that cities should enjoy continuously, and it is a platform for the unification of all stakeholders. If we want to live long and be healthy, we will have to look towards clean public transport and bicycles. Mobility is prosperity."

The “Green Cities” project is funded by the Global Environment Facility and implemented by the United Nations Development Program in partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Belarus.

Contact information

ruslan.khilkevich@undp.org

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