City quest, eco-competitions, bike ride - the European Mobility Week with the "Green Cities" project in came to the ancient Belarusian town of Navahrudak.
One of the days of the European Mobility Week was held in Navahrudak under the auspices of the GEF-UNDP “Green Cities” project. The project team brought journalists to the town where a full-day program had been prepared.
Drawings of Navahrudak pupils on the theme “Eco-transport of the future” were displayed in the central square of the city. The participants were able to vote for the most favorite pictures. These votes were then taken into account when choosing the winners.
Then the city quest started, prepared by the project together with the sports and tourism department of the local executive committee. The city guide told about the history and sights of the city, and the project experts at the same time introduced the work of the project in Navahrudak.
The quest participants started from the central square, where everyone received a map with tasks. The "Green Cities" project experts presented to journalists the "City Profile" - the main document created by the project on the basis of which the Green Urban Development Plan will be developed for Navahrudak. Sustainable urban mobility is an integral part of green urban development.
The participants of the quest explored Navahrudak from the side of green development. Experts told about the technical measures to be implemented in the city such as smart street-lighting, the introduction of smart meters for resource consumption in the residential sector. Investments in energy-efficient lighting will save about 596 MWh per year, which is equivalent to a reduction in current operating costs by 90 thousand US dollars. The pilot communities will get SMART-meters installed which will reduce energy consumption by 5-10%. It will be the first time ever when both in Belarus and as part of the UNDP project, the green procurement standards will be used to purchase energy-efficient equipment.
During the quest, the participants took part in additional activities organized by the local administration: they competed with swords, shot from a bow, listened to ancient music, dropped into urban art space, visited the Adam Mickiewicz House Museum, where audio guides and special reading equipment for visually impaired people were installed as part of the EU-UNDP “Local Development” project.
In the central square of the city, the winners of ecological competitions were awarded in the framework of the European Mobility Week. Presenting the prizes to the winners, the UNDP Resident Representative in Belarus Joanna Kazana-Wisniowiecki noted the proactivity and non-indifference of both the city authorities and city residents in implementing "green" projects and initiatives.
Before the beginning of the main bike ride kindergarteners of Navahrudak held a symbolic ride on kick scooters. All young participants received gifts from the "Green Cities" project.
The bike ride “SDG11 on a bike" went to the wind turbines installed near Navahrudak, where the presentation of their work took place. Today Navahrudak district is the only one in the country that gives electricity from renewable sources more than it consumes.
The bike ride ended on the central square of the city, where the results of the European Mobility Week were summed up and the last day of the campaign was announced – “Car-Free Day”.
At the end of the event videos taken by the students of Novogrudok on sustainable urban mobility were demonsrated.
UNDP in Belarus and the “Green Cities” project act as information coordinator of the European Mobility Week campaign in Belarus.