Kyiv Day: 10 cool urban solutions of the capital
How is Kyiv solving the problem of transporting people with disabilities, what activists care about the city's cleanness, and why has the capital become safer over the past year? Rubryka explains.
Kyiv Day is held annually on the last Sunday of May. This year the date falls on May 30, but sports, entertainment, and cultural events were held not on one day, but throughout the entire past week. It happened due to quarantine restrictions; the authorities' decision to disperse the townspeople to avoid a new virus outbreak.
Rubryka as a solutions media decided to approach this day creatively and made a selection of the best solutions that have transformed and improved our city.
1. Kyiv, Wash
Almost a year ago, a Kyiv resident, Vit Onoprienko, decided to explore activism for the first time, by washing the pedestrian crossing at Leva Tolstoho Square. An employee of the local utility service called the police because of the "illegal cleaning" and the story spread throughout the capital: now activists are gathering in dozens to remove snow in winter, branches in autumn, clean entrances, street tiles, and trash cans from graffiti and transform at least part of the city.
So in small steps, buying detergents and equipment for donations, attracting more and more people to his initiative, Vit became a real city savior, the face of "Kyiv, Wash," an assistant to public utilities with whom relationship initially didn't work out, and a local celebrity.
2. Fighting "wet" hooligans
Kyiv designer and activist Bohdan Hdal lived for some time in the Holosiivskyi district, near the Teremky metro station. He, like many other building residents, was annoyed by the fact that passers-by constantly relieved themselves in the corner of one of the courtyards. The solution was to install cameras with alarms; to purchase them, Bohdan managed to raise funds jointly with his neighbors. The camera captures the face of a person who's approaching the place and turns on the siren. As a result, the courtyard became cleaner, because now the wet hooligans were frightened off by the loud sound and the fear of "turning up" on the compromising video.
This solution doesn't require much effort and money, but it'll help get rid of unpleasant "surprises" near your home.
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3. Neighborhood's design code
As it turned out, to make an area with relatively old buildings more attractive, you don't need to rebuild it. It's enough just to keep it in the condition it was originally in, carrying out renovations: painting, replacing tiles, repairing a balcony cladding, adhering to simple rules or design code. The same activist Bohdan Hdal "did a number on his head" and created instructions on how to "care" for the house facade. He explained how to care for ceramic tiles, deal with dirt and drawings on the walls. He gave detailed information on the paint, best to use for ceramics, where and how you can find it. Residents of the "honeycomb" district, or as people call it, "Pentagon," can be guided by the instructions and avoid strange color spots on the walls, painted over with ugly tiles or "rectangles" of plaster, which don't match in color with each other and with the facade of the house.
4. Recycled plastic outdoor furniture
The teams of activists "No Waste Ukraine" and "Agents of Change," with the support of Coca-Cola, have been actively collecting plastic bottle lids for several months to create street furniture out of them! The project also developed parts of a bench, which can also be used as part of a street urn, and a flower bed and the first benches have already been installed in the Intelligentsia Square on Honchara Street in Kyiv.
A similar project was implemented by the company "Dear Plastic": in the botanical garden named after Fomin, near the "Mario" restaurant, there's an alcove, where you can recharge your phone and take a break, also made of recycled covers.
5. Defibrillators in Kyiv metro
The idea is not new. Installing defibrillators is required by the rules of the All-Ukrainian Council of Resuscitation. However, this year they were installed at all 52 stations in Kyiv in the passenger areas and ticket offices, and now the chances of saving someone's life have increased significantly.
6. Alarm buttons and police call app
Another solution that can save someone's life and make it safe to walk through the capital's parks and streets is security buttons and surveillance cameras. The last of them were installed in the nano square of Sviatoshynskyi district on Akademika Vernadskoho Boulevard, between Deputatska Street and Peremohy Avenue; now there are 5 surveillance cameras and 2 panic buttons functioning there. There are also buttons on Smart street (Saliutna, 2), on the Alley of Artists, Landscape Alley, in the park "Volodymyrska Hirka" and "Sovki," as well as other places in the capital.
Also in 2021, the My Pol application was launched, first in Kyiv, and then throughout Ukraine. The volunteer project notifies of emergencies, has an interactive map with all police stations and hospitals, and most importantly, it has an emergency SOS call button, which, according to the creators, makes it possible to speed up the arrival of the police by 40%.
7. Kyiv region map for travelers
The Kyiv Regional State Administration presented the project "Travel in Kyiv Region," an online map with a collection of 3D tours to the most interesting places in the Kyiv region. The online map shows many locations: natural sites, religious monuments, museums, theaters, historical sites, recreational facilities, hotels, food venues. Such a decision not only popularizes the Kyiv region among tourists but also greatly facilitates many residents of the capital to decide where to go on the weekend.
8. Hand over plastic and feed the animals
Last year, the Yapomoga charitable organization installed an automatic machine in Kyiv that exchanges plastic bottles for cat and dog food. For the mechanism to work, you need to put a plastic bottle in a special hole in the box, and 50 grams of mixed food for cats and dogs is immediately poured into bowls. One of these boxes is installed near the Kotliarevskoho Park on the Lukianivska metro station at Yuriia Illienka Street, 71, one more is on Protasov Yar Street, and the third, according to the head of the organization Rufat Raimov, will appear soon on the territory of school #207 in the Desnianskyi district.
Similar solutions already exist in many cities around the world, but in Kyiv, Yapomoga was the first to install boxes with animal feed.
9. Social taxi for children and adults with disabilities
It's still an unfulfilled project, which the Department of Social Policy is only going to implement, but the pilot period in Kyiv has already passed. It lasted from October 1 to December 31, 2020, during which the social taxi transported 140 children with disabilities, making 600 trips to and from a specific destination.
They want to obtain money from the city target program "Care. Towards the People of Kyiv" for the new service, that is, passengers won't have to pay for the trip, but to use the service, they need to present an ID with a disability or pension, a copy of a medical and social examination certificate, a passport and an identification number, and also fill out an application. After that it will be possible to order a taxi, indicating your data, time, and destination of the trip.
10. Goodness baskets to get rid of unwanted things
You no longer need to rack your brains over where to put unwanted things; you can simply take them to the nearest "Basket of Goodness." These are special boxes for clothes; the charitable foundation sends the funds from implementing it to finance projects for environmental protection, protection of the needy and children, as well as the development of social, sports, and environmental infrastructure (installing garbage cans, arranging recreation and public areas, installing children's playgrounds and sports grounds for residents of cities and villages, organizing and promoting public events for the collection and disposal of garbage in forest parks and recreational areas, etc.), as well as the installation of new boxes. Now there are 22 of them in the capital in Darnytskyi, Obolonskyi, Pecherskyi, Sviatoshynskyi, and Solomenskyi districts. You can find a map with the box addresses on the charitable foundation's website.