On May 28, which had been chosen as the official date for celebrating the 1154th Polotsk’s anniversary, its residents discussed the route for the city’s first bike lane, participated in “mobile” and “energy efficient” contests, learned how to truncate their utility bills thanks to special online “calculators”, evaluated lighting installations that may appear very soon in major Polotsk streets, and tested solar batteries and an electric bike. These and other activities were presented in a “green economy city” that opened in Polotsk thanks to support from the European Union, while Interakcia had contributed to the organization of the event.
Right in the city’s central avenue, Polotsk residents could learn about and influence the results of 8 projects that help to preserve the environment and save finite resources. The projects are being implemented all over Belarus and all of them are funded by the European Union.
However, Polotsk residents had been already aware of two of these projects. One of them should result in a new transportation strategy for Polotsk, which will also concern the development of urban cycling, while the other one should help Polotsk modernize its lighting system by installing almost 1000 energy efficient street lamps; this should also reduce the city’s CO2 emissions. Interakcia and Polotsk government are implementing both projects in close cooperation.
And on May 28, Polotsk cyclists asked questions about the city’s first bike lane to representatives of Polotsk government and a local organization with the authority to regulate traffic. The participants of this improvised public deliberation also offered some ideas how to improve the lane, for instance, through widening some streets or separating pedestrians and cyclists on a bridge that is a part of the route. In a few days, all these suggestions will be forwarded to Polotsk officials for further consultations and then to Vitebsk officials (Vitebsk is the main city of the region) for final approval.
One more project being implemented in Polotsk thanks to the EU’s financial support will improve the quality of street and decorative lighting in Polotsk. On May 28, Polotsk residents could evaluate some lighting installationы for refurbishing the city. They had been designed by students from 7 Belarusian universities and architectural and design experts from Belarus and Latvia during the forum Arch.Pro.Svet.
Photos provided by Polotsk web portal 0214.by
“Green economy poses a challenge to have new rules, new technologies, and new behavior. Solidarity is also among the list of requirements. The EU has been assisting Belarus in changing the legislation, promoting efficient technologies, harnessing renewable sources of energy, and supporting local communities that are striving to become more eco-friendly, more “green”. When we choose ecological products, sort and recycle waste, choose bikes instead of cars, or just reduce our water and electricity consumption, then we become capable of raising quality of our life,” – noted Jim Couzens, Head of Political, Press and Information Section of the EU Delegation to Belarus.
Mister Couzens became an honorary guest of the holiday and planted a “friendship tree” together with Sergei Leychenko, First Deputy Head of Polotsk District Executive Committee Sergei Leychenko. The EU Delegation to Belarus, Polotsk government, and Interakcia were the main organizers of the event about green economy in Polotsk.