They made it right in the downtown, in one of the city’s parks, where on June 17 the installation named Svetosphery (lit. Light Spheres) was mounted and accompanied with music, a dance show, and even a poetry performance. Besides, during the Energy Days on June 13-17, Polotsk residents could purchase energy efficient household appliances with discount and take part in a survey in order to learn how to cut energy bills. Interakcia Foundation and Polotsk local government were the key organizers of the activities.
The Energy Days is a European campaign aiming to raise awareness about energy efficiency issues and promote the benefits of alternative sources of energy, such as solar, wind, or geothermal energy. This year, the Energy Dyas in Polotsk were held as part of PubLiCity project funded by the European Union. It should result in new energy efficient street lamps working in major Polotsk streets; some of them will be powered through sun and wind energy. Being the first Belarusian signatory of the Covenant of Mayors and one of the most polluted Belarusian cities, Polotsk is striving to decrease significantly the amount of CO2 in the city’s atmosphere: PubLiCity project had been launched exactly for this lofty aim. (Just recently Interakcia became the Official SUpporter of the Covenant of Mayors.)
This year, in addition to the traditional sale of energy efficient household appliances, which consume less energy but last longer, Polotsk residents also enjoyed a very bright surprise. It was prepared by future architects and designers, students of Polotsk State University: from recycled materials they created 7 original lighting spheres. In that way they tried to reform the urban space, make it more attractive and comfortable to locals.
Apparently, they were successful because no less then 200 people came to relax in the park and watch the spheres. But they could also learn Latin American dances, sing with a popular local cover band, while the most daring ones were invited to read their poetry at the end of the event.
“Svetopheres became the first idea realized thanks to Arch.Pro.Svet forum and this is just the beginning”, – says Svetlana Poddubnaya, Forum Coordinator and Project Manager at Interakcia Foundation. – “The results inspired locals and the creators of the installation. And now, we are polishing some of the ides that appeared during the forum. For instance, it seems reasonable to make more such spheres for future installations and from waterproof materials”.
What is even more important, students that participated in Arch.Pro.Svet prepared not only such short-term activities but also came up with long-term strategies how to improve lighting in Polotsk, including in its municipal housing neighborhoods.
Photos provided by Nikolai Krylov
School students from summer camps also had its own “program” for the Energy Days. They could participate in a contest of video and theater performances encouraging their peers to save energy and even ponder over such issues as global warming. The winners from the 16th school received their prizes at a special ceremony, also on June 17.
Finally, during the month of June, Polotks residents are welcomed to submit answers about their energy consumption habits. The Energy Days were also predated by a special event, an exhibition of green economy projects that the European Union funds in Belarus. Polotsk hosted the exhibition on May 28, on its birthday (City Day), and PubLiCity project was also on display.