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PubLiCity: Energy Efficient Modernization of Public Lighting in the City of Polotsk

Соглашение Мэров      

The project aims to modernize Polotsk’s municipal lighting system by raising its energy efficiency and to encourage other Belarusian cities to achieve similar improvements. In the course of the project, more than 1000 modern lamps will be installed in Polotsk’s central streets. This should allow to decrease by more than 750 tons the amount of CO2 emissions Polotsk spews annually. And Polotsk’s Lighting Development Strategy will ensure further modernization until 2030.




In 2011, Polotsk was the first Belarusian city that joined the Covenant of Mayors, and therefore, became one of more than 6000 European cities aiming to reduce carbon dioxide emissions through cutting energy consumption and by switching to alternative energy resources. Energy efficient city lighting perfectly comports with these principles. This large-scale project should also give Polotsk residents stimuli to save electricity. Moreover, dozens of Belarusian cities will learn about the project and its results. Therefore, Polotsk will make a significant contribution to the sustainable development of Belarus,” – Sergei Leichenko, Deputy Chairman of Polotsk District Executive Committee.




The Covenant of Mayors is the mainstream European movement, involving local and regional authorities, voluntarily committing to reduce CO2 emissions by 20% or more trough developing green economy and promoting higher standards of life. To realize this aim, a new signatory of the Covenant of Mayors must prepare its own Sustainable Energy Action Plan. Polotsk finalized such a plan in 2012, thanks to the project SURE, which had been also funded by the European Union. 

The Polotsk Sustainable Energy Action Plan includes measures to increase energy efficiency of municipal buildings and enterprises, to generate more renewable energy, to widen urban green zones, to streamline the municipal public transportation. The PubLiCity project should also enable Polotsk to live up to the commitment it made in accordance with the Covenant of Mayors principles. 

Today, the initiative has the new name — Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy. New aims were brought with the new name: earlier, the Covenant signatories were striving to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 20% by 2020, and now, they are aiming at more ambitious and lofty 40% (that shoud be achieved until 2030, however). 

Today, 11 Belarusian cities support the Covenant of Mayors: Beryoza, Braslav, Brest, Chausy, Glubokoe, Kobryn, Novogrudok, Oshmyany, Polotsk, Pukhovichi, and Rogachev. While Interakcia Foundation is now the Official Supporter of the Covenant of Mayors in Belarus. Learn more



    New covenant of mayors 

Pictures taken from the website of the Covenant of Mayors




Modernization of the municipal lighting system


Such improvements should enable Polotsk to reduce energy consumption by no less than 1600 MWh (around 15%) and reach a reduce in carbon dioxide emissions of more than 750 tons, compared to the respective levels of 2010. The ultimate project’s results will be determined through a special energy audit.




Preparation of the Lighting Development Strategy until 2030



Dissemination of the project’s results across Belarusian cities



By supporting “green” initiatives and changing everyday habits, urbanites can determine the level of energy their city consumes. Therefore, the project will introduce Local Energy Days in Polotsk within the framework of the European Sustainable Energy Week, festivals about energy efficiency in modern cities.

Local Energy Days will feature exhibitions, conferences, study visits, and flash mobs about energy saving both at home and in the workplace. These events will be organized for Polotsk residents, representatives of Belarusian municipalities, entrepreneurs, and environmental NGOs. 




  • In September 2015, Polotsk hosted a conference on the sustainable development of urban energy systems where PubLiCity project was also presented. Respresentatives of 17 Belarusian cities attended the event. Learn more 


  • In November and December 2015, more than 2500 Polotsk residents answered to the questions of a survey about the city’s street lighting. In addition, experts from Polotsk State University performed an energy audit of 40 major streets in Polotsk. The received results should help to determine more effectively locations for new street lamps and evaluate the efficiency of the entire project. Learn more  


  • During April 4-10, 2016, student teams worked on improvements for Polotsk’s lighting system at the architectural forum Arkh.Pro.Svet in Polotsk. The students were guided by professional architects and designers from Belarus and Latvia (have at the forum's results on a special presentation website). The most interesting and realistic students’ projects may inform certain activities of PubLiCity project or even become part of Polotsk’s Lighting Development Strategy until 2030. Learn more


A short fun video about the forum


  • On May 28, 2016, the project was presented at the special event named Green Economy As a Belarusian cultural Code that was held right during Polotsk City Day. At the event, Polotsk residents could learn how Belarusian local governments, civil society organizations, businesses, and the European Union are cooperating together in order to bolster the development of green economy, a type of economy that reconciles growth and environmental preservation.

Such an event with several EU-funded green economy projects on display was mounted for the first time; however, the EU Delegation to Belarus found it succesful and decided to continue with a series of similar activities around different Belarusian regions. Learn more


  • On June 13-17, 2016, Polotsk hosted Energy Days, related to European Sustainable Energy Week. In one of the city’s parks, 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, 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. Learn more






The Polotsk Sustainable Energy Group will be coordinating the project. The Group already has members representing Polotsk's government and the city's communal services agencies. In the course of the project, it should expand thanks to representatives of the Vitebsk region’s authority and state organizations dealing with energy efficiency issues.




  • To help Polotsk reach its Covenant of Mayors targets by enabling it to implement public lighting activities of the Polotsk Sustainable Energy Action Plan.
  • To popularize the Covenant of Mayors and promote the principles of the Polotsk Sustainable Energy Action Plan in Belarus and the Eastern Partnership.


Realization of these goals entails:

  • Modernization of municipal lighting system in Polotsk.
  • Decrease in carbon dioxide emissions in the city.
  • Promotion of the principles of the Covenant of Mayors (especially those ones pertaining to municipal lighting) in Belarus.




Marina Borisova, Project's Communication and Visibility Manager, Deputy Head of Interakcia Foundation 

+375 17 237 48 40, +375 29 873 35 82 (mob.),

Dzmitry Pauliushchyk, Interakcia Foundation, Project Manager's Assistant

+375 29 329 61 05, +375 17 280 41 35,