Thursday, 19 November 2009

Kyiv recommended to quadruple number of roads and restore balance between banks in new development plan

The Kyiv city authorities have been recommended to work to restore balance in development of the left bank of the city, quadruple the number of roads, and make other significant changes to the city’s plan of general development that was debated at a special meeting earlier this week.Visiting architects from Germany and Britain who took part in the debate also recommended to conduct a series of discussions with city residents before the plan is approved.Other participants of the discussion included members of the municipal and central government, and architects from other cities of Ukraine.The decision to approve a new general plan for the city’s development in the next 25 years was approved in Sept. 2008. The deadline for preparation of the first draft by a special working group runs out at the end of this year.According to the new plan, 49 parks and 84 public gardens will be upgraded, and the river Lybid and other small rivers in Kyiv will be revived. The area of roads is planned to quadruple, multi-level tunnels and flyovers are planned to be created at major junctions in the city center, and 26 million square meters of residential properties are planned to be built.According to Kommersant report, nearly all foreign experts strongly recommended that the general plan should be open for a broad discussion with city residents. German architect Werner Durt said that in 2004 the concept for reconstruction of Berlin had to be debated by the German parliament to solve the conflict between the residents and developers. “This was the only way to solve the conflict of interests between developers and the community,” he said.Also, foreign experts recommended the working group to limit commercial advertising on buildings and billboards, develop the metro network, the public transport infrastructure and pedestrian zones.“In Germany we have already realized that pedestrians should have priority over automobile transport,” Durt said.Foreign experts have also made recommendations to remove the imbalance between the development of the left and the right banks of Kyiv. The general architect of Rhein-Ruhr region in Germany said that 40 percent of Kyiv residents live on the left bank, but it only provides 14 percent of jobs in the city.“Moreover, the residents of the right bank consider the left one non-prestigious. We have the same problem in some cities. If the balance is not restored, the left bank might develop vast social problems” he warned.Vasyl Prysyazhniuk, head of the municipal organization Center for city construction and architecture, who heads the working group for development of the general plan, said that all the recommendations will be generalized and reported to the city government. He agreed that the left bank requires greater infrastructural development.“This is a part of a reason for transport problems in Kyiv,” he said. “We have an opportunity to create on the left bank offices, trade centers and entertainment centers. Especially needed is the reconstruction and technical upgrade of all existing industrial enterprises on the left bank,” Prysyazhniuk said.He said his draft city development plan also provides for a full reconstruction and face-lift of all embankments of Kyiv.

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