Can we avoid problems in administering city space instead of heroic overcoming them?
On 26 February 2016 at 15.30, Lviv municipality will consider the issue of opening the new road for private transport. If this happens, there will be traffic jams, if such a decision is declined, there will be 1 thousand of unhappy car owners. Therefore, either decision will cause dissatisfaction and the reason for this is the fact that when making such decisions, the municipality does this in a hurry, without proper calculations and analysis of social impact, in violation of legislation that inevitably will lead to conflict situation. In order to solve such problems and avoid them in future, it is important to analyze the whole process of reconstruction of St. George square park, mechanisms of decision-making by the municipality that are not well thought about and not agreed with the community.
Decrease of green zones in Lviv became a sad reality that has long-lasting consequences for health and comfort of Lviv citizens. The green space is constantly cut but the number of new buildings, roads and stone covered squares increases, which does not contribute to attractiveness of the city. An example of such management is St. George square park that since 2014 lost about half a hectare of its territory (0,5717 ha). Such a situation was caused by construction of a new road in Lviv that was planned to go through St.George square park. Two years ago the road that connected Universytetska square and Pryvokzalna square was liquidated. Instead, a four-lane road was planned to be constructed near the library of the Polytechnic University by destruction of the square park. Thanks to Lviv citizens who organized a campaign for protection of the square park and EPL the road that was finally constructed is twice narrower than it was initially planned. Currently it is open only to public transport.
Democratic development of Lviv should mean control over all processes of decision-making, openness of these processes when it is not sufficient to talk to one person but all stakeholders and experts in specific fields should be involved into the process of solving the problem.
It is a pity that despite its ostensible pro-European position and openness, Lviv municipality of closed, afraid of open solving of problems that are not deeply analyzed. Quick decisions are made not because of laziness but because of the desire to solve the issue for smb’s benefit using old Soviet methods. This is proved by the facts presented below.
Lviv courts started proceedings on two cases that challenge unlawful actions of Lviv municipality, in particular:
- The city council did not do anything to maintain the square park in good condition and now it is squalid.
- When making the decision about constructing the road through the square park, the option of turning the whole area into a walking zone without any roads was not considered at all.
- Lviv municipality did not draft a damage assessment act about the real state of the square park and did not use this information in order to unite all stakeholders to bring the square park into good condition. It is not possible without full renovation, and therefore, in order to do so it is necessary to develop project documents as for any other construction project and get all necessary permits.
- Lviv municipality did not calculate economic expedience of using budget funds for construction of a new road, did not foresee problems with constructing a bus stop near the St. George’s church, did not assess how many car owners actually will use the new road.
- Lviv municipality did not calculate now many people actually need a road via the square park.
Lviv municipality adopted unlawful resolutions that were later partially cancelled by Lviv municipality itself, partially they were implemented. Unlawful actions of Lviv municipality are now challenged in court.
During the court hearing on 11 February 2016 a lawyer of Lviv municipality offered to conclude a compromise agreement as a proof that Lviv municipality is open for a dialogue with communities and that it takes care of each citizen.
In order to try readiness of Lviv municipality for a compromise, the plaintiffs, EPL, Vira Balazh and Viktoria Sadova, propose to conclude a compromise agreement covering the points presented below.
We believe that our rights can be protected in the following way:
- Public recognition of mistakes and unlawful actions performed by Lviv municipality (Lviv mayor Mr. Sadovyi makes a public statement for media agreeing that the resolutions of Lviv municipality were adopted in violation of procedures because the current legislation does not include provisions of leasing land lots to a church for construction of monuments and roads. Land lots can be lease to a church only for construction and maintenance of cult constructions. Also, there were certain manipulations with the purpose of the leases land lots.)
- Launch of open electronic on-line system of document circulation in Lviv municipality (including draft resolutions).
- Release of all project documentation of “Lvivavtodor” regarding reconstruction of St. George square in Lviv.
- Release of conclusions of dendrology expertise of St. George square in Lviv conducted by Curia of Ukrainian Greek catholic Church.
- Release of historic city construction stipulation of St. George square in Lviv issued by the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine commissioned by the Curia of Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church.
- Approval of a detailed plan of the territory of St. George mountain developed at the request of city construction department of Lviv municipality.
- Approval of boundaries of the St. George square park.
- Prevent extension of the road using the territory of the square park (construction of additional lanes, “pockets” for stops etc).
- Allocation of funds, planning and realization of revitalization of St. George square park.
- Holding public hearings of the project of revitalization and accomplishment of the square park.
- Accomplishment of the square park, in particular renovation of the kinds playground.
- Stop communal enterprise “Zelenyi Lviv” from damaging trees by incorrect formation of tree crowns.
- Launching tree treatment instead of destruction of damaged species.
- Calling to account officials whose actions or omissions caused illegal logging of green plantations in St. George square park.
- Making amendments to the Provision on public hearings according to the Statute of the territorial community.
Only by implementing all these points, Lviv municipality can prove that it is open and works for the benefit of Lviv residents.
Contact details for further information:
tel. +38(032) 225-76-82