Ukrainian cities: for transport or for people?

This mid-November, Vinnytsia hosted round table “Sustainable urban mobility planning in Ukrainian cities: partnership of municipality and community”, organized for representatives of city authorities and civil society to initiate new approaches to strategic sustainable urban mobility planning in cities and enhance collaboration among authorities and community around issues of transport and mobility with consideration of needs of citizens and current global and national requirements.  
Round table on sustainable urban mobility issues gathered 53 participants from 21 city of Ukraine – mainly regional centers from all over Ukraine, among which were civil society activists, scientists, technical designers and urban engineers, traffic flows modeling experts, representatives of city authorities, transport departments, communal infrastructure administrations, architecture etc. Round table program included theoretical day, during which the EU Guidelines for development and implementation of sustainable urban development plans (SUMP) were  presented, main notions of sustainable urban mobility introduced and discussed, separate elements of urban mobility planning explained and examples of Ukrainian cities, which implemented activities and projects related to sustainable urban mobility, favourable for people, environment and economic of cities, were presented by their representatives.
Participants were welcomed by interim head of Vinnytsia city mayor, Mr. Morhunov Serhiy, who stressed the importance of this event for all cities of Ukraine, which share common problem of outdated mobility planning approach, bad technical condition of public transport vehicles and lack of bicycle infrastructure. On the opinion of Mr. Morhunov, cities should define mobility development as a priority in the city, as it has been done in Vinnytsia in 2012, starting to renovate public transport network as well as improve service quality.   
During the same day Ukrainian participants heard presentation of foreign experts: Gejza Legen from Slovakia, EMW national coordinator throughout last 7 years ( with presentation about future cities planning and European legislation which supports this work; Jerome Simpson from Hungary, Senior expert in Smart Cities and Mobility at Regional Environmental Center for Central East Europe with presentation of European experience of sustainable urban mobility planning and institutional support, particularly by  CIVITAS initiative and Urs Thomann from Switzerland, spatial planning expert involved to the development of integrated transport and special development plan for city of Vinnytsia, who presented final draft of this plan to round table participants. Among the presentation of cities of Ukraine, which took place during first day of the round table, were: Transport Concept “Mobile Ivano-Frankivsk”, Transport development program of Vinnytsia, Example of Sumy and Kharkiv traffic flow modeling, fast buses and priority crossing in Lviv, Integration of pedestrian interests during transport and mobility development planning using example of Kharkiv city, Community space and its development in Lviv, Smart public transport stops in Zhytomyr, Visual public transport schedule in Vinnytsia, Bicycle network planning: experience of Kiev and perspective for other cities, Bicycle infrastructure: from idea to implementation – practical example of Vinnytsia. 
During second day of round table participants, working in groups, first were generating ideas on sustainable mobility activities in their cities and formulating algorithm of stakeholders involvement, later got acquainted with examples of transport systems in Vinnytsia, particularly work of trolley-tram depot of communal  transport company, modernization of which was supported by Swiss Confederation, and elements of newly created bicycle infrastructure, comfort and safety of which participants could test out during bicycle ride.
One of the extremely important part of the program of any event is direct communication among participants, time for which during these two days, was plenty. All in all in the responses of participants in the questionnaires, round table was assessed as “excellent” and “fulfills or overcomes expectations”. The most interesting information, in accordance with responses, were: Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning: Elements and Activities, presentation by Lesya Loyko, head of FORZA Agency and Ukraine’s National EMW Coordinator, information, presented by Oleh Shmid, councilor of Lviv mayor on issues of bicycle infrastructure and examples of mobility activities in Lviv in general, Zhytomyr’ smart public transport stops and Vinnytsia transport development strategy with its separate elements, such as public transport and bicycle infrastructure.
Regarding plans for future, most of participants plan to integrate activities and approaches of sustainable mobility into their work, particularly the most popular perspective activities are development of bicycle infrastructure and bicycle use, introduction of navigation systems in public transport, initiation of development of holistic Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans in the cities.
The keynote of the round table, which was supported by both participants and speakers, was quotation of famous person – Fred Kent “If you plan cities for cars and traffic, you get cars and traffic. If you plan for people and places, you get people and places.”
Round table was organized by FORZA Agency (, Uzhhorod city together with Vinnytsia city council and communal enterprise “Institute of Urban Development” with the financial support of The Heinrich Böll Foundation, Kiev city.