3 ways Kiev, Ukraine is rebuilding its reputation

After a rough decade with its Russian neighbors, the Ukrainian capital of Kiev is looking to rebrand itself as an Eastern European center of science, industry, education, and culture. The city of 3 million has developed a hub whose main goal is to inspire leaders and agents of change continue the development of both Kiev and Ukraine. In addition to creating a healthy city environment that caters to (and fosters) innovation, the city is looking for one key component to drive forward development: its citizens. Here are three of the ways the Kyiv Smart City initiative is helping the city become an influential player in Ukraine, developing modern solutions that will benefit the entire country. - Bruno De Man


Molding a modern city

Over the last two years, Kyiv Smart City has helped to establish a smart urban infrastructure by bringing together the city authorities, businesses and activists, incorporating principles like open data and transparent city governance. With the project, the city hopes to “use a range of services and actions that in the short term make life in the city better, safer and more comfortable for its inhabitants.” Here are three of the sectors the smart city initiative is honing in on:

Information technology: One of the growing sectors in Kiev, information technology is crucial to the city’s smart development. In order to prepare the next generation of specialists, the city is creating a code academy, offering free education in IT and coding.

Citizen participation: By introducing a participatory budget, Kiev is opening up city operations to citizens so they can get involved in day-to-day processes. For example, citizens can analyze and weigh in on how the city’s budget is being used in areas like health, education, and housing, eventually debating over how the final budget will be divided up.

Urban infrastructure: Considered more of an urban project than a technological one, Melnykova Smart Street will incorporate solutions like solar panels, a Bluetooth beacon system, smart traffic lights, environmental sensors, traffic timetables, adaptive lighting and e-car charging stations. In the district, citizens will find improved street zoning with more pedestrian space (and less emphasis on cars); a dedicated public transport lane; and areas devoted to children and pets. Traffic lights are monitored remotely thanks to an automated control system, with future plans to have cameras count the number of vehicles passing through. Apps like Smart Roads, meanwhile, will instantly alert citizens when there are accidents or traffic on the street, helping to reduce congestion and time stuck in cars.

As Kiev establishes its living lab, everyone from the mayor to the city’s residents will have the chance to collaborate and innovate on ways to improve life in the Ukrainian capital, one smart solution at a time.