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Green City: Special sustainable urban development funds need to be created

28 May 2015

The Green City international forum for sustainable urban development ended in Mariupol. The discussion platform was organized by the Public Union "Metinvest's Green Centre" and Ukrainian Public Organization "Zhiva Planeta." More than 200 experts took part in the forum.

The Green City international forum for sustainable urban development focused on support for environmental safety, improvement of production energy efficiency, the achievement of high living standard, and environmental protection.

Presentations from the general directors of Metinvest Group's metallurgical plants, including by Yuriy Zinchenko, general director of Ilyich Iron and Steel Works of Mariupol, and Enver Tskitishvili, general director of Azovstal, were of great interest to the participants of the forum. They presented the plant's projects to modernize steelmaking facilities, large-scale activities to improve industrial ecology, and examples of systemic socially valuable aid to Mariupol that have helped to improve the environmental situation and living standards in the city.

Five issue-related sessions and two roundtables were conducted as part of the two-day forum. During an express tour of the city, participants were taken to see examples of urban landscaping and energy saving technologies implemented in the municipal utilities sphere in Mariupol.

During the final plenary session, winners of national competition "Wonderful Yard - Wonderful City" were recognized. Certificates and cash prizes were given to six people who submitted the best ideas to improve public land.

"I would like to thank Metinvest's Green Centre for the wonderful initiative to conduct a contest of ideas from the people," said Natalya Shepetukha, director of young naturalist department in Kryvyi Rih. "It is nice to see that my proposal to create a summer laboratory for kids to study flora won."

"'Wonderful Yard - Wonderful City' was an initiative of Metinvest's Green Center as part of the first Green City international forum. The project collected the best initiatives on urban landscaping, the creation of recreational areas and improvement in microecology. Judging from the locations of the initiatives that were submitted, I can say with confidence that many people from different cities of Ukraine liked the competition," said Sergey Magera, coordinator from Metinvest's Green Center.

At the end of the international forum for sustainable urban development was over, participants adopted a resolution. This resolution recognized the timeliness and importance of the initiative of Metinvest's Green Centre and Zhiva Planeta to hold Green City 2015 in Mariupol and recommended the sustainable development forum to be an annual event.

Participants also asked the government to raise attention to environmental problems that might effect the lives of future generations. The resolution also pointed out the need for special sustainable urban development funds, where money will be directed from for the development of energy and resource efficient and innovative businesses.

It also noted a need to initiate the 100% reimbursement of environmental taxes to businesses to implement environmental protection schemes for key sources of pollution.

"The forum's sponsors are very grateful to the participants for their interest in this new event in Ukraine. We are sure the results of the discussion can be used as the basis for effective regional programs aimed at sustainable urban development," said Polina Shaganenko, director of Metinvest's Green Centre.

"The experience of Mariupol, Metinvest Group's enterprises and the fact that Green City was held in this city show the high potential for sustainable development and a good example for other regions of Ukraine. This forum needs to be conducted on an annual basis," said Svetlana Berzina, president of Zhiva Planeta.