Ukraine must develop as an open, equitable and eco-friendly society

Incubator for Green Communities is an undertaking by representatives of the civil society to jointly create and implement a strategic vis...

18 August 2016

Local Bike Activists are Making Avdiivka a more Sustainable and Safe City

"Why do you think I was so angry ... because I did not have a bicycle," - said a famous cartoon character. Applying this phrase to the current situation in Avdiivka in the Donetsk region, one can say that in recent months the city has advanced significantly on the path to a happy community. 

After the implementation of the first project to develop the city’s cycling infrastructure, many local residents have more opportunities to use bicycles - as during July and August this year bicycle parkings were installed near most of Avdiivka’s social facilities, as well as some retail and commercial facilities.

The idea of ​​creating a cycling infrastructure Avdiivka was born a year ago among local bike movement activists and caring citizens. They prepared a project proposal and submitted it to the competition "City with their hands," which is annually organized by the local coke plant. The project involved the creation of a network of bicycle lanes bike parkings. The project idea was that after returning to normal peaceful life, Avdiivka should be a green, friendly to all and environmentally sustainable community. The relative stabilization of the the situation with the shelling of the city and the emergence of a large number of road cyclists was an opportunity to build in the city a network of bicycle parkings,  making transportation around the city by bike a safer and more comfortable experience.

The plan of the future cycling infrastructure, including the list of social and commercial facilities that were to be in the primary list for installation of the new parkings was coordinated with local authorities and relevant stakeholders. Avdiyivsky Metal Construction Details Plant produced the constructions of bike parkings and activists joined their efforts to install them. Thus, in June and August 2016, 50 parking lots were installed in all operating schools and kindergartens, the city railway station, hospitals and markets etc.

According to volunteers who were installing the parkings, townspeople showed interest in the new architectural forms that decorated the city streets - asking questions, giving suggestions, and often joining other volunteers in installing the constructions. Young people - students of local schools № 6, № 1 and № 4 - were also great helpers and participated in the installation process.

The development of cycling infrastructure and the creation of favorable conditions for the public’s use of this most environmentally sound  and healthy mode of transport, can not be limited to creating a network of bike parkings. The city and its residents (not only cyclists, but also mothers with strollers, people with special needs) all require safe bike paths, comfortable sidewalk ramps. This situation is understood by all, but to start living in a more comfortable city, every one has to make at least a small own input.

Author: Oleksii Savkevych

15 August 2016

Enrollment in a study program on integrated urban development is now open

CANactions School for Urban Studies is an experimental educational institution, based in Kyiv, Ukraine. Its programs are based on the exploration of Ukrainian cities, identifying concepts and defining actions for urban development – on strategic as well as tactical levels.

CANactions School for Urban Studies is launching an open call for Advanced Studies in Integrated Urban Development 2016-2017.

This advanced professional program is designed for young specialists from different backgrounds willing to get involved in the process of Ukrainian cities development. Apart from obtaining qualified theoretical knowledge and new practical skills, the students will be engaged in fieldwork and case studies together with more than 20 well-acknowledged educators and practitioners from all over the world.

04 August 2016

Evolution of Energy Saving and Your Future Home

On 16 August a conference and presentation dedicated to the latest developments in energy saving and energy efficiency will take place in Kyiv.

The organizer of the conference is the Ukrainian startup PassivDom.

According to the organizers, PassivDom has created the world's first fully self-sustainable home that does not require combustion of any fuel, even in arctic climates. The module uses only clean energy of the sun for all the needs of its inhabitants: climate control, generation of water, air quality control and content of oxygen.

The conference will be held in TC "Domosfera" (Kyiv, Stolychne Highway 101, 1st floor, conference room), starting at 2 pm.

Contact: Maria Sorokina, PR-manager, PassivDom, tel.: +38 (066) 951- 81- 91, e-mail:


02 August 2016

Ecovillage Transition Strategies

The Partnership for Sustainable Development Goals in Ukraine “Incubator for Green Communities” continues publishing materials of the Global Ecovillages Network (GEN), to promote in Ukraine the concept of ecovillages and the activities of GEN.
”You never change the existing reality by fighting it.  Instead, create a new model that makes the old one obsolete." 
- Buckminster Fuller

Building on 20 successful years of global networking, sustainable development, and education, GEN is ready to scale up its partnerships with governments, NGOs, and donors to implement policies and solutions at local, regional, and international levels. GEN is implementing an ecovillage transitions strategy using the following Adaptive Governance Cycle:
  1. Identify hot-spot communities and key players
  2. Facilitate participatory community and multi-stakeholder appraisal
  3. Recognise strengths and leverage points in each of the 4 dimensions of sustainability
  4. Co-create Community Resilience Plan
  5. Inform Authorities and adapt development plans
  6. Act to implement changes in behaviour, norms and infrastructure
  7. Draw lessons learned and disseminate best solutions
  8. Build community of practice and multi-stakeholder alliances
  9. Integrate policy adjustment inputs for adaptive governance
  10. Adapt policies for resilient communities and sustainable development
  11. Develop national action plans for resilient communities
  12. Regularly review policies and budgets

GEN has successfully coordinated the development of thousands of ecovillages around the world. Demand for Gaia Education’s Ecovillage Design Education (EDE)’s is rising rapidly and GEN is increasingly recognised as a force in the development of sustainability policies, educational programmes and practical implementation.  The “four pillars” of sustainability (Ecology, Economy, Culture and Social) are well understood as reliable indicators against which to measure progress towards ecovillage recognition.

In various countries and regions ecovillage transition strategies have been scaled up in close collaboration with governments over the past decade. The government of Senegal has adopted a radical national program to transition 14,000 traditional villages as ecovillages and this process is well underway.  Religious organisations in Senegal have also recognised the value that ecovillage transition brings in terms of maintenance of religious and spiritual values and to the health of the local people, the environment and the biodiversity of the area.

Other countries are waking up to the benefits to be derived from involving local populations in large-scale community-led sustainable development. The DR Congo is considering setting up a Ministry of Ecovillages. Regional authorities in Thailand are, similarly, supporting large scale ecovillage development, in order to transition whole provinces to eco-provinces. Large scale ecovillage developments are also taking place in India, Bangladesh and Burma.

GEN’s “big solution” is empowering the millions of small solutions -- people and projects within communities working for a healthy planet and vibrant future for our children and all life.