Over the past two months, the online publication Yuzhne.City has initiated a large-scale project where it serves as an intermediary in communication between the authorities and the city’s community. The first sensational topic that we chose is the development of a spatial plan of the city. In this regard, correspondents conducted interviews with most of the residents of the community, both online and offline, to gather their thoughts and identify the currently unmet needs in the city. Surveys on the allocation of funds for the development of a spatial plan showed that the majority of Yuzhne residents are “against” such an initiative. Some of them, however, noted that they did not know much about this issue. They are confused about why significant funds from the budget are spent on this, and not on other pressing issues. Could this be a routine “laundering” procedure?
Journalist of an online publication during a street survey

The survey results show that only about 2% of respondents support this project. Many citizens express their protest and indignation, considering it a senseless waste of money in the conditions of war and economic crisis.

The journalistic investigation also revealed that some residents suspect that the allocated funds may be used for “laundering” or illegal purposes rather than community development. Journalists raised questions about transparency and openness in the use of these funds and noted that the community expects clear answers and control over spending.

Serhii Oryshaka, Chief Architect of Yuzhne

Communication with the Chief Architect of the community, Serhii Oryshaka, clarified the significance of the spatial plan for the community’s development. He explained that this documentation is necessary for solving land issues, identifying investment opportunities and improving conditions for residents.

During the consideration of the issue, Serhii Oryshaka revealed the main aspects of this project. He emphasized, “The only way to make adjustments to local documentation is through the general spatial plans of the villages of Sychavka, Koshary, Nove Biliary, and Yuzhne – through a comprehensive plan. The only way to plan development outside of localities is also through a comprehensive plan.”

Uncertainty among citizens about the importance of this project in the context of the war was revealed. The journalists also stressed that many residents demand more attention to military needs and transparency in the use of money.

Plenary session of Yuzhne City Council

However, due to the high-profile nature of this issue, deputies have rejected the budget several times during the sessions. Half of them refused to support funding for the spatial plan. But as this proved to be significant, they decided not to allocate the full amount and instead designated only 10 million hryvnias. Subsequently, it will be additionally financed, possibly the next year. This is exactly the decision made at the session.

It is worth noting that other relevant structures are also interested in allocating such a significant amount. Now, they will scrutinize all the details and might require the termination of the contract altogether, halting the commencement of work.

As a result, the “Voice of Community” project provoked an active public reaction expressing serious concerns about allocating funds for that initiative. That also highlighted the need in more transparent and open interaction between the government and the community in budgeting and development issues.

This publication was created with the financial support of the European Union. Its content is the sole responsibility of “Yuzhne.City” and does not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.