Central streets and main avenues of Polack in Viciebsk region have become brighter and safer for over 80,000 residents and guests of the city while consuming less energy. These are the first results of the energy-efficient project ‘PubLiCity: Energy Efficient Modernization of Public Lighting in the City of Polack’, implemented thanks to the support provided by the European Union as part of the EU4Energy initiative and Covenant of Mayors – Demonstration Projects. Main outcomes of the project were presented in Polack on February 19.
The PubLiCity project lasted from 2015 to 2019 and provides for the most ambitious modernization of city lighting in Belarus so far. Thanks to the project, almost two thousand new LED lamps, new lighting poles, control boxes, and 12 autonomous solar-powered lamps appeared on 28 streets of the city, as well as 26 city objects received new decorative illumination, including the stair to St. Sophia Cathedral, the boulevard on Francis Skorina Avenue and a bridge over Zapadnaya Dvina river.
New lamps are integrated into a city-wide automated street lighting GPS control system, thus bringing Polack closer to becoming a true ‘smart city’. The budget of the project exceeds EUR 1.6 million. 80% of the project costs were covered by the European Union. The rest was paid by project partners – the city of Polack and Interakcia Foundation. Results of the large public opinion survey conducted in the beginning and in the end of the project among about 2,500 respondents demonstrate that Polack residents are now more content with the quality of public lighting in the central streets and main avenues of the city.
‘The EU stands ready to provide further support for further support for reforms in national energy policies to promote energy efficiency. With international financial institutions, we stand ready to provide help in strategic investments. Climate change, energy, energy and resource efficiency are among our technical assistance priorities’, mentioned Dirk Schuebel, Head of the European Union Delegation to Belarus who attended the closing conference of the project.
Apart from using state-of-the-art technologies in public lighting modernization, the project was unique in applying innovative methods of citizen engagement in decision-making and planning processes related to public lighting, as well as raising their awareness on energy efficiency and climate change. Public opinion surveys, architectural forum Arch.Pro.Svet where students designers and architects developed concepts for creative lighting of the city, annual city-wide Energy Days, Light Hackathon to collect concept for light installations, the first Light Festival in 2018 – all these events helped to promote the ideas of energy efficient lighting, energy efficiency and transition to clean energy to local residents. Results of another public opinion survey as part of the project demonstrate that Polack residents now tend to save more energy in their everyday life and think more about the environment.
According to preliminary estimates, as the result of implementation of the whole project it is expected to achieve energy consumption reduction by 265 MWh and СО2 emission reduction by 120 tons a year; this amount of CO2 emissions would require 600 trees to offset per year.
Final conference of the PubLiCity project, entitled ‘Public Lighting in the Cities of Belarus: Present and Future’ took place in Polack on 29 February to present experience of Polack to other Belarusian cities, demonstrate new technologies and modern equipment for public lighting modernization, and discuss with experts the current situation and opportunities for the development of “smart lighting” in Belarus. As part of the conference, Polack, along with Brest, Biaroza and Hlybokaje committed to the new targets of the Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy –. to reduce CO2 emissions by 40% by 2030 and adopt a joint approach to tackling mitigation and adaptation to climate change.
The conference ended with an official launching and demonstration of the new public lighting and control system installed within the framework of the PubLiCity project.
Contacts: Marina Borisova (Interakcia Foundation), communication and visibility manager, +375 17 237 48 40, +375 29 873 35 82, [email protected]