EU-funded PubLiCity project has counted the results of the public opinion survey that took place after the large-scale modernization of public lighting, and compared findings with those of a similar survey four years ago.
The respondents were to assess the quality of public lighting in the city streets. In both surveys, the number of participants was more than 2,000 people; 85% of them are permanent residents of Polack.
According to the response analysis, people of Polack are satisfied with the results of the public lighting modernization. Almost 60% of the respondents believe that street lighting on the 18 modernized streets and 26 city objects has become better than in other parts of the city. Almost 60% of the survey participants are generally satisfied with the quality of public lighting in the central streets and avenues of the city; in 2015, less than 50% of the respondents believed so.
54% of the survey participants in 2020 think that Polack central city streets and avenues have enough lighting, as opposed to 43% respondents in 2015. Also, the second survey has more people who are either generally or completely satisfied with the level of brightness and light colour of public lighting, as well as the way city services fix troubles with street lights. Comparison of 2015 and 2020 results in each of the modernized streets, taken separately, altogether confirms this tendency, with rare exception. Among those who live in the modernized streets, there are much less respondents who are less than satisfied or completely unsatisfied with public lighting in 2020 than there were in 2015.
That said, residents of Polack would like to see improvements in public lighting in other parts of the city as well. According to the survey, lighting for inner areas between buildings, pedestrian areas and routes to schools and kindergartens, as well as insufficient lighting of certain crossroads, crossings and public transport stops are the issues that the local government should address in the first place. Other concerns included light brightness, broken street lamps and belated repairs, lack of street lamps in some areas, light colour and street lighting hours of operation.
According to the survey results, people in Polack now file less complaints and requests to city services concerning public lighting (almost 14% in 2015 and a little over 9% in 2020). Out of those who did submit requests or complaints, 49% of the respondents (versus 45% in 2015) are satisfied with how city services reacted.
Comparative analysis of public surveys in 2015 and 2020, along with all comments of the respondents concerning specific city lighting problems at concrete locations, were handed over to the city administration and its municipal lighting department.
‘We would like Polack residents to know that as part of the PubLiCity project we did not modernize lighting in the inner areas near residential buildings; we only worked with major arterial parts of 18 city streets,’ says Viacheslav Soshalsky, head engineer of GorSvet department, Polotsk Housing and Communal Services. ‘We realize that lighting of inner areas and remote parts of the city is a primary concern for our citizens. We are dealing with this issue all the time, and we will continue to do this to the best of our ability. When the survey was going on, we were still not completely done with installation works. But at the moment everything is ready, lighting on the modernized streets works as it should, and we do not register any complaints from the residents. We are thankful to everyone who took part in the survey and provided feedback on specific public lighting problems at concrete locations. Some of these problems we have already taken care of, and we plan to deal with the rest in the nearest future.’
Public opinion surveys were conducted as part of the EU-funded project PubLiCity. The 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 stairs to St. Sophia Cathedral, the boulevard on Francis Skorina Avenue and a bridge over Zapadnaya Dvina river.
Contacts: Marina Borisova (Interakcia Foundation), communication and visibility manager, +375 17 237 48 40, +375 29 873 35 82, [email protected]