Urban PEAK: Partnership. Empowerment. Advocacy. Knowledge

Urban PEAK: Partnership. Empowerment. Advocacy. Knowledge

Capacity building and promotion of public participation in urban planning and development

Above 78% (7.4 mln) of the population of Belarus lives in cities, what makes Belarus a European leader of urbanization. City residents require local authorities to take into account their needs and requirements to create a sustainable habitat. The current policy in the field of urban planning and development, however, allows public intervention only at the last stage of decision-making, before the formal approval, when the planning process has been finalized. This leads to a purely formal procedure of participation, without tangible influence of civil society, and thus reduces the quality of developed urban plans and increases the risks of failures. The monitoring of discussions of urban development projects proves that citizens require access to information, understanding of their rights as well as more openness, transparency, democracy, and human rights respect in the sphere of city planning, development and governance.

There is a need to increase the “urban” and “legal” literacy of stakeholders, especially residents, NGOs, active members of local communities and initiatives, representatives of territorial public self-government committees and urban youth on issues related to sustainable urban planning and development. Learning European “best practices”, in particular from the Germany, Ukraine or other EU countries could contribute to dissemination of existing practical cases in order to promote ideas and methods of partnership and “participatory urban planning” for the effective interaction of all stakeholders in city governance.

The project “Urban PEAK: Partnership. Empowerment. Advocacy. Knowledge” encourages a number of actions to support civil society to raise knowledge and awareness (“urban literacy”) on sustainable urban planning, provide an access to relevant information and giving a possibility to influence the city planning and management process.

The project goal is capacity building and promotion of public participation in urban planning and development through increase of ”urban literacy” and organization of joint actions to advocate public interests.

Expected outcome of the project:

  • development of the online course „Urban planning literacy: how citizens can participate and contribute to the sustainable city planning and development”;
  • organization of the blended training program for representatives of NGOs, leaders of local communities, city activists.

Expected result of the project:

  • “Urban planning literacy” of local communities and civil society is increased.
  • Access of citizens to information on urban planning and development is ensured.
  • International best practices of ”participatory planning” are learned and disseminated.

This will foster the democratization of planning, governance and decision-making processes in the field of urban development in Belarus based on the principles of broad public participation.

International Public Association of Environmentalists (IPAE)

PEAK. Project

IPAE was founded in 2006 in Belarus. Starting from 2017, IPAE has been actively engaged into the issues of sustainable urban development, participatory planning of territories and legislation improvement in this sphere. IPAE has a sound track record of successful cooperation with the Institute for Regional and Urban Planning under the Ministry of Architecture and Construction, consulting the latter on citizens’ needs assessment, public awareness and engagement into processes of shaping of different urban plans, e.g. the master plan of Salihorsk (2018) and green areas’ plans in Slonim, Shchuchyn and Homel (2019). In 2017, IPAE advocated for and contributed to the improvement of legislation in the field of public discussions of urban plans (adopted in 2019).


e-mail: ipae.belarus@gmail.com

The IPAE activities are known and transmitted through the public campaign “City for Citizens”