Hyperlocal social network “Tvoye misto” (Your City) was created in Vinnytsya under UNDP support

13 Dec 2013

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Vinnytsya: The first hyperlocal social network in Ukraine, “Tvoye misto” (Your City), was launched in Vinnytsya. It was created as a platform for communication, cooperation and implementation of local citizens’ initiatives under the support of the UNDP Innovation Fund.

The hyperlocal social network "Tvoye misto" (Your City) was created within the framework of the project implemented by the civil society organization "Podillya Agency for Regional Development" in partnership with the Internet resource "My Vinnitsya" and the Vinnytsia City Council under the support of the United Nations Development Programme in Ukraine.

The project was one of the winners of the UNDP Bratislava Regional Centre's Innovation Fund contest. The aim of the contest is to support socially important project ideas developed based on principles of co-design and web 2.0. Usage of open source technologies will allow the project to be replicated in other cities.

The purpose of the project is to strengthen interaction among the residents of neighborhoods through the creation of a joint information and communication platform. The platform should enable Internet activists and social networks users to engage with the real life of the community, help to identify new community leaders, and encourage the development and implementation of local initiatives.

«The idea emerged in order to bring  the dwellers of multi-apartment houses closer to each other, because very often people living in the same building do not know their neighbours», said Tatyana Naumenko, Director of Municipal and Public E-Governance Centre, during the project presentation. 

"New tools are introduced in many municipalities to facilitate communication between the local authorities and the communities - online citizen service centres, interactive maps, and online e-forms for official requests. In Vinnytsya such tools have existed for a long time. We realized that the challenge is to facilitate communication among city residents who live in the same house, neighborhood, district, or municipality," says Tatyana Naumenko.

According to Oleksandr Virnyk, administrator of the website "My Vinnitsa", there are three reasons for development of this project.

"The first reason - getting the neighbours acquainted. Now people living in the same house do not need to imagine who their neighbours are, or have no idea how to meet them. This project can simplify this task if many citizens register on the site. Secondly, it provides the opportunity to find out information about your house, including the following facts: who is a community activist in your house, how old the building is, the materials used to construct it, who is your local councillor, and when one can meet him/her. The third reason - to find services located near your house, such as  kindergartens, schools, and hospitals", said Oleksandr Virnyk.

The opportunity to apply with a request/petition to local authorities is available at the official web-site of Vinnytsia City Council, so today there is no problem in establishing communication between local authorities and citizens. However, until now the issue of communication among the citizens and between citizens and business, government agencies and others was unresolved.

The residents can join the virtual community at www.tvoemisto.org by clicking on the used social network icon and filling in a brief registration form.

The newly created resource is designed to be not only a platform for communication and information about the community, but also a platform for collecting local initiatives for the benefit of the whole municipality.