20 Jun 2016

3 min

Local Economic Development

Western NIS Enterprise Fund and CANactions School for Urban Studies Reviewed the Results of the Small Grants Program Aimed at Urban Development

Living space in 7 cities of Ukraine will be improved as a result of the implementation of 7 projects, the winners of the Small Grants Program. Presentation of the said projects was held as part of the CANactions Architectural Festival 2016.

“We are pleased to support the initiatives that enable creative and active people to bring change in the communities at different levels. CANactions School for Urban Studies brings to Ukraine the best experts to teach Ukrainians, and Western NIS Enterprise Fund is ready to support these capabilities to convert the students’ knowledge into specific projects at the municipal level,” said Jaroslawa Johnson, President and CEO of Western NIS Enterprise Fund.

The Small Grant Program was established by Western NIS Enterprise Fund and CANactions School for Urban Studies in 2015. It aims to support specific initiatives that improve public space in cities. The winners received a grant from Western NIS Enterprise Fund to implement their initiatives. The total amount of funding received by the winning projects from Western NIS Enterprise Fund was $25,000. The winners were selected by a special jury consisting of experts from CANactions School for Urban Studies.
The winners of the 2016 Small Grants Program are:

  • “Dream. Play. Act. Gamification for Action”, Kremenchuk/Kyiv
  • “Franek, wake up and run it”,Ivano-Frankivsk
  • “I’m Sorting the Garbage”, Lutsk
  • “Public Transport for People with Disabilities”, Mykolayiv
  • “Bed of Books”, Kharkiv
  • “Mariupol Players”, Kyiv/ Mariupol
  • “Construction Set/Courtyards”, Kyiv


“When we launched the program, we underestimated the interest of Ukrainian activists. During three weeks, we received over 260 applications from all over Ukraine with very interesting ideas as to how to make small urban transformations – from reconstruction of courtyards and environmental initiatives to promotion of the cycling culture, improvement of infrastructure, etc. It was quite difficult for us to select the finalists, because most projects are worth supporting”, said Iryna Ozymok, Local Economic Development Program Manager at Western NIS Enterprise Fund.


The main criteria for winners included: efficient resolving of various issues at the local (municipal) level, innovation, sustainability, the ability to replicate the experience in other cities, and the local community involvement. One of the conditions for participation in the contest was to attract co-financing for the project – from business, community, and local budget.


“The Small Grants Program is a great opportunity to identify the most interesting projects for urban development and allow people from different sectors, regions or organizations to implement their ideas aimed to improve life in the Ukrainian cities. This project is very important for us because it makes our dreams come true and improves our urban environment, where we all want to live and work “,  said Valentyna Zotova, Director of CANactions School for Urban Studies.


Project NameIdeaProject Team
Construction Set/Courtyards (Kyiv)Develop a simple and versatile modular construction set for improvement of the adjoining areas. A pilot module will be installed in three courtyardsNGO “Garden City”
Dream. Play. Act. Gamification for ActionChange the schoolyard of Lyceum #4 (Kremenchuk) and high school #172 (Kyiv).

The authors: students who have developed a model of future schoolyard using the game Minecraft

“Kids’ Geographies” “Urban Curators” and “Cultural Di@log”
Franek, wake up and run it!Issue a unique notebook with a block of comics featuring Ivano-Frankivsk. Proceeds from sale of the notebook will be used to improve the public spaceGraduates of CANactions School Oleksandr Shevchenko, Yaroslav Yakovlev and Daryna Podoltseva
«Mariupol Players»Reconstruction of an abandoned building in Mariupol to transform it into a platform for communication and interaction between the local activistsArchitecture Ukraine 2016, Izolyatsia, Urban Curators
“Public Transport for People with Disabilities”A mobile application for smartphone that focuses on the needs of people with disabilities in Mykolayiv: it allows to track a trolleybus route, which is adapted to transport handicapped people (there are 11 such trolleybuses in the city)Mykolayiv branch of NGO “Ukrainian Association of the ATO Disabled Veterans”
“Bed of Books”Creating a space for communication next to the museum: outfitting the area with furniture, book stands, landscape solutionsEmployees of Kharkiv Literature Museum and students of Kharkiv National University of Construction and Architecture
I’m Sorting the Garbage”Put separate boxes for sorting waste in Lutsk schools for subsequent treatment. The initiative was proposed by studentsVadym Kurban and NGO “Creative Space “Lake Wind”

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