Economy

Poti Central Park Gets a makeover with EU and UNDP Support

Georgia: The central park of Poti, a city in western Georgia, has been transformed into a multifunctional space that offers various attractions and facilities for the visitors, especially for the disabled people.

The project, which was funded by the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) under the “Innovative Transformation” grant, was implemented by the Sustainable Development and Innovation Service of Poti Municipality City Hall.

The project aimed to improve the quality of life and social inclusion of the local population, as well as to promote the city’s tourism potential and economic growth. The project received 60,000 euros (equivalent in GEL) financing from the EU and UNDP, as part of their “Mayors for Economic Growth” (M4EG) initiative, which supports the municipalities in the Eastern Partnership countries to become more competitive and innovative.

The project involved the renovation and adaptation of the park area, which covers 1.5 hectares of land. The park now features a LED monitor, decorative constructions, an installation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and a khal space, which is a traditional Georgian wooden pavilion.

The park also has adapted attractions and chess tables for the disabled people, as well as other inventory needed for the space, such as benches, trash bins, and lighting.

The project was completed in February 2024, and was officially inaugurated by the Mayor of Poti, Giorgi Gogua, and the representatives of the EU and UNDP. The opening ceremony was attended by the local authorities, civil society organizations, media, and the public.

The Mayor of Poti expressed his gratitude to the EU and UNDP for their support and cooperation, and said that the project was a great example of how the city can become more attractive and inclusive for its residents and visitors. He also said that the project was in line with the city’s development strategy, which focuses on enhancing the urban environment, promoting social welfare, and fostering economic opportunities.

The EU and UNDP representatives congratulated the city of Poti for the successful implementation of the project, and praised the city for its innovative and participatory approach. They said that the project was a valuable contribution to the M4EG initiative, which aims to empower the local governments to become more responsive and accountable to their citizens, and to create favorable conditions for sustainable and inclusive development.

The project is one of the 19 projects that have been supported by the EU and UNDP under the “Innovative Transformation” grant scheme, which covers six countries in the Eastern Partnership region: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. The grant scheme is part of the M4EG initiative, which was launched in 2016, and has so far involved more than 300 municipalities in the region.

The M4EG initiative is based on the principles of the EU’s “Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy”, which is a global movement of local and regional authorities who voluntarily commit to implementing the EU’s climate and energy objectives. The M4EG initiative supports the signatories to develop and implement local economic development plans, based on the smart, sustainable, and inclusive growth model.

Zurab Kvaratskhelia

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