New projects in quarantine: online platform to solve Odessa’s urban problems
Daniel Novikov, 19-year-old and second-year student of the Odessa Polytechnic University, came up with an online platform to combine the efforts of Odessa residents to jointly solve urban problems. The project received the talking name "Lopata" (shovel).
The motivation for the need of such a project was the harsh Odessa reality, says the founder of the platform. For instance, in the courtyard of the house where he lives, there is an abandoned boiler room, which poses a danger for pedestrians: a coffee bar was opened nearby, working in violation of all conceivable regulation. Not ready to understand from which side to approach the resolution of these problems, the guy listened to the advice of his mother, who suggested looking at the issue more globally and creating a kind of community.
“Mom was the ideological inspirer of our project. We decided to create a platform, where citizens could get together and solve such urgent problems together, collect resources, money, and materials together,”said Daniel.
It took half a year from the idea to the launch of the portal. Now, the site is working in test mode, but those who wish can already register on it and, noting the location on the map of Odessa, add one city problem. At first the young man named his project Move, but later changed his mind and settled on the simpler and more memorable “Lopata" (shovel).
It can be a variety of tasks to improve the city: from local issues in one yard, a collapsing facade of the house or lack of parking spaces for bicycles, to large-scale ones like the sunken tanker Delphi. After adding a problem, other people can join in its discussion and solution to help with tips, ideas or finances. The expected outcome of this interaction is the implementation and resolution of the issue.
“In Odessa there are still similar platforms, like “My City” and “Citizen”. But they are focused on projects and subjective Wish list of people, whilst we gather on urban problems and solve them by brainstorming. In addition to donations, we want to attract investors and the city government to the platform,”says Daniel.