Kolomiya2-640x384Source: Dzerkalo Kolomyi

A person, who has an aim and a goal in life, will be successful sooner or later. Unlike a person, who lives for the day and does not have any plans. The life of such a person is going around in circles, chaotically going in different directions – towards things which are never accomplished. While some people are going around in circles, the world is moving forward, moving further and further away from them.

ites and their fates are not very much different from those of people. A city can be successful when it knows where it is going. This endpoint is a comprehensive strategic development plan, prepared for decades. Such a strategy should identify the priority development directions, and form a comprehensive image of the city: in other words define what the city should be in 5, 10 or 20 years. The strategy will allow focusing the city’s efforts and resources on the promising areas for Kolomyia, and drop out the areas with no prospects. Besides, availability of the strategic plan will make impossible the dependence of the city development on the parties’ positions of the representatives of local government and on the fact whether this activity is implemented before the elections or after. At the moment Kolomyia is managed ad hoc, depending on the situation and political expediency. Now we would like to have a swimming pool, tomorrow we do not want it; at certain point we renovate “Pysanka”, then we do not. There are a lot of such examples. It is not possible to be successful this way in contemporary global world.

Therefore, if we want Kolomyia to become “Eastern European pearl”, if we don’t want to lose its charm and slide back to the provincial level, local authorities, supported by the community and experts, shall prepare relevant strategic development plan for Kolomyia. It should be not just on paper. It should be a real plan for city development, identifying priority areas and image of Kolomyia that we would like to have and the way to get there, mentions “Dzerkalo Kolomyi”.

Currently, we don’t have such a plan for the city. At the moment there are only attempts to develop it. Mr. Sergyi Kotsur, First Deputy Mayor, is responsible for this in the City Hall. So we asked him for the comments. Mr Kotsur says that absence of the long-term strategy is one of the major problems for the city. So the team started developing such a document. However, continues the Deputy Mayor, it turned out that we lack qualified specialists in the city. Therefore, the authorities consider that we will be able to prepare a good development strategy only if everybody is involved in this process – city council staff, representatives of the political parties, public activists, and experts.

Also Sergiy Kotsur tells us that Kolomyia participates in Canadian PLEDDG program. This Program provides great support and specialists who will manage the process of strategy development. Apart from Kolomyia the following Carpathian cities take part in the program: Ivano-Frankivsk, Dolyna and Yaremche. At the moment the advisory committee is formed and half a year preparatory period started. By October this team will prepare the final text.

Concerning the content of this strategy, i.e. the way of Kolomyia development, Sergiy Kotsur says, that he sees our city having developed environmental friendly industry and engaged in tourism activities. Kolomyia should not become a tourist Mecca, but it should be the city where tourists would like to stay for more than half a day. Cleanness, comfort and infrastructure should become key features of our city.

The former deputy of the City Council, Mr. Vitaliy Vandych, also takes part in elaboration of strategic development plan. Now he is the regional coordinator of PLEDDG in Ivano-Frankivsk oblast – the program in the framework of which our strategy will be developed. Vitaliy says that competent Ukrainian, Polish and Canadian experts will be actively involved in this process. However a lot will depend on local authorities, on their cooperativeness. At the moment there is good cooperation and willingness to work. Besides, I would like to mention, that without involvement of the active representatives of public any strategy will only be a declaration. The community should be directly involved in its development and following implementation and monitoring, believes Vitaliy Vandych.

In the end of April, when the practical work starts, it will be more or less clear how the final strategy will look like. However it is already clear that tourism should be the basis of the strategy development, as it is difficult to suggest anything else. “The perk” of our city could be attractive city center, and also Kolomyia’s location. It is located in the center of the assumed figure, in the corners of which there are Bukovel, Ivano-Frankivsk – Galych, Chernivtsy – Khotyn, Pniv – Skyt Manyavskyi, Dnistrovskyi canyon. So, in any case, judging by the replies of the participants of development strategy preparation, it will be based on tourism.

We also asked active community representatives about strategic development plan. Well-known lawyer Mykhailo Petriv says that such strategy should have been developed long ago.

However, if it is developed now, Mykhailo says, at the start of the process the Mayor should inform the community about actual state of things in the city. What is left in the municipal property, balance of the funds, population (disaggregated by groups), jobs, tax payers etc. This is a kind of audit report, and this information should be public. After that, continues Mr. Petriv, the authorities should present the final goal, i.e. how they see the city. It should be an industrial center (which is not realistic in principle), industrial center with medium-size production or just tourist and recreation city. At the same time it is necessary to present measures and tools for reaching this.

Besides, Mykhailo Pertiv considers that social sphere should play an important role in the development strategy, as Kolomyia is a student city. There are about 5 thousand students studying there, however the city does not work with them. There are no common traditions, events etc.

From this starting point Kolomyia begins the development of its strategic and long-term development plan. We would like to remind you that in 2010 there were attempts to elaborate a development strategy. However it did not produce any specific results. We hope that this time the work will be more effective.