City officials want to renovate facades with people. How? “We are not ready to say”

The Acting Chief Architect of Uzhgorod wants to "change the wrong approach" of people who believe that the government should be solely responsible for the state of the buildings.

The Acting Head of the Urban Planning and Architecture Department of Uzhgorod city council Leonid Samsonov in the interview to the municipal newspaper "Uzhgorod" spoke about his vision for the reconstruction of the historic center.

As already informed, this year the city government are seriously determined to renovate Teatralna Square. Samsonov told the newspaper the following: "It is important to understand the approach of local authorities: it’s not just about the outside improvement. We want to include in this improvement the main issue – the utilities. In particular, the sewer network on Teatralna Square is extremely old. Of course, it breaks, leaks. So we are going to replace all utility lines within the reconstructed area. There is a designer who deals with utilities, so he will begin to work, taking into account proposals of the winner."

As for the competition, Samsonov informed that it had been completed, of course, without saying why in such secrecy. At the same time, he said: "Teatralna square is just a part of the overall renovation project for the old town. Of course we need to fix up the facades – from the chimney to the pavement. This issue is complex, but it must be addressed, since we are talking about the face of the city. We will seek a mechanism to reconstruct the facades above the shops by joint efforts of the city authorities, residents and owners of commercial premises in historic buildings. I’m now not ready to say how we will do it – the mechanism is not developed."

But the official said that "the government and all owners of the buildings that are used for business purposes in the historic part of the city must be involved." "This is a normal European practice. People use historic buildings, do business and make profit, and want the municipality to bear all the responsibility for the buildings and their appearance. This is the wrong approach, and we will change it."

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