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Hanna Bondar: Kubrakov asked US Ambassador not to fund development of new urban planning code

According to the MP, this may be related to draft law 5655 - the code would prevent its implementation.

Hanna Bondar: Kubrakov asked US Ambassador not to fund development of new urban planning code
Oleksandr Kubrakov
Photo: facebook/Oleksandr Kubrakov

Former Minister of Community, Territorial and Infrastructure Development Oleksandr Kubrakov personally blocked grant funding for the development of a new urban planning code for Ukraine. The head of the relevant subcommittee of the Verkhovna Rada, MP Hanna Bondar, told in an interview "City authorities, residents, experts and the state are all fighting among themselves for urban space". 

The intervention of then-Minister Kubrakov in the process of creating the urban planning code took place in the spring of this year, when the working group had already held dozens of working sessions in specialised groups and was preparing to create a concept for the document.

"We had a partner in international technical assistance, USAID HOVERLA. And in April, our former minister Kubrakov went - without declaring war, as they say - to the US ambassador to Ukraine and asked to close funding for four projects, including ours," says Hanna Bondar, head of the working group on the development of the code. "It was a grant for five experts who would professionally process the results of our working sessions and develop the text of the concept. It also covered public events during the discussion process and the translation of materials into English." 

According to Bondar, such actions by Minister Kubrakov could be due to the fact that the development of the urban planning code could interfere with the implementation of the well-known draft law 5655. "Since the ministry was very supportive of that draft law (5655), they saw certain risks in the creation of our draft code," the MP believes. 

Answering a question about the participation of the Ministry of Digital Transformation in the process of developing a new urban planning code, Hanna Bondar noted that the Ministry does not attend meetings of specialised working groups. 

"We even have a special subgroup on digitalisation. While working on the composition of the subgroups, we invited the Ministry of Digital Transformation along with other official letters. A month later, there was no response from them. "The Committee decided to approve the composition of the WGs from those representatives of the institutions that had provided official responses," said the MP. "The Ministry of Digital Transformation responded a month after the approval of the composition of the groups. We immediately included their contacts in the mailing list of the working group and they receive all the materials and invitations, but I do not see them at the meetings." 

The idea to develop the Urban Development Code of Ukraine emerged last year, after the failure of the first submission of draft law 5655, which was supposed to update state regulation in this area. The draft law, authored by Olena Shulyak, the head of the relevant parliamentary committee and head of the Servant of the People party, caused a large wave of public debate and rejection. The President did not veto the bill, but he did not sign it either. 

After that, MP and architect Hanna Bondar was offered to develop an alternative legislative document that would regulate the relations of market participants in this area. In June 2023, work began on the creation of the code, which, according to the standards for working on a document of this level, will take two years. 

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