A chaotic mix of styles. Sidewalks cluttered with cars. A shortage of residential buildings.
Kyiv has these flaws and more, but steps are being taken to overcome them and the city is moving forward, architect and designer Simon Scott, head of international business for Leslie Jones Architecture, told the Kyiv Post.
Scott, whose London-based company provides design services for retail, office and residential buildings, is a regular visitor to the Ukrainian capital. He will also be one of the speakers at the International Architecture Forum, this year entitled “World Architecture: Globalization, Interaction, Influence,” which will take place in Kyiv in June.
During a walk on Kyiv’s main street, Khreshchatyk, Scott shared with the Kyiv Post his views on the city’s problems and what Kyiv’s authorities should do.
Scott describes Kyiv as a beautiful and diverse city, but one that to respect its public space more, control its parking more and to build more new residential buildings.
“I don’t know how many times I’ve been to Kyiv. I come here probably once every two months, and I’ve been working in Kyiv for about six years. So I’ve seen historic changes, the ups and downs of the economy,” Scott said, as he waited for the green light on a crosswalk at Besarabska Square in the city center.
There are too many cars on the streets in Kyiv and lax parking regulations, Scott said. The cars aren’t going to go away. Heavy traffic is normal for any big city. But transport needs to be seen as the circulating lifeblood that keeps everything else in the city going.
Cars should stick to the roads. On Kyiv sidewalks, pedestrians often find themselves weaving around parked cars. “We’re standing on the pavement, which is a nice space, but as with many other areas of the city, it’s dominated by cars,” Scott said.
While Kyiv authorities say they are focused on improving public transport, the gap between the number of cars being driven on Kyiv’s streets and a number of parking spaces keeps growing.
Kyiv provides 39,000 parking spots in 890 locations. According to the Auto Consulting automobile portal, Kyiv – with a metropolitan area population of at least 3 million people – has 353 cars for every 1,000 residents. Doing the math, that adds up to a lot of cars with nowhere to park.
Scott said many other cities in Europe face difficult parking situation nowadays, naming Madrid and Barcelona as examples. “Whatever the city can do to mitigate issues of parking would definitely help the public environment,” he said. More