Klitschko took part in the opening ceremony and in a panel discussion “Cities are central to the solutions – integrated sustainable development strategies”, where he presented key spheres of Kyiv development.
Outlining the challenges he had faced when elected, Vitali Klitschko underlined the deep decay of the city’s economy: a huge foreign debt, neglected municipal infrastructure, where no one invested for decades, an empty treasury, salary debts and no money to develop, a corrupted bureaucratic system.
«In such a situation you start literally from scratch. You have to build an effective system and set a solid foundation for development», Klitschko stressed.
City authorities began with the renewal of economy and fight against corruption. Particularly, they launched the Open Budget to keep track of funds and develop the city. Just in one year’s time, it enabled the municipal budget to get a 30% higher income than we expected, covered all salary debts and invest funds into the renewal of infrastructure and social programs.
“We are finishing construction of a new thread of the city collector, we build new kindergartens and schools, which we acutely lack. We repair hospitals, set up new parks and public gardens, and sports objects. For the third year in a row, we continue to hold large-scale road maintenance. Hundreds of kilometers are restored annually. One of our priorities is the completion of Podilsko-Voskresenskyi Bridge construction. Therefore, creating and updating infrastructure is one of the strategic directions for Kyiv”, he said.
The city has also formed its strategy concerning its behavior with investors. “Last year, 60 percent of attracted investments in our country, came to Kyiv. And work for the city. Businesses see that there are changes, that there are transparent conditions for their operations, that investments in Ukraine are profitable and promising,” Vitali Klitschko underlined.
Municipal authorities pay special attention to their coordination with the community. In Ukraine, the public is very proactive and co-participation and joint efforts produce results. “Together with the public, through courts and delays, we returned to the municipal ownership several objects that were once actually stolen from the city and given out for real estate development. They are the legendary, oldest in Europe velodrome, upgraded and opened a month ago. We also returned and reconstructed the most beautiful Natalka Park. Next year we are going reconstruct Start stadium. These success stories inspire people and give confidence that they influence the future of their city. This is very important, I think. This is a great assistance and support for the city authorities. Yes, we are at the beginning of our way. But we will not turn from it. My ambition is to make Kyiv a true European capital – well developed, comfortable, and beautiful. And we are moving in that direction,” Vitali Klitschko emphasized.
Metropolis, World Association of the Major Metropolises, gathers the governments of almost 140 major cities and metropolitan areas all over the world. It serves as a platform for making contacts and sharing experience to tackle a broad specter of both local and global issues.