Pilot PLAN Z on the cultural transformation in small cities of Ukraine has lasted for almost a year.

Its main purpose is to provide a second chance  for the  revival of small towns through the implementation of cultural policy and creation of cultural and economic development strategies of the territories. The expert group includes experienced professionals, each with their own completed projects and experience in strategic planning and project management.
On August 18 and 19, experts from the Institute for Cultural Policy started the research phase of the work with the possibility of further implementation of the project PLAN Z in Kozyatyn. The project is entitled "KoZyatyn. Let's change the city for us".
In the first meetings with the townspeople public opinion on the development of the city  was studied, there were numerous conversations and interviews. Not only the experience of European cities was presented, but the Ukrainian ones too, that have made a step toward the development of creative and cultural economy. Irina Frenkel, chairman of the Institute for Cultural Policy, had an opportunity to speak with the  Kozyatyn Mayor,  Mr. Alexander Puzyr. All questions were related to cultural policy and the perception of culture as a resource of the area.

Mr. Alexander, in your opinion, where do small cities of Ukraine move?
It is difficult to give a definite answer, much depends on what is a major driver of the economy of the city, its geographic location, dependence on large-scale production or transport interchanges, such as in Kozyatyn where quite a large percentage of citizens work on the railroad, and the city is known first all for its unique station. We, as a team, set a goal to make the city more economically attractive to investors and easier and more interesting to the public.
I first heard about "Plan Z" in May  - as the basis for the strategy development of culture and the economy as a whole in a small, in some ways similar to our city.
Active development of cultural space plays much in attracting investments. No one will invest in a gray, half-dead city. Rich cultural space means that the city "breathes" and proximity to transport interchanges distinguishes us from the so-called "competing cities."

Do you think it possible to change the filling of the urban environment through the development of intangible ideas?
I partially agree. People want to see the changes, not just hear talk about them. And it does not even have to be something costly in financial terms.
 Elementary, if to paint  the kindergarten, fairy tale characters on the facade, and for some, a trip to the kindergarten will not be so gray. The City Council allocates five thousand for the paint and civic activists transform ordinary building into a true fairy-tale. I would like to make the city more vibrant, both day and night. We even won a grant for street lighting with several brand new solar-powered lights.
And we thought of "Murals", but the last word here  is not only for the citizens. We must find and work out the idea and in this context transform the urban environment.

What are the most successful examples of urban development in the world in cultural amd economic context you know?
At the time, I was struck by the film "The transformation of Bogota" about several quite eccentric dreamers who managed to transform criminal and uncomfortable  Colombia capital into one of the most secure and attractive for life cities throughout South America. Innovative approaches to problem solving and constant communication with the public have become part of their success, and that is what we try to attain.
There is interesting experience of "flourishing" of Svinoustye  (a Polish city) – it has been transformed from the city military base into a resort where musicians play at almost every turn, and the city is bright at any time of day.
Since 2009, they have held Baltic Business Forum, and in 2015 they opened a terminal for liquefied natural gas, its capacity is 7.5 billion cubic meters of gas. This is primarily due to cultural degeneration.
Speaking of Kozyatyn in cultural and economic perspective in terms of tourism development, it is clear that we can not compete with resort towns. But the role of Kozyatyn as a railway junction that passes a huge number of people during the day can cover a completely different audience. These are people who travel there - they want to travel, buy food, but it is at least. The program maximum  is the formation of cultural space that will allow us  not only to make a positive impression on visitors, but often welcome guests from neighboring towns and villages.
Unfortunately there is not always time and energy left  to travel so far as we would like, a lot of cities you can learn from.

Do you need to use the human potential for the development of the city?
First of all, residents themselves should change  the city. Without active participation of the community, ongoing discussions and close cooperation with citizens from local activists and many of the ideas would not get a start in life.
But sometimes you are exhausted in terms of ideas or plunge headlong into work and do not see that the solution is on the surface. In addition, we always regarded the development of culture in addition to something carried out by various activities, but it was not a united strategy. Plan Z is the first new way of thinking, a departure from organizing events for the measures and the rejection of such practice for the benefit of the strategic plan of the outlined goal: economic and cultural development of the city.

The problem of Kozyatyn, like many other cities in its half-closedness – the local got accustomed to. Movement, innovative techniques, the so-called "enthusiasm" can not exist independently within the city, occasionally it needs such a cultural shake-up, an external shock.
Reading Plan Z I first of all paid attention to the cooperation between authorities and communities, NGOs, activists and the emphasis is on teamwork. This is not new for us, community activists eventually grew into Kozyatyn deputies City Council, passed the civil service as NGO activists in areas that they were involved. Someone just starts to work through the budget of public initiatives that we adopted the example of Vinnytsa.
We have held not only one event, organized more than one holiday, be it a city's or patriotic quest last Saturday (the only city - the only country)
The city may be changed only by the people themselves. Not with the mindless financial investment. The results of local NGOs again show us that the idea is possible to be realized at minimum cost, and the main capital is human capital.

Why does Kozyatyn need transformation?
- Society seeks to change, and I want to change the city for the better and create comfortable living conditions for the residents of all ages. I wish that young people remained in the city and all without exception feel an integral part of the city, the city that we are building together.
The transformation, this impulse is needed also for small businesses. For example, in Poland quite a large part of the tax that goes to the city budget is a tax that is paid just by a small business, which in turn depends on the cultural and economic level of the city and the so-called domestic tourism. At events such as the City Day young people gather from around the area and they want to do it more often, but our goal is to provide the foundation for the development of culture in the city. For the organization of concerts, it might be an open air theater as, for example, in Zhmerynka. The variety of cultural activities and is thus "breathing" of the city, about which we spoke at the beginning.

The transformation of  Space involves firstly the transformation of consciousness. Are you personally and your team ready to change your attitude to urban spaces and their content?
- Frankly speaking, that's why I plan to bring a team working on plan Z. There is a great desire to change the city, its cultural space, its perception. Team Plan Z has the experience, including international. Borrowing practice of other cities and their adaptation to the realities of Kozyatyn is one of our main objectives in the strategy "KoZyatyn – let us change the city for us!"

In conclusion, I want to say that Kozyatyn really wants to change. The community has long outgrown the title of the city - the station that is proved by its real activity and achievements. Collaboration has only started. However, today the expert group may include a large human potential of the city and their confidence.
Talked Irina Frenkel, chairman of the Institute for Cultural Policy.