In light of chaotic urbanization, absence of regulation plans and neglecting public interests in decision making, green spaces and public areas have decreased significantly, cultural heritage has been damaged. As a result, the constitutional right to live in a healthy environment is being violated on a daily basis, especially in urban settlements; the ecological situation is worsening and the population has limited access to public areas. Thus, public initiatives and active participation in decision making are important along with protecting public interests, amid municipal activities and urban development.
On November 20, Open Society Georgia Foundation unveiled four projects, winning the competition “Protection of Public Interest in Municipal Activities.” The projects will be implemented in Tbilisi, Batumi, and Ozurgeti and they will be financed within the framework of the Participatory Democracy Program.
The purpose of all the four projects is to protect public areas against chaotic urban planning, to participate in developing policy on green spaces and cultural heritage and to promote sustainable urban development.
- Young Greens – carrying out an active campaign against the construction of a multi-functional complex in Digomi forest-park and of a Riviera complex in Batumi; empowering environmental groups in Batumi.
- Batumi Office of Civil Society Institute – Batumi greening and environmental policy research, revealing shortcomings and developing recommendations for rectifying these shortcomings; empowering local groups interested in greening and ecology; increased participation of citizens in environmental decisions.
- Initiative group “Let’s Save Mtatsminda” – developing environmental, geological and legal arguments against massive rebuilding in Mtatsminda district, taking a case to court, planning and carrying out campaigns against construction.
- Innovations and Civil Development Center – a campaign advocating the development and approval of the general plan in Ozurgeti.