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City: Kiev

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Kiev is an example among those cities which, over the past few decades, have joined the movement in Europe for recovering public spaces. To be highlighted particular is the "Heavenly Hundred" Garden, special mention of the 2016 Award.
For years, the use of an empty lot as a rubbish tip just a few streets from Independence Square in the old centre of Kiev was a blatant symptom of the contempt in which public space is held in the city. In February 2014, in the harshest days of the Revolution of Dignity—also known as EuroMaidan (literally Europe Square)—some activists took down the fence surrounding this land in order to put up barricades and defend themselves from the police. The toll of the brutality with which the authorities crushed the protests was more than a hundred deadand many injured. A week later, the residents living around the vacant lot decided to occupy it and use it as a meeting place where they could keep discussing the democratic reforms that were needed in Ukraine.

The idea of the people who took part in the occupation was to clean up and convert the former rubbish tip into an agreeable garden which would keep alive the memory of the victims of police brutality. Now named “Heavenly Hundred” garden, the place was to bring together the merely commemorative function and leisure and creative activities which would invite people to share their daily lives. The slogan, “No tears or candles but only action” was the inspiration for a place which was to be transformed by means of community co-production and self-management, with the help of the NGO Misto-sad but with no interference from the authorities.

Access to the work’s complete description through the link to the archive

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