Case Study

Social and cultural space “Telegraph”

Space for meetings and dialogue.

What happened?

The Telegraph social and cultural space is a place for meetings, dialogue and joint activities of citizens, including entrepreneurs and activists, a platform for the creation and development of the local community, and a venue for various social, cultural and educational events. The activities of Telegraph are aimed at developing practices of public participation and involving citizens in solving issues of urban planning and improvement, developing urban culture, as well as providing cultural and educational services to residents and visitors of the city.

  • Who can help?
  • Cultural organisations (e.g. centres for youth). NGOs connected to the field of urban studies and enterprises.
  • Administration units of urban districts.
Social and cultural space “Telegraph”


The main goal of the project was to create a social and cultural platform (community center) for various events and dialogue, including the authorities. It was supposed to develop competencies among citizens through educational events and expert advice.

Created space was supposed to strengthen local activists' community to prove that they can have an influence on the processes of urban planning and development through participatory design of public spaces in the municipality.

The Telegraph project aimed also at revitalisation of this part of the city and – as a consequence - stimulating Small Business Development, attracting attention to Svetlogorsk and increasing its tourist attractiveness which gives opportunity to get profits.

How? (tools & methods)

  • During the process lots of meetings with representatives of the local administration and experts happened. A constructive dialogue was established, forms of interaction were developed, the ideas for improving public spaces started to be heard.
  • There were also workshops, discussions and contests organised. Design workshops are described as an important part of the project as they were developed for the arrangement of public spaces (squares, parks) which are currently being implemented.
  • An exhibition dedicated to the Water Tower in Svetlogorsk became an action of protecting cultural heritage. During the exhibition, signatures were collected under the appeal on the implementation of the restoration of the tower. To date, money has been allocated for its renovation.
  • Interactive Fix-map has become a form of interaction between citizens and local authorities. Citizens recorded city problems on the map (lack of street lighting, broken sidewalk, etc.), authorities receive timely information and the possibility of response. The most noticeable effect of the map was the reconstruction of the city lighting system: many dark areas were lit, the motion sensors were used, which saved lighting costs.

How much time is needed?

  • process: 13 months (from September 2018) , ongoing
  • event: The space has been actively working since May 2019. So far it has not reached full power.
  • For whom?
  • Residents of the municipality of all ages and social backgrounds.
  • To a greater extent - active people, interested in public participation
  • or getting wider access to cultural services (for adults and children).

What worked out?

The project involved the community into the processes of design and development of public spaces in the city: inventory of municipal territories, creating and updating design projects for park zones, transfer (under pressure from the community) of urban territory from the category of zones intended for development, into the zone of public spaces where sports ground will now be established. The Telegraph identified active citizens who are ready to work in the community and to volunteer in the event (conducting classes, etc.). The project strengthened cultural activity in the city and expanded educational and leisure opportunities - holding educational and cultural events for children and adults, educational and other events. In the end the project developed the city into a comfortable, environmentally friendly, slow city.

What should you be aware of?

One of the obstacles in organising such events is absence or lack of financial resources. The other problem is the lack of volunteers and the underdevelopment of volunteer consciousness in a society - regarding own willingness to participate, criticism and condemnation addressed to activists. Responsibility was shifted to the administration.

    Data obtained by cookies and similar technologies serves to help us improve the website and make sure our readers get the content they want thanks to the use of statistics. If you do not agree to your data being processed, please make sure to change your browser settings. If you have any questions regarding our policies on data processing, please feel free to contact us at