• Українською
  • While rebuilding infrastructure focus to be placed on barrier-free requirements, says Oleksandr Kubrakov

    The Ministry for Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development has already developed a plan to implement barrier-free solutions. Its goal is to ensure that the restored facilities are 100% compliant with accessibility norms and standards.

    One of the key tools will be the resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers adopted the day before to ensure barrier-free environment, energy efficiency and civil protection requirements.

    The relevant decisions were presented by Oleksandr Kubrakov, Deputy Prime Minister for Restoration of Ukraine - Minister for Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development, at a meeting of the Barrier-Free Environment Council. The event took place on February 15 with the participation of Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal and First Lady Olena Zelenska.

    "Today, the vast majority of physical environment objects are not adapted for use by people with limited mobility. According to our estimates, only 20% of physical environment facilities and 30% of civil defense facilities are barrier-free or partially barrier-free. The war only exacerbates these systemic problems.

    To address them, the team of the Ministry for Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development has already developed a detailed action plan. We are taking a comprehensive approach to reconstruction and are engaged in laying the necessary groundwork, including adopting the necessary regulations. We are talking about improving construction norms and standards, controlling their compliance, and monitoring barrier-free access.

    The decisions envisaged in the plan are the result of our consultations with local authorities, NGOs and experts. It is important for us that a wide range of Ukrainians are involved in the changes in this area.

    We expect that by the end of 2024, 100 percent of the restored facilities, including social and administrative infrastructure, will meet the accessibility requirements," said Oleksandr Kubrakov.

    Stages of decision implementation

    This year, it is planned to introduce an effective system for monitoring compliance with construction standards for physical accessibility, increase liability for violations of such requirements, and improve the procedure for monitoring and assessing the degree of providing barrier-free environment in facilities.

    Direct monitoring of the accessibility of buildings, amenities and transport infrastructure is also expected to be completed by the end of 2023.

    By the end of 2024, the Ministry for Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development, in cooperation with other agencies, plans to improve state building codes and introduce new standards in the field of accessibility of physical environment and transport.

    In addition, the implementation of urban planning reform (draft law No. 5655) will contribute to the implementation of barrier-free environment standards. Among other things, the reform envisages the introduction of a mechanism to monitor compliance by designers, contractors and customers with building codes in terms of accessibility of infrastructure for people with limited mobility.

    In January, Olena Zelenska and Oleksandr Kubrakov presented new sections of the Album of Barrier-Free Environment Solutions, which deal with the arrangement of streets, public spaces and buildings. This is a practical guide that contains recommendations for the arrangement of barrier-free space and illustrates how to make the urban environment friendly to people with limited mobility.