Amalgamated hromada of Baranivka city in the Zhytomyr Oblast is among the first amalgamated hromadas, having now not only a development strategy, but also a scheme for entire territory planning, as well as own identity: a new coat of arms and a brand.
Institute of Civil Society within the frames of the "Support of Institutional Capacity Development of Amalgamated Hromada" project with the financial support of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (London, SW1P 1RT, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) assisted the hromada in the development of this important documentation.
“It is no longer necessary to explain the need for a development strategy and territory planning scheme to amalgamated hromadas. Over the first years of hromada’s work within new conditions, everyone became convinced that these documents are inevitable for smart growth. Though creation of hromada’s own identity is a new point of concern. Its importance has to be explained and examples have to be shown in order to form the first success stories,” said Anatolii Tkachuk, director of science and development at the Institute of Civil Society, during the presentation of the development strategy, planning scheme and the brandbook of Baranivska AH.
According to him, a responsible and capable hromada is not just a group of residents. Establishment of such a hromada is promoted by the sense of trust, unity, solidarity, respect, understanding among most of the residents, and creation of its positive image, namely, identity.
“Why is it important? Only a monolithic family, where everyone respects and trusts each other, becomes successful. The common hromada’s identity does not appear on the second day after the elections. It's true. But if we do not work on it, it will never appear. Though the lack of this identity in the amalgamated hromada may lead to separatist sentiments at the next elections, and the desire of certain territories to separate, which can be manipulated by some candidates. It is especially true for the hromadas that have amalgamated many settlements with either difficult or no relationships between them,”- says Anatolii Tkachuk.
Definitely, there are many means of forming hromada’s identity – these are joint projects of government and hromada residents, participation budgets, common holidays, sports events etc. Though the main components include visualisation and symbolism: the coat of arms and brand.
"Identity development and strategy formation should involve hromada residents, business and civil society representatives, as well as experts. Many different people, thoughts, ideas should engage in the process. Only then will there appear a strategy, and a brand on its basis, that distinguishes one hromada among others, and most importantly - forms the feeling of involvement in hromada’s life and its future in most of the residents. All this not only unites hromada, but also increases its budget, since investors are more interested in such a territory, and local business franchises appear," - says Anatolii Tkachuk.
A coat of arms and logo were developed for the Baranivska AH.
“Both the first and the second issue are important for the identity and promotion of hromada, but they are of different origin and purpose. The coat of arms is an element created on historical background, in the natural environment, used to bring on pride of the past. It is the main sign for official documents and awards. Thus, it is primarily directed to the hromada itself, while the logo focuses on the positive perception of the territory by the others, and is used for territorial branding,” – explains Anatolii Tkachuk.
The new coat of arms of the Baranivska AH depicts the history and nature:
The idea of the brand, the logo of the Baranivska hromada implies organicity, energy and harmony. It combines the symbols of the sun, water, forest and hromada development. This combination stems from the hromada strategy, stating that “the Baranivska hromada is an organic, generous natural environment of active citizens, innovations and organic production.”
“While looking for an idea for the logo, we turned our attention to the image on the wall of one of the old houses in Baranivka. The image was made using original Baranivka porcelain – the ancient pride of the hromada. The form of the element of this image became the basis for the logo,” – said Anatolii Tkachuk.
According to him, as a result, a modern image appeared, close to the people of the hromada. If the hromada decides to use this logo, it should be as accessible to all hromada resident as possible – placed on the official site of the AH. The hromada will be able to use it on business cards, presentation materials, signboards, street signs, souvenirs, communal vehicles, packaging materials produced at hromada’s enterprises, etc.
"I would like to emphasise that hromada’s brand should be based on a quality development strategy elaborated with the involvement of experts and local residents. It cannot appear on its own, but even if it does, it will not perform its function. We spent nine months working on the strategy of the Baranivska AH, the scheme of planning of its territory and identity, inviting hromada residents, experts of the State Enterprise "CIVILBUD" and designers, we also visited the place many times. And we are confident that only as a result of such a thorough work may a product appear that really works for hromada’s growth, and not simply decorates a shelf in the head’s office," – says Anatolii Tkachuk.
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