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Edineț – in the process of transition towards a modern and sustainable municipality with the financial support of the European Union

Municipality of Edineț, 06 December 2023. Modernised, digitised public services based on environmentally friendly technologies were inaugurated today in the municipality of Edineț.

Modernised, digitised public services based on environmentally friendly technologies were inaugurated today in the municipality of Edineț. These services include sustainable public transport, smart street lighting, investments in the local education system, etc. These remarkable results have been achieved within the framework of the project “Edineț – insights into tomorrow cities” financed by the European Union and implemented by the City Hall of Edineț municipality in partnership with Alba Iulia City Hall, Romania.

In recent years, the municipality of Edineț has managed to attract investments from various programmes funded by the EU and its Member States. Infrastructure in schools and kindergartens has been improved, a new water and sanitation system has been built, an industrial park has been developed, providing more than 400 jobs. Today we are launching a number of smart public services, which will also contribute to the implementation of systemic change at the local level, including the promotion of smart urban governance through participatory approach. I am confident that these services will improve the lives of residents in a tangible way, which is the main objective of the European Union,” said Jānis Mažeiks, Ambassador of the European Union to the Republic of Moldova.

Subsequently, residents and guests of the municipality of Edineț will benefit from modernised public transport infrastructure, including 8 modern and environmentally friendly (EURO 6) buses, accessible to people with disabilities and with a high level of comfort for passengers. At the same time, in order to increase the efficiency and transparency in the operation of public transport, the municipality will also benefit from a transport management system that includes GPS monitoring and a control point with installed monitoring equipment, while passengers will be able to choose between 3 methods of payment for transport services: bank card, a specially developed card or cash.

At the same time, within the framework of the project, 17 smart public bus stations, equipped with information panels, video cameras, photovoltaic lighting, and Wi-Fi (free access to the Internet) have been built. Traffic lights with a programmed green light system for public transport have been installed at three road intersections in the city centre.

Within the project, the public street lighting system has been modernised and equipped with video surveillance cameras, of which 10 public lighting poles have been equipped with additional functionalities, such as a Wi-Fi system and a USB socket; and 3 poles have been equipped with multi-functional information panels (temperature, air quality and time sensors). In order to modernise the public lighting system, 216 poles, over 200 LED lights, over 40 video cameras, a video data storage server, 410 public lighting control modules have been installed, and 40 public lighting switch-on points have been modernised and integrated into the remote-control system.

It should be emphasised that the electricity needed for the operation of the modernised infrastructure is produced from renewable energy sources, also provided with the financial support of the European Union. In this respect, a photovoltaic system has been mounted on the building of the city hall, the Young Technicians Centre, and the Cultural Centre in municipality Edineț, with a capacity of 40kW each. At the same time, to ensure the proper functioning of the smart public infrastructure, an underground network of 7.2 km of optical fibre (Internet) has been installed to connect the smart public objectives and also the public transport video surveillance and monitoring system.

In order to increase the sustainability of the municipality of Edineț, the project also promotes the culture of engaging residents in the decision-making process to modernise and streamline public infrastructure. Thus, 5 tenants’ associations in Edineț benefit from grants offered by the European Union, totalling about 3,590,800 lei. The grants have been offered following a public competition on applicable smart solutions for the benefit of tenants. Finalists have been selected through public voting. Thus, the grants offered are meant to solve problems in residential areas in order to modernise the infrastructure adjacent to the apartment blocks, such as the efficient arrangement of public spaces in neighbourhoods, paving, the arrangement of functional areas, the installation of doors, smart lighting, and solutions for the management of rainwater and green areas based on automated irrigation systems.

Moreover, in the context of the Digital Transformation Strategy of the Republic of Moldova for 2023-2030, within the framework of the project, the Smart Lab – a Multidisciplinary Studies Centre for Students and Teacher Training in Digitalisation – has been created and equipped on the premises of the local Mihai Eminescu Lyceum.

Among the smart public services inaugurated in Edineț is the One-Stop Shop at the premises of the city hall. The One-Stop Shop has been equipped with furniture for comfortable servicing of the population. Within the framework of the project, the shop will soon receive IT equipment and an urban data platform and e-chancellery system will be developed. Citizens will subsequently be able to apply for about 20 types of documents, including urban planning certificates for design, building or demolition permits, notifications of commercial activity commencement, issuance of duplicates and extracts from the archives, and much more.

It is worth underlining that this pilot project has not only opened up new horizons for Edineț community, but has also been a formula of civic engagement, prioritisation of needs, as well as a trend of retrieving new public services in a predominantly European society, both as an affirmation and an aspiration. Thus, Edineț remains a trailblazer on the safe path towards the European Community. We are grateful to the European Union for this opportunity,” said Constantin Cojocaru, Mayor of Edineț.

The event culminated in the inauguration of the “Edineț – Smart City” symbol installed in the city centre, which marks the direction of urban development in the municipality of Edineț for the coming years.

Background information

The aim of the “Edineț – a city with a future perspective” project, which is in the process of implementation between March 1, 2021 and February 28, 2025, is to improve the quality of urban development, public services and, in general, the standard of living of the residents of Edineț, through the application of smart solutions in several areas of urban development: local government, public services, residential neighbourhoods, business, and education.

The project budget is 4,358,886 Euros, of which 4,140,186 Euros are a grant from the European Union through the “Local Authorities: Partnerships for Sustainable Cities 2020” programme, and 218,700 Euros is the contribution of the implementing partners.

The project started with the development of the General Urban Plan. It contains the plan of the city’s territorial development for the next 15 years.

Local Public Authorities