The city – Minsk, Belarus
Minsk, the capital of Belarus, was officially founded in 1067 and during the past millennium it has been part of Lithuania, Poland and Russia. In 1941 Nazi Germany invaded the city but the inhabitants resisted, 80% of the houses were destroyed and the population was reduced to a bleak 50,000. Minsk’s resistance did not go unnoticed as the entire city was awarded the Soviet Honorary award of Hero City for outstanding bravery in 1974. The city was rebuilt during the following decades in the Stalinist architectural style, with broad avenues, wide squares and large uniform buildings. The end of the Second World War’s end also marked the beginning of Minsk’s rapid industrialisation and growth. Since the fall of Communism there has been significant improvements to the city’s infrastructure and transport system to support the growing population. Today the city’s 2 million inhabitants can travel around thanks to a network of trams, trolleybuses, trams, metro lines and rail routes- connecting the city center to the suburbs, other cities across Belarus and to other Eastern European capitals.
The Ambassador – Anton
Anton, the Community Ambassador from Belarus’s capital works at a Non Governmental Organization in the sustainability sphere. He is responsible for development and implementation of EU-funded projects in the field of urban mobility. “Transport innovations play a significant role for me… I travel a lot around Belarus as well as Europe.” Anton explains. With Anton’s profession in mind, it seems only natural that he would find Moovit and its Community, “It is a really great example of how assiduous people can be if you give them the right tools (The Editor platform).” Anton initially downloaded Moovit but did not use the app often, this changed when he travelled to the Netherlands. “I was impressed how useful it can be and how easy I could navigate in the country because of Moovit. After this trip I wanted to make navigation in Belarus as convenient.” He reveals.
Acknowledging the complexity of the public transport network across the capital city, Anton points out that within his local Community, “…the main challenge is to inspire editors that it is possible to fix all of the issues.” He is already planning his next mission, to begin connecting satellite towns to the Minsk metropolitan area. Anton’s involvement with the Community extends beyond Minsk, he connected Moovit with several agencies across Belarus, who then went on to map their transit systems. “Anton has been and continues to be a huge help to communication between Moovit and the transit agencies in Belarus,” stated Community Manager Gabriella. Anton talks with pride about just one of these cities, Polotsk. “Before Moovit the city didn’t have any transportation app and now it has the best one!” Finally, Anton believes the future is bright for public transport users across Belarus, “Just a few cities have transport apps thus Moovit could easily spread around the country.”