Development of sports and recreation infrastructure in Chisinau

At the request of citizens and drawing inspiration from the experience of a number of European capitals, the municipality of Chisinau tends to become a city with modern and accessible sports and recreation infrastructure. Besides basketball, volleyball and mini-football courts inside yards and sports grounds at educational institutions, there were put up fitness and workout grounds in public spaces and yards of apartment buildings, including for persons with special needs, and also swings and chess tables. The head of the General Housing and Public Amenities Division Ion Burdiumov told IPN about these areas and the population’s contribution to keeping public property.

Recreational areas in the capital city

The project to put up fitness and workout grounds was launched over four years ago at the request of dwellers. Both the municipality and the citizens of Chisinau, especially the young ones, asked to place equipment in their yards so as to be able to do sports, at least workout and fitness grounds. The requests were granted and information was collected and the project still goes on. Overt 400 workout and fitness grounds have been put up so far, stated Ion Burdiumov.

In “La Izvorˮ Park, together with the Mini-Football Federation , basketball, volleyball, field tennis, beach volleyball courts and table tennis and Ping-Pong tables were placed. In “Valea Trandafirilorˮ Park, football, basketball, badminton courts and a skate park were built. The beach volleyball court is close to completion. In “Dendrariuˮ Park, a large playground was set up, while another playground was adjusted for children with special needs, similar to the one available in “Valea Trandafirilorˮ Park. One more new workout ground was put up in “Dendrariuˮ and swings were placed there.

All the playgrounds are set up by contractors chosen at public tender contests and the winning companies not always execute the works properly. The Division’s specialists can fail to see those faults, but the playgrounds later need to be repaired. New models of playgrounds will be thought up for next year. They will be considering the models existing in Bucharest, Vienna and Barcelona and will choose playgrounds made from ecological materials.

Building of sports and recreation infrastructure

Each citizen can notify the municipality of problems identified in Chisinau through the portal EU.CHISINAU. The person can send a letter to the Division’s email address or submit a request in written form. There are playgrounds and fitness grounds requested by an initiative group. For example, a request letter is sent to the Chisinau City Hall for a yard to be included in the program to set up a playground as there are many children there. The letter is signed by a number of dwellers; 3-4 signatures are enough. The Division’s specialists travel to the scene to see if the ground can be put up and what model will be the most suitable one. The local infrastructure, such as heat, gas, water and sewer pipes and telephone lines are taken into account.

The sports equipment is bought through public tender contests. A working group examines the company’s documents and, if these comply with the legislation and the Division’s requirements, a contract is signed by stipulating the works execution deadline and the warranty period. If there are a number of bidders, the lowest bid is chosen, if this meets all the conditions. The contests involve business entities operating in Moldova, including certified equipment producers, and also equipment importing companies. Before the outbreak of the war, most of the companies worked with Ukraine. Now they import from Romania, Turkey.

Maintenance of sports equipment and recreational places

The fitness/workout grounds are maintained by General Housing and Public Amenities Division through municipal residential services enterprises and municipal housing sector enterprises or associations of co-owners. For public spaces and parks, complex models of fitness/workout grounds are chosen, with more elements. There are standard fitness grounds that are placed in yards of apartment buildings. These elements are agreed with dwellers, with the City Hall’s commissions that examined the place to see what ground to set up.

Without intervention, a fitness ground is used for 4-5 years. Repair works are later needed. In yards of apartment buddings, the dwellers take care of the equipment or inform the Division and this intervenes.

On larger areas in parks, surveillance cameras are set up, but it is harder to install them on playgrounds and yards of apartment buildings as the cameras are very expensive. They bank on people’s common sense and on the locals’ vigilance.

Information boards with the rules of conduct were placed alongside sports and recreation infrastructure. The fitness and workout grounds are not intended for children younger than seven and cannot be used by inebriated persons or by persons who have medical contraindications.

Besides resistance and security, attention is devoted to the visual aspect of these grounds. The design should be attractive and unpretentious. Bright and neutral colors are mainly used, such as white and gray. Also, the infrastructure in Chisinau needs to be friendly and accessible to all the people. That’s why the parks have access ways for persons with disabilities and there are are playgrounds or fitness grounds that are adjusted to their needs upon consultations with associations working in the field.

Milena Macarciuc, IPN

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