(Pedestrian thoroughfare in downtown Krasnodar, Russia; photo by Natylie S. Baldwin)
Krasnodar, meaning “beautiful gift”, is located in the Black Sea region of southern Russia. After suffering a devastating level of damage during the Second World War, Krasnodar showed its independence and resourcefulness when it eschewed financial assistance from Moscow and embarked on its own rebuilding efforts.
Formerly a provincial town in a largely agricultural region, Krasnodar has recently evolved into a cosmopolitan city that is the 8th largest in the country. It saw a such a high rate of civic construction in 2014 that it surpassed even Moscow. As a consequence of the challenges presented by this rapid development, Krasnodar is showing its spirit of resourcefulness once again with the rise of the Public Council as an independent citizen initiative to make the city government’s process more responsive to the needs and desires of the people living there.