Vytautas Grigaravičius, Mayor of Alytus: My main goal is to turn Alytus in one of the best cities for families to live, not just in Europe but worldwide
It’s great to know that the citizens of Alytus can suggest and decide what they need to be improved in the city so they can have a better, happier and healthier live
- January 09, 2019 11:40
- Olya Georgieva
You have been the Mayor of Alytus since 2015. How did you manage to keep the trust of the people?
On the first round of the elections, I received 65% from the votes of the citizens. Such high trust is a great responsibility and I believe that so far I have not disappointed them. I have always stayed true to my principles - honesty, openness and honorableness. The citizens of Alytus know that they can count on me.
How would you describe your city? What do you want our readers to know about Alytus?
Alytus is a small green city and it is an excellent place to raise a family.
Green areas occupy more than one third of the city. Urban greening is very important in order to keep the connection with nature and for people's health. How do you manage to preserve the city's green areas and parks?
We invest in preserving the city’s green areas and creating new ones. Recently we established two interesting green areas: a park, dedicated to the 100th Anniversary of Restoration of Lithuanian State and an alley, which was planted by Alytus citizens, living now abroad. The city of Alytus is also known for its impressive flower areas.
Alytus is known as one of Lithuanian sports tourism attraction points. Tell us more about the sports program of the city.
We are known for our very good sports infrastructure and facilities – football stadiums, swimming pools, pedestrian and cycling roads. Because of it, many international sports events are organized in Alytus.
The city of Alytus is the biggest regional economic and administrative centre of Southern Lithuania. How do you manage to create an economic environment that fosters business and attracts new investment?
Alytus has deep industrial traditions. The city remained true to its chosen strategy of an industrial city, and managed to preserve the advantages of a medium size city: short distances, friendly environment, experienced and diligent specialists. Large scale industry encouraged a rapid development of the city and helped Alytus to earn the name of the Lithuanian industry leader. The Alytus industrial park is the main municipality tool to attract investments. Currently, we are also planning to establish a free economic zone.
Please share with us some interesting projects or good practices of your city. How do you intend to fund them?
I am very proud of the municipality’s participatory budget. Participatory budgeting allows citizens to identify, discuss, and prioritize public spending projects, and gives them the power to make real decisions about how money is spent. It’s great to know that the citizens of Alytus can suggest and decide what they need to be improved in the city so they can have a better, happier and healthier live. The participatory budget is between the ten most prominent and innovative European democracy projects.
What are the main goals and examples that you intend to develop in the near future?
My main goal is to turn Alytus in one of the best cities for families to live, not just in Europe but worldwide.
What do you think about a unified platform for European municipalities and its main goal to make and keep European citizens better informed about what is taking place in the European Union? How can this platform be useful for your projects?
I am honored and happy to be able to present Alytus at the European portal for cities and citizens, so more Europeans could learn more about our green and beautiful city and why not to visit it in 2019.