In the heart of Ukraine, amidst the ongoing challenges of conflict and destruction, the city of Kyiv has emerged as a beacon of innovation in the realm of smart city governance. The Kyiv Digital app, a comprehensive digital platform, stands as a testament to the city’s unwavering commitment to digital transformation and citizen empowerment. 

At the 2023 Smart City World Congress in Barcelona, UTA was able to sit down and discuss the work of the Kyiv Digital team and in particular their Smart City App. 

Developed initially in 2017, it has evolved to provide a comprehensive set of services which, after the Russian invasion, has been further augmented with powerful features to help citizens in times of war. This article highlights some of the key features of the Kyiv Digital app, exploring its comprehensive features, tangible benefits, and the valuable lessons it offers for other cities seeking to embrace the digital revolution.

A Digital Gateway to City Services

The Kyiv Digital app serves as a comprehensive gateway to a wide spectrum of essential city services, empowering citizens to interact with their government seamlessly and efficiently. At its core, the app streamlines access to government services, eliminating the need for physical visits to government offices and enabling citizens to manage their affairs from the convenience of their homes or mobile devices. The facts speak for themselves, in a city of approx 3.4 million citizens, there are 2.6 million users of the app – clearly, citizens value it

Online Payments: Convenience at Your Fingertips

The Kyiv Digital app simplifies the way citizens make payments to the government. With the Kyiv Digital app, citizens can conveniently pay parking,  fines, and other fees online, saving time and eliminating the hassle of traditional payment methods. In particular, the app can be used as a digital wallet for transportation tickets with covering 6 transport networks including bus and subway.

Education: ensuring access for all

The war has also required adaptation in the education sector as many students no longer have access to schools and are studying at home (or overseas). Kyiv Digital has been augmented with support for staff and students, allowing students to access material online, and to allow staff and parents to track progress and identify issues.

Real-time Updates and Notifications: Staying safe and informed

After the Russian invasion, the app has been adapted to help ensure citizen safety by providing citizens with real-time updates and notifications. These cover critical information such as air raid alerts, curfew timings, and important public announcements. Additionally maps of air raid shelter locations are provided with a handy feedback system to report issues and concerns. This timely and essential information empowers citizens to make informed decisions and stay safe amidst challenging circumstances.

Feedback and Suggestion Portal: A Voice for Citizens

The Kyiv Digital app fosters citizen engagement by providing a platform for submitting feedback, suggestions, and service requests. Citizens can directly communicate their concerns, ideas, and suggestions to the city government, contributing to continuous improvement and innovation. Additionally, as part of an E-Democracy initiative, Citizens can vote on city budgets and help choose how budget is allocated to special projects.

A Model for Smart City Transformation in a time of war

The Kyiv Digital app stands as a testament to the transformative power of technology in empowering citizens and streamlining urban governance, even in the most difficult circumstances. Its innovative features, comprehensive services, and commitment to citizen engagement have earned it recognition as a model for smart city innovation. Its use as a vital tool since the invasion is an example of how cities have to adapt to circumstances, no matter how dire.

Full details of the activities of the Kyiv Digital app in 2023 are available via this link.