Volunteers from the Smolensk Center of Urban Development are building an online marketplace to allow local farmers to sell their products online. This way, the urbanists plan to get rid of the relic of the past—brick and mortar markets. The second objective is to help farmers sell their produce in the face of the pandemic.
Within our support campaign for nonprofits, we have provided the Center of Urban Development with a free CS-Cart Multi-Vendor license for their marketplace. We hope this project will change the city for better and help regional farmers generate more income from online sales.
Dmitry, the representative of the Smolensk Center of Urban Development:
We live in Smolensk and we love our city. We’re trying to improve it, make it more convenient and modern, and protect few green areas in Smolensk.
Recently, the city government has decided to build a new market in one of the green areas. And we managed to stop the construction activities to save the green area. The project of the market contradicted all the construction standards and logic.
What we did:
- We proved that there was no need for a market in that green area.
- We collected over 450 signatures from local citizens for the construction cancellation.
- We discussed the problem with the mayor of the city and appealed against the constriction.
We got a public response and managed to stop the construction of 40 trade spots in the densely populated area of Smolensk. We saved the green area for a park. This is how we came up with an idea to create a virtual market.
We are building an online marketplace for farmers and citizens of the Smolensk region. There will be no commissions for selling on the platform. Every farmer will get his or her own micro-store—a personal storefront inside the marketplace. We will teach farmers how to sell on the online marketplace. We believe that an online marketplace can become an efficient source of income for farmers in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. There will be no middlemen and extra charges. All the products will be delivered from the ecologically friendly farms.
In simple terms, we want to show that using modern technologies is way more effective than building old-fashioned brick and mortar markets that do much harm to the city environment.