Subdivisions of Kiev
History of subdivision
The first known formal subdivision of Kiev dates to 1810 when the city was subdivided into 4 parts: Pechersk, Starokyiv, and the first and the second parts of Podil. In 1833-1834 according to Tsar Nicholas I's decree, Kiev was subdivided into 6 police raions; later being increased to 10. As of 1917, there were 8 Raion Councils (Duma), which were reorganized by Pavlo Skoropadskyi into 17 raions. In 1924 bolsheviks reorganized them into the bigger six party-administrated Raions with various sub-raions under Hryhoriy Hrynko administration. All the city modern raions that start with a letter D are located on the left bank of Dnieper and until 1927 were part of Chernigov Governorate with Darnytsia being the first to be incorporated within the city limits that year.
Over the Soviet time, as city was expanding, the number of raions was gradually increasing. The raions has been also commonly named after Soviet party leaders, and as political situation was changing and some leaders were overturned by the other, so raion names were also changing.
The last raion reform took place in 2001 when the number of raions has been decreased from 14 to 10.
Under Oleksandr Omelchenko (mayor from 1999 to 2006), there were further plans for the merger of some raions and revision of their boundaries, and the total number of raions had been planned to be decreased from 10 to 7. With the election of the new mayor-elect (Leonid Chernovetskyi) in 2006, these plans were conducted.
Raions of Kiev
The last Kiev raion reorganization took place in 2001, and currently Kiev raions are:
- Darnytsia Raion (Дарницький район)
- Desna Raion (Деснянський район; after the Desna river)
- Dnipro Raion (Дніпровський район; after the Dnieper river)
- Holosiiv Raion (Голосіївський район)
- Obolon Raion (Оболонський район)
- Pechersk Raion (Печерський район)
- Podil Raion (Подільський район)
- Shevchenko Raion (Шевченківський район; after Taras Shevchenko)
- Solomianka Raion (Солом’янський район)
- Sviatoshyn Raion (Святошинський район)
Most of the raions are named after respective historical neighborhoods of the city.
- Zaliznychny (April 9, 1938 - October 2001), most of it became the Solomianka Raion
- Zhovtnevy (~1920's - October 2001), raion was created on the territory of Shuliavka that became famous for the Uprising of 1905, in 1938 khutor Vidradny was incorporated within the raion, later became the Solomianka Raion
- Minsk (? - March 3, 1975), renamed into Obolon Raion
- Starokyiv ( - October 2001), merged with Sovietsky to form Shevchenko Raion
- Sovietsky ( - October 2001), merged with Starokyiv to form Shevchenko Raion
- Leningrad (April 12, 1973 - October 2001), formed out parts of Zhovtnevy, Sovietsky, and Shevchenko, later renamed into Sviatoshyn Raion
- Shevchenko (prior to 2001)
- Rakhiv-Sviatoshyn (January 1924 - April 1973), included Sviatoshyn sub-raion, later became Leningrad
- Sviatoshyn (1918 - 1924), created by an administrative reform of Pavlo Skoropadskyi, was incorporated as a sub-raion into Rakhiv-Sviatoshyn
- Moscow (1921 - October 2001), reorganized as Holosiiv Raion
- Kharkiv (? - 2004), became part of Darnytsia Raion
The Right Bank and the Left Bank
The natural first level of subdivision of the city is into the Right Bank and the Left Bank of the Dnieper River (a few large islands belong to the left-bank raions).
The Right Bank (Ukrainian: Правий Берег, Pravyi Bereh), located on the western side of the river, contains the older portions of the city, as well as the majority of Kiev's business and governmental institutions.
The eastern Left Bank (Ukrainian: Лівий Берег, Livyi Bereh), incorporated into the city only in the twentieth century, is predominantly residential. There are large industrial and green areas in both the Right Bank and the Left Bank.
The terms "Right Bank" and, especially, "Left Bank" are recognized in the names of Kiev's infrastructure, e.g. "Livoberezhna" Metro station.
Residents widely recognize a system of the non-formal historical neighborhoods. Such neighborhoods count in dozens, however, constituting a kind of hierarchy, since most of them have lost their distinctive topographic limits.
The names of the oldest neighborhoods go back to the Middle Ages, and sometimes pose a great linguistic interest. The newest whole-built developments bear numeric designations or residential marketing names.
Most notable informal historical neighborhoods of Kiev include:
Right Bank (west):
Left Bank (east):
Lypky and Zvirynets of the Pecherskyi Raion are the most expensive areas to live. Koncha-Zaspa is arguably the most interesting neighborhood name dating back to the times of Kievan Rus'. A local legend explaining the name of a locality states the Rus warriors who felt asleep (zaspaly) during their watch at the outpost were killed (koncheni) by Golden Horde invaders. Koncha-Zaspa is now a prestigious area too.
Practical orientation patterns
Another useful pattern of city division is the Kiev Metro system. However, metro lines do not cover significant parts of Kiev, making such orientation very approximate (but easy for newcomers). Sometimes, the system of elektrychka train stops are used for the same purpose.
Names of well-known shopping malls, restaurants, night clubs are used for orientation purposes as well.
The full informal set of addresses in Kiev (used, for example, in real estate advertising) would include:
- Formal raion
- Historical neighborhood
- Nearest metro station or train stop
- Formal address
- History of Administrative Subdivision of Kiev, Kiev City Department of Statistics.