Dmytro Falko, Secretary of Mykolaiv City Council
Ukraine House in Denmark hosted a presentation from the Mykolaiv city team and the Danish company Azenzus Vision about rebuilding Ukrainian cities. The participants introduced their vision of future projects involving help from Denmark.
The event took place with support from Rebuild Ukraine.
Opening the discussion Nataliia Popovych, Chairperson of Ukraine House in Denmark claimed: “Our interest as Ukraine House in Denmark is to ensure that Ukrainian cities are rebuilt with the Danish and Scandinavian urban planning and cultural best practices in mind, ensuring that person’s dignity is at the heart of every town, that city inhabitants have equal opportunity to clean air and waterways, decent public infrastructure, education and health, and that the future city plans envision future culture - from healthy habits of cycling to responsible citizenship, access to libraries, theaters, culture centers which inevitably will compel people to choose some cities over others”.
Ruben Mikkelsen from Azenzus Vision delivered a presentation on the Rebuild Ukraine project. The company is conducting independent analysis, verification and assessment of damages within the framework of the “Russia will pay campaign”.
“The project began as a volunteer initiative by Kyiv School of Economics in
cooperation with government agencies with the goal to analyze and assess war damage in Ukraine. In a few months since the start of the project, the support of the UNDP enabled the financing of drone flights and logistics of 60 settlements, later on the project was scaled up to cover 500 settlements. Looking ahead, our ultimate goal is to cover all liberated territories and those affected by the Russian invasion,” Ruben Mikkelsen said.
One of the most damaged Ukrainian cities in Ukraine is Mykolaiv. Since the start of russian’s invasion, residents of Mykolaiv have been subjected to almost daily bombings. The russian aggressors have already destroyed almost 1000 apartment blocks, 1070 houses, 88 educational facilities, 24 cultural objects, 17 facilities etc. The city also struggled not having drinking water for almost 7 months.
Despite the war still ongoing, the Mykolaiv city team is actively working on rebuilding projects of the city. Denmark has already confirmed its participation in systematic assistance in the restoration of various facilities – residential buildings, economic, social and transport infrastructure.
“Mykolaiv is one of the pilot cities selected by UNECE in order to develop a master plan for city recovery under the UN4Mykolaiv Initiative. Collaboration with OneWorks, Danish company COWI and UNECE is very important for our city as we have a unique opportunity to recover Mykolaiv using best world practices in urban and economic planning. We believe that we have the chance to build back better together,”
Dmytro Falko, Secretary of Mykolaiv City Council said.
He also introduced pilot projects to set a benchmark.
“Housing micro-district”. As the reconstruction of Mykolaiv begins, one of the most critical long-standing obstacles to overcome will be to provide affordable and permanent housing for both the existing population and generations to come. One Works Benchmark Project will explore the redevelopment of a residential site within the city boundary. The project will include the refurbishment and retrofitting of existing residential building, as well as the introduction of new housing
“Industry and Trade”. Located in a strategic area halfway between the cities of Kherson and Odesa, Mykolaiv is a central hub for national and international industry and trade. To strengthen this position and support economic recovery the project will explore the regeneration of two industrial sites in the waterfront area. The selected sites will host several functions and uses, as well as host new public spaces, amenities, parks or other mixed uses.
“Innovation and Enterprise” will explore the creation of a new mixed-use neighbourhood focused around science and innovation. The new urban district will host a range of offices, research centers and light industries, as well as a new science park designed to foster international cooperation and partnerships by hosting new companies looking to settle in Mykolaiv.
“Green and Public Spaces” will explore the redevelopment of four riverside locations. Each selected site will be redesigned with the introduction of new public parks to help support a network of green spaces on both sides of the Bug, providing local residents and visitors with increased accessibility to the Ingul River and a range of new public areas. These green public spaces will offer a variety of health benefits, both physical and mental, and will encourage people to be more active.
“Culture & Heritage” Focused on the reconstruction of Mykolaiv’s city center, One Works Benchmark Project aims to return to the city an area, or a building, that is particularly significant from a historical and cultural point of view, and that can become a symbol of hope and rebirth for the city.
Ana Paez, urban planner of the UN4Mykolaiv project underlined that it will be the community to decide whether any of these projects will be an iconic Ukrainian building, a piece of public art work or the regeneration of a public square.
For this purpose, in November 2022, One Works Benchmark Project launched the questionnaire with over 20 questions regarding both quantitative and qualitative aspects.
Ana Paez, urban planner of the UN4Mykolaiv project
“During just a month we got almost 20,000 responses. This questionnaire allowed us to understand people’s needs to integrate new services for the population and gave us a lot of insights on how the population viewed their neighborhood, the territory, the city and most of all what they wanted for the future,” said Ana Paez.
She reminded, that Mykolaiv was conceived as a shipbuilding city for military purposes and later it became a heavily industrialized port city that exported 25% of the goods of Ukraine.
The city was not built to have bicycle lanes or nice walking and recreation areas. Now Mykolaiv inhabitants are dreaming about a walkable city and accessibility with sustainable transport.
Photos by Farid Seifulin.