Lviv Urban Forum becomes a sandbox for reimagining municipalities spaces across Ukraine

June 30, 2023
Photo credits: Iryna Sereda / Lviv Urban Forum

Lviv, 30 June 2023 – Today, a three-day significant gathering, called the Lviv Urban Forum, was concluded. It drew over 700 participants, uniting distinguished urban development leaders, policymakers, and stakeholders from Ukraine and beyond. With a shared vision of resilience and innovation, these diverse participants deliberated on transformative urban planning strategies amidst Ukraine's challenging landscape. This year, the Forum concentrated on the efficient restoration of damaged and destroyed spaces, aiming to transform these areas into comfortable, inclusive, and attractive environments.

Lviv City Mayor Andrii Sadovyi emphasised that urban planning is a vital concern for all Ukrainian municipalities. "Presently, Ukrainian municipalities are grappling with a host of critical urban challenges,” he said. “These span from reconstructing urban spaces to cultivating new possibilities and interpretations. While there's no one-size-fits-all solution to urban issues, we're beginning an important dialogue and identifying key urban problems and potential strategies to tackle them."

Chloé Allio, the Head of Section "Economic Cooperation, Energy, Infrastructure and Environment" of the Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine, said that the EU was deploying significant resources to support the emergency needs of Ukrainian cities. “We are determined to help restore the Ukrainian communities who have suffered from Russia’s full-scale aggression and integrate green and sustainable solutions into the rebuilding and modernisation efforts.”

Christophoros Politis, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Ukraine, underscored the profound impact of war on Ukrainian cities, increasing their vulnerability. "Local authorities, despite being on the frontlines of emerging and existing challenges, are leading innovative solutions to speed up reconstruction and recovery across Ukraine,” he said. “We at UNDP, with the generous assistance of the European Union and the governments of Germany and Sweden, are proud to support them. We consider it a privilege to stand in solidarity with Ukrainian municipalities, committed to helping them navigate the path to future readiness, developing solutions responsive to changing community needs and fostering an environment of experimental thinking."

The gathering served as a dynamic platform for dialogue, enabling the participants to delve into emerging methodologies that can equip municipalities to reimagine their urban planning. The forum focused on paving the way for municipalities’ sustainable and resilient future that withstands the tests of time and crisis. This exchange of ideas and experiences encapsulated a collective stride towards fortifying urban environments, ensuring they remain adaptive and responsive to the evolving needs of their inhabitants and the shifting global contexts.

As part of a lively panel discussion, the EU and UNDP "Mayors for Economic Growth" (M4EG) Facility presented its new community transformation tools such as an “Urban Learning Center” and “M4EG Pathways for Economic Growth”.

Media enquiries: For additional information or to arrange interviews, please contact Yuliia Samus, UNDP Ukraine Head of Communications; e-mail:

Background information:

The forum was held with the support of the Swedish government, the international cooperation project ReACT4UA ("Application and implementation of the Association Agreement between the EU and Ukraine in the field trade"), which is financed by the German government and implemented by the German federal company “Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH”, as we as the “Mayors for Economic Growth” (M4EG) Facility, which is implemented by the United Nations Development Programme in Ukraine with the financial support of the European Union. The M4EG Facility draws on the EU’s Mayors for Economic Growth Initiative, launched in 2017. Since 2021, the M4EG Facility has been managed by UNDP in close cooperation with the EU, local authorities and a range of other partners. The initiative contributes to increasing resilience and green transformation of cities, strengthening capacities of local authorities, inclusive local economic development and innovations management, as well as piloting the portfolio approach to municipal planning with maximum benefits for the citizens.