Tapping into local intelligence for post-war reconstruction of Ukrainian cities

In April 2022, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Ukraine and Restart Ukraine, a collaborative consortium, launched a joint initiative to collect and analyze innovative solutions for post-war reconstruction. Specific areas of activity include:

  • analyzing different local shelter solutions;
  • working with debris management;
  • documenting intangible impacts;
  • exploring foresight approaches to developing communities; and
  • identifying relevant co-creation approaches for the planning.

Reconstruction of Ukraine

Despite the ongoing war in Ukraine, the reconstruction and recovery planning process has already started. The National Council for the Reconstruction of Ukraine, created by the President of Ukraine, recently established a working group on urban planning. The European Commission has presented its ‘RebuildUkraine' reconstruction framework, supported by several national and international actors.

The general trend is to provide housing and rebuilding solutions quickly to meet the immediate and urgent needs of the population. Concurrently, there also is a need to fully engage all stakeholders in the recovery process to make it more sustainable, and to make sure all tangible and intangible dimensions of recovery are included, such as those dealing with trauma, people’s hope for the their future homes, as well as environmental considerations (e.g., green recovery , net-zero cities).  Failing to be fully inclusive could result in “temporary” unsustainable solutions and miss the opportunity to build forward better.

Calling for contributions

To ensure that Ukraine’s recovery is sustainable, inclusive and leaves no one behind, there is a need for more multilevel and multistakeholder research. This research should address, among other things, the following questions:

  • What are the peoples’ hopes for their new homes, city, country?
  • How many people will return to Ukraine?
  • How many of them will return to their own community?
  • What would be needed the most to start living again in their town?
  • Do we need to rebuild specific neighbourhoods or create something new?
  • What are important intangible damages that need to be repaired?
  • How do we ensure energy independence of the regions?
  • How do we rebuild in accordance with European Union regulations?

Some of the aspects of long-term sustainability planning are covered by smaller local independent initiatives that are being constantly mapped by UNDP’s Accelerator Lab. However, many of these are dispersed initiatives and often not officially connected with the high-level national process. More contributions are needed to ensure the complete picture is considered. UNDP is calling on all stakeholders, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and citizens to submit the initiatives that you think should be a part of our map here.  A current map of initiatives can be found here.

You can send your questions and suggestions regarding this initiative to:

Oleksandr Shevchenko, oleksandr.shevchenko@undp.org

Oksana Udovyk, Oksana.udovyk@undp.org


About ReStart Ukraine

ReStart Ukraine is an open platform, uniting citizens, activists, architects, designers, researchers, anthropologists, municipalities, NGOs, international organizations, government departments, private business and anyone who would like to contribute to restoring the war-torn urban fabric.

About UNDP Accelerator Lab

In 2019, UNDP Ukraine established a new unit that aims to identify local innovative solutions and help Ukraine’s reforms development ecosystem test such solutions and employ new methods to address sustainable development issues.


Useful materials

Want to know more? Check out our blogs:

Blog 1: Housing crisis during the war (in Ukrainian)

Blog 2: What Should We Do with War Debris? (this blog is also available in Ukrainian)

Blog 3: Dealing with memory and heritage in an urban/rural environments in a post-war period

Analytical platform for the recovery of cities and communities of Ukraine (in Ukrainian)