Ukraine - the Netherlands Urban Network

Panorama Ukraine: Healthy and Future-Proof Neighborhoods

From June 11 till June 14, participants and experts came together in Rotterdam for the second workshop of Panorama Ukraine, a joint project by Internationale Architectuur Biënnale Rotterdam (IABR), Ukraine-Netherlands Urban Network (UNUN), Dutch Board of Government Advisors (CRa), Vereniging Deltametropool (VDM), Nieuwe Instituut (NI), Restart Ukraine and other local Ukrainian partners. Panorama Ukraine is generously supported by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science(OCW).
Workshop introduction
What would an ideal neighborhood look like in the 21st century?
This question was at the core of our workshop program, which started at Nieuwe Instituut, where Oleksandra Tkachenko introduced Panorama Ukraine and workshop leader Elena Chevtchenko told all attendees more about the framework for Healthy and Future-Proof Neighborhoods. This was followed by an informal mapping session about the cultural and personal interpretation of neighborhoods, led by Tessa Nauta from CRa. In this way, group leaders and participants could start to get to know each other.

David Dodman, IHS Director, welcomed the workshop participants at The Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS). 25 participants from different countries such as Ukraine, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, the USA, Serbia, and Germany joined the workshop. They had relevant backgrounds in architecture, urban design or social sсience. Over the next three days they brainstormed and challenged the meaning of neighborhoods within the context of the 21st century as well as post-war rebuilding in order to come up with strategies, building blocks and concrete solutions.

Group leaders
The participants of this workshop were supervised and supported by Ukrainian and Dutch architects and urban planners from multiple offices, including Archimatika (UA), ATO-Bel Architects (UA), Breus Oleksii (UA), Bright (NL), College van Rijksadviseurs (NL), GA (UA), KCAP (NL), Orange Architects (NL), PosadMaxwan (NL), Prescription (NL), Urban Curators (UA), Urban Reform (UA) and ZUS (NL).
Of the six Ukrainian group leaders, four were able to come to Rotterdam and the other two joined online. All six groups had both a Dutch and Ukrainian group leader duo, to further knowledge exchange and complement different perspectives.

To make sure our participants and group leaders had input from various sources, we also invited thirteen experts to share their knowledge and expertise. Among the Dutch experts was the Dutch Chief Government Architect Francesco Veenstra, who emphasized the importance of these kinds of workshops and gave a short introduction speech to the participants. Another expert was architect and teacher Bengin Dawod, who stopped by all six groups to discuss the reconstruction of post-conflict cities. In addition, representatives from the municipalities of Rotterdam and Breda came by to share their experience in urban planning and strategies.
Three of the experts were visiting from Ukraine and one expert from Ukrainian independent think tank for social development CEDOS was available for online consultation. Roman Puchko from ReThink (a platform for promotion of sustainable and circular economy in Ukraine) stressed the importance of a sustainable approach for future-proof Ukrainian neighborhoods. Anastasia Popovych, an expert from NGO Restart Ukraine, a partner of Panorama Ukraine, joined to observe and collect information. ReStart will use this to conduct an analysis and provide the results tailored to the Ukrainian context for future use.

Case studies
Each group was working on a case study in Ukraine in direct collaboration with representatives of the local municipality. Workshop leader Julian Chaplinsky (UA) outlined the broader context of current neighborhoods in Ukraine and helped out with getting in touch with some of the Ukrainian municipalities. For the six case studies that we worked on, we actively collaborated with the municipalities of Kherson, Voznesensk, Kalush, Drohobych, Okhtyrka and Klesiv. The case studies represent diversity in terms of urban condition, geography and distance to the front line (see image). Nadia Grutskevuch, the representative of Klesiv municipality, was present in Rotterdam and actively participated in the team’s work.

On Friday afternoon, this intensive 3-day workshop culminated in a presentation of the research results, moderated by IABR General and Artistic Director Sakia van Stein. For each case study, the groups came up with a vision for future development for a specific district in the municipality, based on local input and needs in combination with their own knowledge.
(c)IABR/Sabine van der Vooren
(c)IABR/Sabine van der Vooren
Follow up: next workshops
Panorama Ukraine: Healthy and Future-Proof Neighborhoods will continue with a follow up workshop in September in Lviv (UA), which will be organized by our partner Ukrainian NGO Urban Reform.
The next Panorama Ukraine workshop on the topic of Sustainable Energy Production will take place at the end of the year in the Netherlands.
If you want to participate in the next workshops and want to keep updated, please follow the news on the UNUN website.
Panorama Ukraine is a joint project of the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (IABR), Ukraine – Netherlands Urban Network (UNUN), the Dutch Board of Government Advisors (CRa), Nieuwe Instituut (NI), and the Vereniging Deltametropool (VDM) and generously supported by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW).
Panorama Ukraine: Working on Water
The workshop Working on Water marked the beginning of Panorama Ukraine, a multidisciplinary project aimed at the reconstruction of Ukraine. Working on Water was a week of knowledge sharing and collaboration in which architects, urban designers, policymakers, and academics explored the role of water in the reconstruction of Ukraine. The focus was on the region of the Dnipro River delta: the area around the destroyed Kakhovka Dam. The workshop took place at the Keilepand in Rotterdam from 27 November to 1 December 2023.

More about Working on Water


feb 22

The reconstruction of Ukraine

Discussion «The reconstruction of Ukraine» with Patrick Meijers, Oleksandra Tkachenko, Julia Westerveld-Soldatiuk and Lilet Breddels was held on the 19th of February at Pakhuis de Zwijger in Amsterdam.
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aug 07

TU Delft course ‘Tools for Postwar Urban Recovery: Ukraine’

TU Delft in partnership with UNUN (Ukraine -The Netherlands Urban Network) and Ukrainian colleagues provided an online course on May-June 2023.

List of lectures

This course discusses spatial strategies for an integrated urban recovery in post-conflict settings. It investigates the process of reconstruction and what “building back better” implies: tackling inequalities, strengthening the capacities of local actors and pursuing a green, resilient and inclusive economic recovery anchored on sound spatial planning, design and policy.
This course was given by a team of academics & experts from several institutions.
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may 02

Report: Ukraine’s housing recovery forum – rebuilding a place to call home

PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency has just published a report based on the symposium ‘Ukraine’s housing recovery forum – rebuilding a place to call home’.

The report responds to Ukraine’s ambitions for the recovery of homes and neighbourhoods. It calls on policymakers in Ukraine, partner countries, and international organizations to give strategic attention to safe, affordable, and energy-efficient housing in future recovery efforts.

English and Ukrainian versions can be found here
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apr 19

Webinar: Post-war Reconstruction strategies

The webinar took place on 18-05-2022 and featured good case practices of recovery after war or natural disasters. Hosted by IHS Rotterdam (Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam).
Speakers: Anila Bejko, Pavlo Fedoriv and Claudio Acioly Jr.
Moderator: Oleksandra Tkachenko.
You can find a record of the webinar here
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apr 04

Article ‘Ukraine’s housing recovery forum – rebuilding a place to call home'

We are happy that new connections between Dutch and Ukrainian organizations (PBL and New Housing Policy) keep developing with follow-ups.

We are excited to share with you an article published in Housing Finance International by Julie Lawson, Oleksandr Anisimov, and Edwin Buitelaar. This article is a follow-up to our event, "Ukraine's Housing Recovery Forum – Rebuilding a Place to Call Home."

Overall, the article provides valuable insights into the challenges facing Ukraine's housing sector and the best practices that can be implemented to address them. We hope that this article will serve as a call to action for policymakers, practitioners, and stakeholders to work together to improve the housing situation in Ukraine
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nov 02

Launch of UNUN at City Makers Congres

On Friday 4 November UNUN will be publicly launched at the City Makers Congres in Rotterdam. In a short Q&A, Ukrainian urban planner and initiator of UNUN, Oleksandra Tkachenko, talks to Chief Government Architect Francesco Veenstra. They will discuss the Dutch-Ukrainian cooperation in which spatial design professionals will use their collective brainpower for the reconstruction of Ukraine. This will also be the official launch of unun.nu, our online platform.
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sep 08

Build Ukraine back together – A call for exchange and creating networks

While the war in Europe is still an everyday reality, people around the world are starting to think about the rebuilding of Ukraine. This weekend, for example, University College London is hosting an online symposium about the reconstruction of Ukraine. In this article, Hedwig van der Linden and Oleksandra Tkachenko explore how the Dutch professional community of urbanists, planners and architects could help Ukraine to build back its cities together and better.
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aug 16

Support for Ukrainian artists in the Netherlands

The Dutch government has announced that it will allocate 1 million euros to support artists who were forced to flee their country after the Russian attack on Ukraine and are living in the Netherlands, to enable them to continue their work here. This programme is financed by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, each allocating € 500,000. The Dutch Foundation for Literature is coordinating this support programme on behalf of the six national cultural foundations. Applications must be made by a Dutch legal entity, i.e. a cultural organisation or institution. The closing date of the support programme is 15 November 2022.
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→ jul 22

Studio Visit: WDJArchitecten

WDJArchitecten, Van Nelleweg 2330, Rotterdam
We are excited to share the announcement of the 10th studio visit. We are going to visit the architecture bureau WDJArchitecten. The office is located in Van Nellefabriek in Rotterdam (UNESCO World Heritage Site) where WDJA in 1999 started coordinating the architectural aspect of the redevelopment of the Van Nelle Factory. Our program on 22 July will start at 15:00 with the presentation of the office and projects and then a tour around the Van Nellefabriek.
Please join us on Monday, 22 July – 15:00>17:00h at WDJArchitecten, Rotterdam (Van Nelleweg, 2330)
Access is free and for everyone – capacity is limited. Please RSVP via the form.

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