An Outside View and New Knowledge will Help Ukrainian Communities to Recover

A view from the side and new knowledge will help Ukrainian communities rebuild and build better.

Oleksandra Tkachenko, coordinator of the Ukrainian Netherlands Urban Network project, emphasized this during the online webinar “Reconstruction of Cities, Destroyed by War: Experience, Challenges, and Opportunities”.

“In order to rebuild the city not as it was but to make it better, Ukrainian specialists need, as they say, a breath of fresh air and knowledge from foreign colleagues. This will help us look at our cities from a different angle,” says Oleksandra Tkachenko.

Yes, Ukraine, like European countries, has had the experience of reconstruction after the Second World War.

“What’s the difference? In approaches. In Ukraine, which was then a part of the USSR, the law was in effect, there was a fight against excesses in architecture, and all processes became simply a minimization of technical and engineering solutions, while in Europe, there was progress towards a more critical analysis and the search for more successful and often non-standard solutions. This influenced the development of architecture there as well, so the cities look completely different.”

The organization began to map all partners who could help with reconstruction.

“We concentrated on the Netherlands, since we are there. Ukraine can now take the best from each of its international partners, she says. Ukraine has many specialists, but in the Netherlands there are more analysts, visionaries, and specialists in transport systems, the architecture of public buildings, and social housing.”

The expert noted that social programs are cost-effective in Northern Europe, while public spaces are in Southern Europe. There is much to learn from the countries of the Global South, which have interesting ideas and technologies for disaster recovery. After all, there are cheap and flexible solutions that may suit us better than European ones.

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