Municipal development and rehabilitation of the historic centre of Lviv

Project description

Title: Municipal development and rehabilitation of the Old City of Lviv
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Ukraine
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Regional Development, Building and Housing and Communal Services of Ukraine
Partner: Lviv City Administration, Heritage Department
Overall term: 2009 to 2017

Ukraine. The Market Square (Rynok) in Lviv © GIZ

In economic terms Lviv is the most important city in western Ukraine. As home to more than ten per cent of all Ukraine's cultural monuments, it is also a city of great cultural and historical significance. The medieval city centre has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1998. Many ethnic groups have shaped the eventful history of the city, whose architecture survived the 19th and 20th centuries virtually intact.

Preserving this heritage means dealing with a range of challenges. For instance, the legal framework for urban renewal needs to be adapted. Although residents are now more aware of the importance of a proper rehabilitation process, there continues to be a lack of funds. Architects, craftspeople and construction firms are still insufficiently familiar with sensitive rehabilitation approaches. At the same time, other Ukrainian towns and cities are keen on learning from Lviv's experiences with urban development and urban renewal.

The urban renewal of Lviv's historic districts with their old buildings is managed sustainably and efficiently. Measures aimed at a participatory, sensitive and efficient urban renewal process are implemented. The residents' living conditions and the city's economic development have improved.

Ukraine. Maisternia Mista urban workshop in Lviv © GIZ

The municipal authorities receive advice on improving their administrative, legal, institutional and financial procedures and operating environment. Instruments have been developed to facilitate the historically sensitive rehabilitation of the city. These include an integrated urban development concept for the wider inner city area, design guidelines and competitive bidding procedures. Urban renewal tasks are organisationally anchored within the city administration and thereby institutionalised.

GIZ advises the Lviv City Administration on innovative approaches for rehabilitating the Old City. These include funding programmes for private restoration work on various historical building elements, which are financed with a combination of private and public funds. Other measures include public platforms for innovative citizen participation, the Maisternia Mista urban workshop and regular public citizens' debates on major urban renewal issues.

Alongside the ongoing practical training courses for craftspeople designed to ensure the use of correct techniques in rehabilitation work, selected buildings are undergoing sensitive restoration in line with accepted conservation practices. These activities not only serve a pilot function in demonstrating how to restore historic buildings in an exemplary manner, but also provide opportunities for training on the job for other experts involved in the planning and rehabilitation process.

The lessons learned in Lviv are now being scaled up and consolidated at national level as well as within other Ukrainian cities and towns. A format that has already been tried and tested is the Ukrainian Academy for Integrated Urban Development, where representatives of local and national administrations and professional associations can discuss issues relating to sustainable and integrated urban development and subsequently try out potential solutions in their areas of responsibility.

GIZ is supporting the Ministry of Regional Development, Building and Housing and Communal Services in efforts to mainstream the issue of urban development within the ministry. On the basis of surveys and analyses, the project worked with the city administration to discuss and determine how the relevant responsibilities should be allocated to ensure that urban renewal is placed on a firm foundation. The administration staff also became aware of the importance of participatory processes and approaches, as well as of interdepartmental work, to sustainable urban development.

Around 2,000 households have participated in the funding programmes for restoration, which have involved entrance doors of buildings, windows, balconies, staircases, inner courtyards and façades. Twenty Ukrainian small-scale craft firms participated in training and executed the renovation work awarded in this context.

Together with the Eberhard Schöck Foundation, the project has implemented a new curriculum in the field of carpentry and restoration since September 2012. To date, this has taken the form of a pilot project in one vocational school, but the intention is to roll it out across the country.

The awareness-raising measures have included the production of printed material, films, handbooks and websites. The Maisternia Mista urban workshop was held for the fifth time in June 2016 over a period of three weeks. A total of40 organisations staged over 80 events, in which over 3,000 residents and visitors participated and played an active role. Events aimed at founding apartment owners' associations were actively supported. The Maisternia Mista workshop reinforces the commitment and participation processes of civil society within public discourse on urban development.

Ukraine. A 200-year-old wooden staircase near the Market Square in Lviv following restoration. © GIZ


Jürgen Lembcke