Integrated urban development in Ukraine

Project description

Title: Integrated urban development in Ukraine
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO)
Country: Ukraine
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Communal Services of Ukraine
Overall term: 2015 to 2019

Ukraine. Strong cities. Strong Ukraine. The Charter on Sustainable European Cites in Ukraine © GIZ

Context

In 2014, Ukrainians demonstrated for more democracy in their country in what is referred to as the Revolution of Dignity. Across all social groups, people came together in protest and demanded their right to self-determination. Since then, Ukraine has invested in decentralisation, thus strengthening local self-government. Ukrainian cities and municipalities are now encouraged to shape and manage their processes independently, following the example set by western European cities. 

However, some cities are growing rapidly, and with them the challenges. Administrative staff are often unprepared for taking on the new duties. They are tasked with coordinating the cities’ economic and environmental concerns while also facing demographic problems. According to the integrated urban development approach, processes are no longer assigned to one distinct domain but are designed to incorporate holistically all domains of development. Plans elaborated on this basis promote sustainable development, social balance and diversity.

The new framework enables investment in technical and social infrastructure. If this proves unsuccessful, cultural and structural qualities and economic growth are unlikely to be achieved.

Objective

In various Ukrainian cities, citizens participate in political and economic development processes. The negative impacts of urban growth on the environment are reduced and the living conditions in the cities improved.

Upgrading urban areas. The historical university building in Chernivtsi © GIZ

Approach

On behalf of the German Government and the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), the project is committed to improving living conditions in the Ukrainian cities of Vinnytsia, Chernivtsi, Poltava, Lviv, Zhytomyr and Podil, the urban district of Kyiv. 
Together with international and national experts, the project produces integrated urban development concepts and evaluates key areas such as transport, energy supply and land registry. On this basis, the partners develop sector-specific technical plans for improving structures and prepare their implementation. The population is involved in all steps and pilot projects have been planned and prepared for implementation.   
The project supports its partners in creating inclusive, safe and sustainable cities (2030 Agenda). Through training courses, administrative staff are learning to address their new local self-government duties professionally and to improve their cooperation with one other. Cities regularly share their experiences with the relevant ministry, therefore advancing the national reform process. Among other things, the project has provided a sound foundation for a new law on land use planning.

Results

Since 2016, more than 1,600 employees from the partner cities have participated in around 200 seminars in the ‘Qualification 2030’ training programme. This training measure strengthens the cooperation, communication and coordination within city administrations. The participants have learned more about the relationship between integrated urban development and investments in infrastructure.

Ukraine. Shaping cities for people. Integrated urban development in Chernivtsi © GIZ

Cities have created formats for the participation of civil society and actively extend invitations to get involved. Citizen information centres provide information on initiatives and, together with the city, citizens have set development priorities. Within two years, over 26,000 people have taken part in around 100 events.

In addition, training opportunities for urban planners have significantly improved. In addition to new courses for urban planners, an international exchange semester on urban development at a German university of applied sciences is now being offered.

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