National urban development policy

Project description

Project title: National urban development policy
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB)
Country: Ukraine
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Communal Services of Ukraine
Overall term: 2016 to 2017

Context

The Ukrainian Government’s reform policy is currently focusing on decentralisation and on strengthening local self-government. Numerous municipal public services and administrative tasks are to be transferred to cities and municipalities, and the policy on regional planning and urban development is to be restructured.

This is an entirely new venture for both the Ukrainian Government and the cities, as urban development and planning have so far been organised at central level. In addition, the legal framework and administrative structures still largely follow Soviet patterns; they will need to be redefined at all levels of government so that the new tasks can be carried out. However, the relevant stakeholders do not yet possess the operational and planning skills they need to do this. There is still a lack of organisational and process knowledge, and not enough personnel to carry out urban development on a participatory, socially just and sustainable basis.

In March 2016, the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) and the Ukrainian Ministry of Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Communal Services signed a memorandum on implementation of the Leipzig Charter on Sustainable European Cities.

Objective

The Ukrainian Ministry of Regional Development and selected cities are aware of the benefits, approaches, instruments and lessons learned of sustainable integrated urban development. They are applying this knowledge in accordance with the Leipzig Charter.

Approach

The project’s focus is on facilitating knowledge transfer and the exchange of lessons learned between German cities and institutions and their Ukrainian partners with a view to achieving rapid, sustainable urban development in Ukraine. In the medium term, a network of Ukrainian and German cities is to be created to deal with sustainable urban development issues.

An inter-ministerial working group is to be set up to enable BMUB and the Ministry for Regional Development to share policy, planning and scientific information. The group will discuss the political and legal frameworks needed for sustainable urban development and will create a medium-term action plan for implementing appropriate measures.
A competition on sustainable urban development is to be held to showcase exemplary, innovative projects, measures and initiatives carried out by Ukrainian cities and civil society actors. Recognising particularly successful approaches with an award is also designed to incentivise cities to follow integrated approaches more proactively.

The first national conference on integrated urban development is designed to provide a platform for knowledge transfer and to allow experts from the relevant administrative levels to share their experience. It will also help establish and consolidate cooperation networks between cities and institutions from politics and civil society.

There are plans for two fact-finding trips to Germany. The participants will include national decision-makers, representatives from selected Ukrainian local authorities, and multipliers for sustainable urban development.
An interactive, bilingual knowledge portal is to be set up to link local practitioners with each other and to facilitate the virtual exchange of lessons learned. The portal will serve as a central point of contact for all stakeholders in administration, politics, civil society and the professional public who are involved in urban development.

Results

A total of 95 representatives of local authorities and civil society took part in a competition on integrated urban development. Three Leipzig Prizes were awarded to Ukrainian cities and non-governmental organisations.