Mariupol Reborn is the largest urban revival project in Europe since the Second World War. The project is being run by a team consisting of Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boichenko on behalf of Pavlo Kyrylenko, Head of the Donetsk Regional Military Administration. It is supported by the EBRD, the USAID Economic Support for Ukraine project, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the SCM Group. They have joined forces to rebuild Mariupol using modern practices, new technology, and 21st-century business practices.
Together with architects, urbanists, and world-class experts, they are working on a clear plan to start rebuilding quickly and efficiently after de-occupation. The circle of Mariupol Reborn partners continues to expand. In particular, the development of the plan is supported by the municipalities of Lviv, Ukraine; Vilnius, Lithuania; Gdansk, Poland, and Utrecht, The Netherlands.
Each team has proposed a unique approach to revive the Sea of Azov port city. However, all agreed that the city’s future lies in its “unfolding” towards the sea. The creation of new recreation areas on the shore and the overall increase in the waterfront area will lead to the sustainable development of the new economy.
According to the architects, an important component is also the construction of fundamentally new residential neighborhoods and the de-Sovietization of its infrastructure. The next stage will be a combination of the best proposals to create a detailed urban master plan for Mariupol.
“Mariupol was cynically and systematically destroyed by Russian occupiers. They turned it into ruins, into a city of shot hopes. But thousands of Mariupol residents believe in the liberation of Mariupol and want a better future for the city. That is why, while the Ukrainian Armed Forces are bringing victory closer, we are developing a plan for the city’s recovery after de-occupation. We will use the platform to gather the best international experience and look for modern architectural solutions to rebuild Ukrainian Mariupol as quickly as possible after de-occupation,” said Boichenko.
The Strategic and Architectural Modelling Platform for the regeneration of Mariupol was launched at the Lviv Urban Forum on June 28, 2023. It is the first of three Mariupol Reborn project centers that are preparing a comprehensive plan for the reconstruction of Mariupol once the Russian Federation’s Armed Forces are defeated and retreat across the border.
The Platform is supported by both the public and private sectors, and the Lviv City Council is providing the premises. And the SCM Group, owned by Ukrainian businessman Rinat Akhmetov, has allocated $1.5 million to fund an expert team, launch an international training program, and develop project development centers to attract further investment, including this first office in Lviv.
“Our immediate task is to create a sustainable ecosystem for the revival of Mariupol: a strong team, platforms, and centers of expertise in the Ukrainian cities of Dnipro and Lviv, as well as across Europe. We are also developing partnerships with European cities, academies, and experts. At the SCM Group, we see our task as the general partner of Mariupol Reborn to support the development and publication of a road map that is firmly based on the principle of ‘build back better’,” Natalya Yemchenko, the communications director of SCM, said.
After launching its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Russia’s army leveled Mariupol. Tens of thousands of civilians were killed when Russian forces laid waste to the city during the three-month siege. The Ukrainian defenders held out in tunnels and bunkers under the Azovstal steel plant in a valiant defense of the city until they were finally ordered to surrender in May last year.
Prior to the Russian invasion, Mariupol, which has a modern history dating back to the mid-, was the 10th-largest city in Ukraine and the second-largest city in the country’s Donetsk Oblast, with a pre-war population of nearly 450,000 people.