Housing is one of the sectors most affected by the war in Ukraine, with over US$50 billion of damage recorded since the invasion by the Russian Federation. In Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, some 3,367 apartment buildings and 1,823 single apartment buildings have been destroyed and damaged, according to the City Council. In the Southern city of Mykolaiv, housing stock accounts for 77% of overall damage, according to a One Works assessment. The City Council of Zhotomyr, situated approximately 130 km west of Kyiv, reports over 300 residential buildings as damaged or destroyed.
In response, the government of Estonia has started a capacity-building and cooperation programme for the reconstruction of residential areas in Kharkiv, Mykolaiv and Zhytomyr. The project is supported by the Estonian Center for International Development Cooperation (ESTDEV) and will be coordinated through the Estonian Union of Cooperative Housing Associations (EKÜL) in Tallinn, Estonia, which hosts the UNECE Centre of Excellence on Sustainable Housing.
EKÜL focuses on building capacities of cooperatives and homeowner associations in Estonia as well as in countries with economies in transition in the UNECE region for more energy-efficient and climate-neutral housing. As part of its Centre of Excellence workplan, EKÜL will support by building capacities of the Ukrainian housing associations in the three cities – Kharkiv, Mykolaiv and Zhytomyr - to rebuild residential areas damaged by the war; and help the associations to develop concrete financing strategies for the reconstruction and refurbishment of multi-apartment buildings.
As a result of planned activities within the EKÜL project, at least two model projects for the renovation of multi-apartment buildings will be implemented; and a series of capacity-building workshops, both in Ukraine and in Estonia, will be organized. The EKÜL project will be undertaken in coordination with the UNECE project “Enhancing urban planning in the cities of Kharkiv and Mykolaiv in Ukraine by supporting the implementation of the new master plans and facilitating investments in sustainable urban infrastructure” which is to be implemented during 2023-2024.
The project is to take place in the context of the development of reconstruction master plans for cities of Kharkiv and Mykolaiv in Ukraine, a result of the April 2022 invitation by the Ministry for Communities and Territories Development of Ukraine to UNECE. In response, UNECE has initiated pilot projects in the cities of Kharkiv and Mykolaiv; and engaged in the pilot projects two of its Centres of Excellence, one hosted by the Norman Foster Foundation in Madrid, Spain; and another one by the LiUC Business School in cooperation with One Works, a global design company, in Italy. These two centres are part of a network of ten centres established under the coordination of the UNECE Committee on Urban Development, Housing and Land Management to support the exchange of experiences and best practices among the UNECE member States to implement the Geneva UN Charter on Sustainable Housing. The Centres of Excellence promote cooperation and knowledge-sharing within the network.
Since 2022, the Norman Foster Foundation and One Works have supported the cities of Kharkiv and Mykolaiv in the development of their long-term reconstruction master plans on a pro-bono basis. UNECE also established in 2022 the UN4Kharkiv and UN4Mykolaiv task forces, which now comprise more than 16 United Nations agencies and other international organizations that work together to support efforts of the Ukrainian national government and the governments of Kharkiv and Mykolaiv in developing sustainable, inclusive and innovative approaches to the long-term reconstruction efforts.
The government of Estonia is a patron of the rebuilding of the city of Zhytomyr.
For more information, please see:
The UNECE project “UN4UkrainianCities - Enhancing urban planning in the cities of Kharkiv and Mykolaiv in Ukraine by supporting the implementation of the new master plans and facilitating investments in sustainable urban infrastructure”
The network of the UNECE centres of excellence on sustainable housing and smart sustainable cities – at Geneva UN Charter Centres of Excellence
Estonian Union of Cooperative Housing Associations (EKÜL) at https://ekyl.ee/en/