2022 -- ongoing

A vision for Mariupol: city strategy

  • Since August 2022 with support of USAID we developed a city strategy for postwar Ukrainian Mariupol given the expected demographic development: from 250.000 to 500.0000 to 900.000 residents. 
    The goal is to define the strategy on identity, memory, and future, and create vision on new residential areas, a new post-industrial economy, new functional zoning plan and a clear vision on ecology and nature.


There are many uncertainties in the planning of the future of Mariupol. We do not know exactly what state the city will be in after de-occupation and liberation. Likewise, we do not know what the occupiers will reconstruct, build or demolish in the near future. We also don't know how many people will return or when they will.
But there are some important things we do know. We know the history and geography of the city with the sea, its rivers and hills.We know the context of the suburbs and the wider context of Mariupol's geographical relations with other cities of Ukraine.We understand the context of Russia, which is located 40 kilometers away.And we also know that Mariupol symbolizes many things.
The city was already a symbol of industry and innovation, and on the other hand, a symbol of industrial pollution.Today, Mariupol is a symbol of pain, but also a symbol of strength and steel resistance.Since we have no idea what the city will be like after liberation, we are talking about approaches and assumptions.
We believe that planning should start as early as possible, because the revival of the city should begin on the day when the Ukrainian flag flies over it, and you need to be fully prepared for that. Otherwise, critical decisions that determine the future direction of the city's development will be made quickly and without analysis that will make sure that these decisions are fair, equitable and democratic.


Main facts about Mariupol

Mariupol is a powerful industrial and trade center in the southeast of Ukraine. The total population, including internally displaced persons, is 541,300 (2021 estimate), the total area of the city is 375.3 square meters. km, density - about 1442 people/sq. km The territorial structure includes 4 districts - Primorsky, Central, Kalmius, Livoberezhny. Before the full-scale invasion, Mariupol was a predominantly Russian-speaking city, but the share of the Ukrainian-speaking population was growing rapidly.

Mariupol is the center of metallurgy of Ukraine - the most important industry for the economy of the region, one of the main donors, a source of foreign currency income for the country's budget. The key enterprises of the industry are the plants of the Metinvest Group, Ilyich MMK and Azovstal MK. They produce a wide range of industrial products. The port of Mariupol is also one of the country's largest sea trade ports. Before the full-scale invasion, the city generated 6% of GDP and 7% of the country's foreign exchange earnings.

As of January 1, 2021, 22,392 economic entities of various ownership forms were registered and operating in the city, of which 5,685 (25.4%) were legal entities and 16,707 (74.6%) were individual entrepreneurs. The main enterprises in terms of tax revenues are metallurgical enterprises - PrJSC "MK "Azovstal", PrJSC "MMK named after Ilyich", LLC "METIN-WEST-PROMSERVIS".

In recent years, a lot of attention in the city has been paid to public spaces. A large-scale reconstruction of 4 city parks and squares was carried out: the central square - 3.95 hectares; Greek square - 2.5 hectares; "Rainbow" park - 3.7 hectares; the square near the "Multicenter" - 2.4 hectares, the first line of Hurov Park
- 13.4 ha. The old water tower, city pier, Theater (city) Square, and Freedom Square were also reconstructed. Public spaces benefited from the growing demand of residents. Further reconstruction of other public spaces, including city beaches, was being prepared.

Special attention should be paid to the modernization of administrative service centers, which have become popular among the citizens and supported their sense of changes in the quality of life.


Destruction of the city in 2022

The Russian army divided the city into square zones and destroyed it with artillery meter by meter, shot high-rise buildings from tanks and bombed them from planes directly with the inhabitants. Not only housing suffered damage and destruction - the enemy mercilessly destroyed schools, museums, theaters, parks, squares, shredding the "city fabric", turning whole districts into ruins.

The historical part of the city center and the left bank, the Azovstal plant, important city landmarks, primarily the drama theater, houses with spires, and 19th-century buildings were completely destroyed. According to some estimates, real losses of the population may approach 100,000 people. Most of the surviving population left the city, in fact Mariupol today is a city in exile.

The destruction of Mariupol can be compared with the worst destruction and disasters caused by war and natural disasters: Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Rotterdam, Aleppo, Warsaw, Gyumri, Bam. Each of these cities required a coordinated international effort to rebuild.

The restoration of Mariupol today is estimated by the authorities at 15 billion euros - in peacetime, this is the city's 100-year budget.


The reconstruction and restoration of Mariupol after the horror of its destruction and occupation is a moral imperative that will require unprecedented international solidarity and coordination. A city cannot recover on its own, and even a nationwide recovery effort will yield incomplete results. According to estimates of the city administration, even with external support, the recovery time may take 20 years.

Many cities have publicly expressed their support for the Mariupol community and their willingness to contribute to its recovery. There is a unique opportunity to borrow the best practices and influences of the states that helped Ukraine restore its sovereignty. For example, the Italian Republic has already expressed interest in restoring the drama theater. Greece, the oldest progenitor of the city, can emphasize the influence of the Greek historical presence in it. There are partner cities and countries that are ready to help implement individual systems based on their own best practices, including the city's new mobility system. However, the question arises, how to implement such cooperation in the overall urban development, in order to create a diverse and authentic city, and not an ephemeral "Olympic village" or the facade of a film set?

We recommend:

● do not divide the city into separate "partner" zones, as this would lead to a lack of internal coherence. Instead, we propose to distribute buildings and structures between partners, rather than entire blocks;
● implement a mix of different building formats to achieve a diverse environment, complementing private and high-rise buildings with intermediate formats;
● implement the construction of the city in small sections within the general structure of the quarter;
● implement competitive design of objects and complexes of objects, involving architects from partner countries who are ready to invest resources in the construction of these objects.

Healing of the trauma

Rebuilding the city does not mean healing the trauma. Moreover, this trauma will never be completely healed - what happened in the spring of 2022 during the destruction by the Russian army, will forever remain scars in the fabric of the city and in the memory of the residents. Healing is a process, not a one-time action that has an end result. The process of healing and coping with psychological trauma after war requires time, effort and resources that are no less important than the resources for rebuilding the city.

The main thing that the healing process requires is the creation of an honest multidimensional narrative of the events of 2022-2023. Thousands of voices must tell their part of the story, which will objectively reflect what happened, without bills and decorations, without softening, without romanticizing, without devaluing these events and without trying to quickly leave them in the past. After all, grieving will take as long as it takes. The work of psychologists and social workers should be organized to provide psychological support to victims. Also, the involvement of residents in the processes of rebuilding the city, through community meetings and discussions, will contribute to the revival of a sense of cohesion and hope.

This approach also means the need to create an institution that will deal with collecting, recording, understanding and retelling living stories. Such an institution will have national weight and should be created with the support of the state. The logical operator for its creation by the state can be considered the Ukrainian Institute of National Memory.

The construction of the museum in real space will last at least 5-7 years and should not interfere with the work of this institution from the very first day after the deoccupation of the city. We propose to temporarily place the memorial institution in the center of the city, possibly in the area of the drama theater, to ensure easy transport access for residents.

Despite the fact that the research of memory and the memorialization of events should be handled directly by a specialized institution, we can already talk about the approach to work with the space of events at the first stage.


Revival of Mariupol: assumptions

    The entire territory of Ukraine is liberated. Mariupol is not only being restored, but also becoming a maritime logistics hub for the restoration of eastern Ukraine
    Freedom of navigation is ensured in the Sea of Azov. Mariupol port can fully function
    It is safe to live in Mariupol thanks to Ukraine's accession to NATO or another defense alliance. People are not afraid to return to the city
    Ukraine continues its integration into the EU, strengthens monitoring of the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in Ukraine and implements stricter environmental standards. City metallurgy is moving to new clean forms of production
    Mariupol receives grants and long-term loans for rapid recovery, and residents receive compensation for lost property. The city is growing faster than migration and attracting new residents


The main need of the residents of Mariupol for decades to come is security, and this imposes certain requirements on the planning and development of the city.

A key planning issue is density. 3 on the one hand, high-density construction makes it possible to reduce the cost of laying underground communications and reduce the area that must be protected by air defense, on the other hand, low-rise construction complicates the complex defense of the territory, but it is less vulnerable to collapse and has a high potential for the production of renewable energy, which also helps to ensure resistance to natural threats.

Soviet-era medium-density development is the riskiest approach because it complicates both defense strategies. Both in the areas of new construction and in the reconstruction of the surviving quarters, we recommend to take as a basis the concept of low-medium density with special attention to low-rise buildings.

Planning requirements:

    pay special attention to the location of strategic objects, as they pose the greatest danger to neighboring territories;
    carry out the decentralization of bomb shelters, support and emergency aid centers that can perform a sports, cultural or other public function in peacetime;
    create network structures for the supply of energy carriers (smart networks) instead of tree-shaped ones, which increases their sustainability.

Requirements for new and reconstructed buildings:

    reducing the height of new buildings to a maximum of 6 floors for safe and quick evacuation;
    refusal to build new panel houses using the technologies that are "folded" during shellings;
    mandatory installation of full-fledged shelters combined with parking lots and other public functions during new construction;
    calculation of the number of places in the shelter based on the number of residents, which is multiplied by a factor of 1.5 (possible visitors);
    equipping shelters with a heating system, places to store food and water, areas for sitting and sleeping, toilets, internet, etc.
  • Educating citizens about safety rules should be part of educational practices, as ignoring rules and warning signs undermines safe planning and construction decisions.

Key challenges of the city:

  • Returning of the residents

    The time it takes for residents to return to the city can vary greatly. The population of Hiroshima recovered in 15 years, Warsaw - in 30, the population of Gyumri has not recovered to this day. The city will remain comfortable if 250,000 or more people live in it. A target size of 400,000 people was chosen for this project.

  • Ecological situation

    The ecological situation in some areas of the city was extremely dangerous even before the full-scale invasion - this applies to the areas near the plant named after Ilyich, which requires an effective buffer zone, soil remediation and relocation of residents

  • Healing of the trauma

    Tools should be created to allow returning residents to integrate and survive the tragic experience, to participate in the commemoration of tragic events in the space of the city, and the process of creating places of memory - monuments, museums, memorial plaques, etc. - to be transparent and participatory

  • Workplaces 

    The number of households that will return to Mariupol will be directly correlated with the number of jobs that can be organized and the level of wages. Social and urban infrastructures, which are the second factor of return, also directly depend on taxes on wages and small businesses, which are the main source of filling the city budget. At the national level, the introduction of tax incentives and other economic disparities to create jobs should be considered, for example through public works projects or temporary and part-time employment schemes.

  • Strategic role of the city

    The strategic role of the city is fundamentally changing, as it can be expected that the border and transit of goods from Russia will be closed for a long period of time, and therefore Mariupol will become a key port for the entire east of Ukraine. Ukraine's capacity for container transshipment will need to be significantly expanded and balanced, therefore the construction of a new modern container terminal is necessary.

  • Abandoned apartments and houses

    A serious challenge is the question of ownership of the abandoned surviving apartments and houses. This issue should be settled at the level of the national government.

  • Determining recovery priorities

    The destruction in the city is uneven, and it seems appropriate to restore the infrastructure and create decent living conditions in the least damaged areas with surviving residential buildings and infrastructure objects, such as kindergartens and schools. In this context, the issue of temporary or permanent resettlement of people from more distant and more destroyed areas is open. The construction projects implemented by the occupation authorities deserve special attention: although the community will emotionally gravitate towards the demolition of these buildings, during the reconstruction of the city they can be used as a "revolving fund", that is, housing for the temporary residence of residents during the reconstruction of their housing.

  • Integration of industrial zones into the fabric of the city

    For cities facing the sea, the key advantages for the development of tourism potential are unhindered access to the coastline and developed recreational infrastructure. Currently, in connection with the railway tracks located right on the beach, which go to the port of Mariupol, and the port itself, which occupies 3.5 km of the coastline, this access is fundamentally complicated and blocks the development of an entire sector of the economy. A separate challenge for the city is changing the function of the territory of MK "Azovstal". The Azovstal buildings belong to the plant, but the land under the destroyed plant belongs to the city, and it seems appropriate to rethink this area and give it new meanings and functions to improve the connectivity of the city. The project of rethinking the territory of "Azovstal" requires the synergy of the owner, the city and the urban community.


Proposals: a new role for Mariupol

For Ukraine, the new key strategic role of Mariupol is transit.

The large-scale destruction of Mariupol prompts the adoption of a long-awaited decision - the exit of the monocity beyond the regional center of metallurgy and diversification of economic spheres. We see the city as a multifunctional mix of port logistics and port processing, steel production, maritime and memorial tourism, trade, education, military bases and a service economy.

Since the border and transit of goods from Russia will be suspended for a long period of time, as part of the reintegration and reconstruction processes of eastern Ukraine, Mariupol will become a key port for the entire eastern Ukraine, including Donetsk, Luhansk and Kharkiv.
If Ukraine used to be a major exporter of steel, during the reconstruction a significant part of its production will be directed to domestic needs, and with the loss of production of a part of the range, it will have to be supplemented by imports. According to our forecasts, several tens of millions of tons of steel and construction materials will need to be imported for the reconstruction of eastern Ukraine. The port of Mariupol, which before the full-scale invasion operated mainly as an export port, will change its main function to import.

As an alternative to the pre-war transit route from Russia to Kharkiv, Donetsk and Luhansk, we propose to create new transport corridors with a combined railway and road in the directions Mariupol - Zaporizhzhia - Dnipro, Mariupol - Donetsk
- Slov'yansk - Kharkiv and Mariupol - Donetsk - Luhansk, which provides for the possible raising of the status of transport corridors Mariupol - Zaporizhzhia and Mariupol - Donetsk - Slovyansk to international ones. In addition to these highways, there is an urgent need to build a concrete bypass around Mariupol, which will connect highways M14, H08, H20, provide access to the old and new ports, the territory of the MMK named after Ilyich

The construction of these routes and the bypass will integrate the 18 million market east of the Dnieper into the Mediterranean trade basin. The integration of this network with automated zero-emission and low-noise port terminals located in an urban environment will ensure seamless delivery from Istanbul to Kharkiv and back in a short time (one day by sea Istanbul - Mariupol, automatic transshipment at the port, one day by rail Mariupol - Kharkiv).


The port of Mariupol needs to significantly increase the capacity and efficiency of container transshipment. We propose the construction of a new automated container terminal in the southeast of the territory of the Azovstal plant and the subsequent transfer of the existing port for bulk materials to a new location. This will bring road and rail transport routes to the port from the populated areas of the city and allow the development of an industrial cluster in the north, which will perform the functions of logistics and cargo processing.

The existing port does not have enough land resources for the organization of a full-fledged container terminal of the necessary capacity with areas for storing containers in connection with the change of the profile of the port from export to import-export.

Also, the current location of the port of Mariupol carries a large-scale disadvantage of the impossibility of developing the resort potential of the city, because the existing port occupies 3.5 km of the coast, and another 3.5 km of railway tracks leading to it are located directly on the central beach.
Considering the dramatic improvement of environmental conditions in the city after the destruction of "Azovstal", the location of the port blocks the creation of a whole branch of the economy - the transformation of the city into a full-fledged resort. By moving the industry to the north, and the port to the Azovstal district, we are correcting a historical mistake and significantly improving the residents' connection with the sea. This is exactly the moment when it is necessary to "build

Although the cost of building a new terminal may seem significant, the investment in upgrading the existing port is likely to be comparable and will not be able to correct the situation with the downtown coastline, which will remain an industrial area and the city will not be able to become a resort.

According to the concept of the port of import, the new location should provide space for three mandatory components:

● port terminals for various types of cargo;
● container storage and sorting;
● production cluster with connected communications.

The port on the territory of "Azovstal" in the area of Slag Mountain does not require the laying of communications, the construction of a railway line through the city and the construction of highways, does not require the construction of new bridge crossings. Dredging works are moderate, as they can rely on the old channel Mariupol port - Azovstal port. Available local materials for construction works (metallurgical slag) and the absence of the need for their transportation. The port at this location minimally interferes with the fabric of the inhabited part of the city and does not occupy territories that could be used for a recreational function.

The existing railway branch on the right bank is proposed to be turned into a linear park. After that, new building clusters with direct access and sea views can be created on the territory of the railway station and the existing port.


Mariupol should become a city integrated with nature, where there is no clear boundary between nature and inhabited areas.

Outdated landscaping practices should be replaced by planting perennial endemic plants that require minimal maintenance and showcase the natural beauty of the region. There are risks of dust storms, which requires proactive landscaping with sustainable plants in green zones ("plantings") around and in the city.

The amount of paving and covering for cars (asphalt, concrete) should be minimized. To reduce dust pollution, the level of lawns should be lowered below the level of paving. To reduce the temperature in the city, light surfaces are needed, primarily concrete and light clinker bricks, as well as the planting of trees of the first size with a large crown (sycamores, lindens, poplars, ash trees, maples, etc.), especially
along the streets.

It is proposed to connect the city with a network of green corridors - continuous linear areas of green spaces, parks, beaches, river valleys and natural habitats, which have the function of preserving biodiversity in the city and mitigating the impact of climate change. But they are also designed to connect different parts of the city with each other and are generally used for pedestrian and bicycle mobility. They help preserve biodiversity, regulate climate, fight floods, perform a recreational function, promote health, and stimulate economic development.

Each cluster of residential development must have a pedestrian green corridor with access to this network. The success of the implementation of this concept can be considered the appearance of small endemic fauna (birds, small rodents, hedgehogs, amphibians) throughout the city and medium and large endemic fauna (rabbits, foxes, roe deer) in large clusters of green areas.



After the occupation of Crimea, the beaches of Mariupol (and Azov in general) became much more popular. The combination of the relocation of the port and the change in the environmental situation provides a new opportunity and responsibility for Mariupol and the country. There will be 17 kilometers of coastline accessible to residents within the city. 3 of them -- 8 kilometers were formerly an industrial and port area.

These territories can be returned to citizens who live nearby and have no access to the sea for many decades. But beaches cannot be considered solely from the point of view of recreation, as they carry an important natural function. They constitute a buffer zone that protects the coast from erosion - the ingress of soil into seawater, which has a bad effect on the ecosystem. Beach areas need to be expanded (filling with sand) and strengthened by planting trees with deep roots.

When the territory of the Azovstal plant is integrated into the fabric of the city, the beaches also become a main green corridor, which performs the end-to-end function of green mobility east-west, and a center of sports and recreational activity.

The sea resort industry in Ukraine is concentrated in a cluster around Odessa and on the southern coast of Crimea. The Azov coast is excluded from popular tourist destinations, although it has undeniable advantages - sandy beaches, a shallow sea that warms up quickly and is suitable for recreation with children, the duration of the holiday season is longer than in Odessa.

The only Ukrainian city that could fully realize the resort potential of Azov is Mariupol, but throughout the history of the city, starting with the Soviet period, this was impossible due to the unsatisfactory environmental situation associated with emissions from metallurgical plants, as well as the location of railway tracks directly on the central beach of the city.

The tourism potential was also negatively affected by:

● a port occupying 3.5 km of coastline;
● lack of tourist attractions;
● wastewater discharges into the sea;
● lack of high-quality hotel stock;
● silting of the entrance to the water on the left-bank beaches;
● lack of full-fledged beach infrastructure.

Non-working "Azovstal" eliminated the main factor that prevented the development of tourism - the poor ecological condition of the coastal zone of the city. No less important for this sector of the economy are the voluntary obligations of the owner of the plant named after Ilyich regarding investments in the amount of 1 billion dollars in the transition to clean metallurgical production, which were separately confirmed already during the occupation. This allows considering Mariupol in the perspective of 10 years as a "city without emissions".

The transfer of the sea port to the territory of the Azovstal plant and the dismantling of the railway tracks leading to it from the coast will free the sea coast of the right bank of the city from the transit and industrial function and create new coastal residential and tourist areas on the site of the old port and railway station.

For at least 2 million residents of large cities in eastern Ukraine, Mariupol will be the nearest seaside resort location.
This project makes it possible to organize "city + sea" tourism, when tourists live in the urban environment and enrich the city's economy, and during the day they use nearby beaches. The development of the territory of the existing port and railway station should become the center of such recreation, hotel industry, as well as nightlife.

A breakthrough project for urban tourism will be the high-speed ferry "Mariupol - Kerch", which integrates Mariupol into the tourist ecosystem of the southern coast of Crimea.



An effectively functioning mobility system is not based on transport, but on the absence of its need for movement. In the conditions of a large-scale recovery, the main priority in the mobility system should be a building that contributes to the reduction of transit (especially pendulum - morning-evening) movements around the city due to compactness, density and a large share of premises with a public, retail and office function, which will bring workplaces closer together to areas where people live and make walking the main form of mobility.
Cycling and micromobility
Mariupol's climate and environment make it generally suitable for cycling and other forms of micromobility. Bicycle infrastructure - dedicated bicycle paths and shared roads, bicycle parking, bicycle traffic lights and junctions - should be deployed on all main streets of the city. Bicycle commuting should become the main type of mobility within one neighborhood and within one or two neighborhoods, since the optimal distance of commuting on a regular bicycle is 7 km (may increase to 15 km for electric bicycles). For moving over long distances, the possibility of transporting bicycles by public transport should be provided.
The landscape of Mariupol is generally suitable for cycling, but the beach area is located significantly (60 m) below the level of the main development, and the installation of escalators with an active system of raising and lowering bicycles on both sides of the city is recommended. It is also possible to integrate micro-electric four-wheeled vehicles that bridge the gap between personal and public transportation and can be suitable for the elderly or people with disabilities, including veterans.
Public transport
A large share of walking and cycling significantly reduces the demand for private and public transport and the necessary infrastructure investments for the construction and development of road and transport networks. We suggest looking at the framework of the public transport system as a network of universal high-speed corridors along which both buses in low-traffic areas and trams in areas with high passenger traffic will be able to move. Such corridors can be updated in segments, that is, the profile of the street can be planned immediately, taking into account the possibility of arranging high-speed tram lines, which continue when new blocks are built and passenger traffic increases. As an alternative to the construction of bus-tram corridors and the deployment of an electric contact network along the entire length of the lines, it is possible to consider the full implementation of a system of electric buses on modern lithium-ion batteries, fuel cells or supercapacitors (already worked in Mariupol), which degrade little over time and work efficiently at low temperatures. This allows you to reduce the costs of electrical infrastructure, since they require recharging stations no more than every 5 km, and recharging supercapacitors takes 2-3 minutes, that is, it can be implemented at final stops and transfer nodes. We recommend planning the mobility system so that from any point of the city to any other accessibility by public transport is 30 minutes.
Transit from the old to the new public transport systemIt is important that free public transport routes are introduced for a certain period of time after the annexation, which will ensure the mobility of residents in the absence of permanent employment and income and will stimulate economic activity.A new route network is being implemented, built on the model of combining trunk and feeder routes.The city can either independently own a transport fleet or purchase transport services according to the transport service purchase model. Main routes of shuttle taxis and small-capacity buses are completely canceled.Instead of the transition period with free public transport, a unified automated system of payment and control of travel in public transport with annual subscription tickets (which allow residents to reduce the marginal cost of use, and the city to consolidate budgets) and free transfers (60-90 minutes from the moment of the first boarding) is being implemented ), as a result of which transfers cease to be a restraining factor in the choice of routes, which allows to simplify the transport network and equalizes the price of using the public transport system for residents of all areas of the city.


New housing policy

Most of the high-rise buildings have been destroyed. In what remained, some of the apartments were abandoned, and the owners of some were killed by the occupiers. Decisions that in a normal situation should be made by residents, there is no one to make them. By law, the community becomes the owner of all deceased (unclaimed) inheritance, however, in the case of a person who is missing, recognizing him as dead, opening the inheritance and obtaining the right to sell it takes at least 7 years. At the same time, the community becomes the guardian and administrator of the property for this entire period.
This means that the city becomes the operator of a large housing fund, and this opportunity should be used to launch a system of social housing following the example of European cities - renting apartments under long-term contracts on equal terms for citizens.

The most famous successful example of the social housing system is Vienna, where more than 60% of the citizens live, and the housing itself is known for its extremely high level of quality. The model is considered a leading example of how cities can successfully solve the problems of providing affordable housing while maintaining a high quality of life for residents:

● Integration of residents with different income levels within one residential complex.
● High-quality architecture and design developed on a competitive basis.
● Stable rental rates and long-term housing affordability for residents regardless of their income level.
● Environmentally clean construction methods and promoting an ecological lifestyle.
● The right to vote and broad participation of tenants in the management and maintenance of their buildings
● Public-private and municipal-private partnerships to create affordable housing projects.
● Proactive role of the municipality in planning, financing and management of social housing.
● Planning and construction

The city will not be able to restore the development if it is impossible to approve the necessary decisions regarding private property in a legal way. Local self-government needs transitional decision-making powers, primarily the right to make decisions on abandoned property and the right to expropriate property in the territories of development projects with appropriate compensation in kind or money.

It is necessary to approve urban planning documentation at the local level, which regulates the height and density of buildings, primarily zoning, before the start of tenders. Detailed plans of territories are developed at urban planning competitions, after which investment competitions of the "Design and build" type are held for the construction of individual objects.

The "Neighbourhood Network" model of recovery and development

As a result of the Russian bombings, there were only isolated cells of surviving housing surrounded by ruins in the city. which are currently inhabited by people who remained in the occupied city.

We propose a "Neighborhood Network" model of regeneration and development, in which these populated areas become the basis for the regeneration and development of the city. The key and largest neighborhood in the city should become its heart - the central part.

Neighborhoods, first of all, build their own living space, and for this they must receive sufficient resources and certain powers regarding their distribution. Each neighborhood has its own development office - a center for the provision of services and support for Mariupol residents, similar to the "Y. Mariupol" centers that are currently operating in the cities of Ukraine. In each neighborhood, conditions are created for the emergence of services and decent living conditions, and each neighborhood can develop its own identity. Efficient transport links are provided between neighborhoods so that they can function as a single network.

Prioritizing the restoration of the territory where people live will allow to quickly create cells of a relatively high-quality environment for the life of those who decide to return to the city and who will restore it.

The city has developed an "Immediate Response Strategy" with a list of the first projects to be implemented starting from the moment of deoccupation. We consider it a quality plan that supports the vision of this project, and on the other hand, this strategy follows the steps laid out in the immediate response plan.

However, it is worth noting that in the experience of many researchers involved in post-war planning, the connection between short-term recovery and long-term strategy was often underestimated, leading to significant overspending of resources and a significantly lower quality of output than could be achieved within the same budgets. Therefore, the necessary next step in the recovery process should be the coordination of urban and architectural approaches, decision-making processes and especially coordination mechanisms to achieve synergy between tactical and strategic actions.


15-minutes neighborhood 

Soviet microdistricts were planned around social infrastructure, included limited services, and are radically different from modern districts by the lack of workplaces and full-fledged public spaces.

We propose to create neighborhoods in which not only all social infrastructure facilities and services necessary for residents are within walking distance, but also workplaces and public green spaces - parks, boulevards 5 minutes from each house. This will reduce the need to use cars, reduce the time citizens spend on the road, and develop a comfortable public space.

Also, for the full functioning of each of the neighborhoods, the creation of:

● a pedestrian and shopping street in the center of the neighborhood; market area;
● mobility nodes, which ensure the accessibility of other neighborhoods;
● a green natural corridor that provides access to transit pedestrian and bicycle micromobility infrastructure.

It is the contemplation and participation in activities in public spaces, such as running, cycling, recreation, meetings and games, that create a "feeling of the city" for residents.

Sustainability is the main criterion for every decision made regarding neighborhood development. This means:

● active first floors with commercial and public functions;
● a high share (up to 40%) of non-residential industrial, office, public and commercial premises;
● orientation of the street network on micromobility;
● population density of not less than 150 people/ha;
● creating a social mix of residents with different incomes - a combination of different building typologies and forms of ownership and management (private, social, cooperative housing).


Stages of reconstruction:

● Center
● Southern belt - territories close to the coast on the right and left banks of the city
● New Center and Azovstal Square
● Kalmius embankment on the right bank of the city
● Renovation of the territories of the old railway station
● Renovation of the old port areas
● Renovation of the territories north of Primorsky Park
● Renovation of other areas of outdated housing
● Territories recommended for resettlement of residents: those surrounding the plant named after Ilyich

Proposals: historical centre

We consider the city center as a key primary area for the resettlement of residents, because after the shutdown of the Azovstal plant, its key environmental problem was solved, and also because this area can easily be densified and improve the quality of the environment without increasing the traditional height. Therefore, we must not forget that the city center will have a residential function in addition to the city-wide significance, which means that when planning development, we should treat it as one of the neighborhoods in the city.

The street pattern of the city center remains unchanged, as it is a historical, recognizable, equipped underground infrastructure, and it simply functioned well. A continuous bicycle and pedestrian zone is formed in the center, which allows you to enjoy public life without noise. The core of the center becomes fully pedestrianized with separate streets accessible to public transport and motor vehicles of the residents of the surrounding buildings.

On the first floors, we allocate different zones for different priority functions. There is a zone where the main shops are located - both shopping centers and small individual shops. Another area is focused on small hotels, restaurants and bars. The third zone is a combination of work spaces and housing. In order for the historic center to remain lively and socially safe 24/7, housing must always be built above restaurants and shops.

A beautiful promenade several kilometers long connects the old and new centers. Zones of public space, activities and buildings with a public function are formed every few hundred meters. City blocks should have public functions on the outside and more intimate functions on the inside. Architecture should have a human scale that creates the feeling of a friendly city, and public space should have high-quality paving, drainage, landscaping, trees for shade and smell, water, toilets and no street advertising.

Special emphasis should be placed on the oldest historical streets to revive the quality of the old buildings. There should be as many historic buildings preserved and restored as possible (including historic single-story buildings) in order to maintain a connection with what the city used to be.

New buildings, in turn, should not "shout out" the historical ones, but on the contrary - emphasize them with their restraint. Compaction is possible in the inner part of the quarters.

According to our vision, all historic buildings that can be restored should be restored, because they are part of the basic identity of the city, give it depth, and give residents a sense of historical continuity and connection with their ancestors.

Regarding individual particularly valuable destroyed buildings, primarily 19th century or iconic buildings, individual decisions should be made about the possibility of their complete restoration if there are informational and historical materials that allow it to be done. The integration of the remains of dilapidated buildings into new construction can also be considered, following the example of the "Port Kultur" cultural center project proposed for implementation in Mariupol (Georgiivska St., 63).

It is fundamental that the basis of the reconstruction of the historical center should be modern construction based on the results of international architectural competitions, both on land owned by the city and on land owned by private individuals. First of all, architectural competitions will ensure an order of magnitude higher quality of architectural projects due to the competition of architectural bureaus. The siege and destruction of Mariupol became world famous, which will allow to attract the stars of world architecture to the competitions. Thus, the reconstruction of the city center on the basis of architectural and urban planning competitions will allow to create a key focus of modern international architecture of the highest quality in Ukraine, which will become another powerful tourist magnet in the city.

Individual buildings with a special function may be more visible because they have a different role in the urban fabric. The restoration of the drama theater due to the large number of people who died in the bombing is a very delicate issue that must be resolved together with the residents, but we recommend that the drama theater be moved to a new location, and that a memorial integrated into the Theater Square be created at this location.

A new building of the Central Market is being built on a competitive basis, the area around it will be transformed into a trade and office cluster with space for holding fairs. The city hall is moved to Azovstal Square (the square near the central passageways of the Azovstal plant). The territory occupied by the former city hall and the building of the Hipromez Institute are transferred to the university cluster for the construction of a new modern main building of the university, which will allow the use of Greek Square as a public space of the university and the city lyceum. The area occupied by the university is significantly increased and integrated with the territory of the medical campus.
Between the old and the new center, the construction of a psychological and physiological rehabilitation center integrated into the urban fabric can be considered.

All transit traffic flows are conducted outside the core of the city center. A central transport hub of city transport is being organized near the U-turn tram ring on the street. Kazantseva. The former tram depot becomes a park. Near the cathedral on the street Cathedral Square is arranged for the cathedral. St. Nielsen acquires a commercial function with active facades of the first floors.


New centre

For decades, the area with the greatest potential for development was occupied by the Azovstal plant and the environmental protection strips around it. This applies both to the hill itself, on which the plant is located, and to the mouth of the Kalmius River and the harbor nearby. The area under consideration is bounded on the west by the railway tracks on the right bank of the city, includes the two quays of Kalmius, the two quays of the Harbor and the adjacent areas of the harbour, and is bounded on the north by the river. We call this area the new center, its core should be Azovstal Square (the square near the main passageways of the Azovstal plant). We believe that this is where the vector of the city's development should be directed, with an emphasis on the creation of a new business center, the maximum use of natural potential, and the development of recreational functions of the surrounding areas of the river and the sea. This should be implemented through the gradual reconstruction of the city center in the direction of the river and the integration of the territories to the east of the street. Shopping in the central neighborhood of the city.

"Azovstal" became the world-famous center of resistance and struggle for freedom of Ukrainians, and it should also become the center of the city's revival. People will gravitate towards this symbol. The impressive buildings of the plant should fill the city fabric with the memory of its industrial DNA. Transport accessibility of the territory is ensured by two ways: through the Post Bridge, which needs to be reconstructed, and a new bridge over the river and the harbor, located approximately in the continuation of the creation of Miru Avenue. The new bridge must be accessible to public transport, pedestrians and cyclists and does not provide access for private vehicles. The new bridge is an important development project and should become one of the architectural landmarks of the city. We recommend announcing an international tender for the project of a new bridge.

We offer to place:

● combined railway and bus station complex;
● a water taxi station that connects with the ferry terminal, city beaches and the Azov coast;
● hub of city transport, providing connection with the city districts and the airport;
● new city hall;
● office and hotel buildings.

The tracks of the railway station are proposed to be located along the tracks that used to deliver coal to the blast furnaces, where the steel production cycle began, near the structures of the blast furnace shop, which, on the one hand, will act as an impressive prologue to industrial history and a memorial to a giant plant of a superhuman scale, and on the other - this location will provide a fantastic view of the city center, the marina in Havana and the sea nearby. The combined complex of the railway and intercity bus station should not be considered exclusively from the point of view of the transport function. The building should also include retail and office functions. The construction of such a modern complex can become one of the drivers of economic activity in the city. It is proposed to adapt the existing buildings to the function of the station, which can significantly reduce project budgets.

The unnamed peninsula between the river and the harbor should become a vacation spot and another tourist magnet. In the northern part, it is proposed to place art pavilions, which can become a kind of "cultural embassies" of the countries that will join the restoration of Mariupol.


Left bank

Exact in such neighborhoods half of Mariupol residents previously lived. We took this microdistrict as a model because it was partially destroyed by the occupiers and new construction is needed with the integration of existing buildings, and the territory of the microdistrict meanwhile has high potential, as it is saturated with buildings of different periods, is located close to the sea and will have excellent transport connections according to the project. This is how we see the construction of the city and life in it.
The key change in the street network is the dismantling of Morsky Boulevard and the completion of the development with an open linear park on the hill above the sea. Moving vehicular traffic just one block north will allow residents of the entire neighborhood to begin a safe walk or bike ride to the ocean almost from their front porch. A network of combined green corridors with bicycle paths is laid through the entire built-up area, connecting each cluster of the building to the green and blue network. Buildings that have received significant damage during hostilities and are not subject to restoration, and buildings of old typical 5-story mass series with extremely low level of comfort are being dismantled. Our main task is to create a comfortable and sustainable urban environment. During the previous development, facades were formed on the outside of the neighborhood and conditionally private areas for residents of the quarter inside. However, the building lacked private green spaces, workplaces, and the feeling of a small city street. The territory was chaotically parked.
We divide the territory of the microdistrict into blocks of 100x100 meters with streets 20-25-30 meters wide. This size of the block is a little smaller, for example, than the blocks in the center of Odessa. Public (streets, parks), semi-private (yards) and private space (yards of private houses) are clearly separated. It is very important not to let the city become overgrown with fences. This will make it dangerous, closed and significantly delay the psychological rehabilitation of the residents. It is important that the entire territory of the city feels safe, and not individual reservations behind the fence.
Low fences are permissible only for facilities with limited access, such as kindergartens and schools. We recommend that all other separation be done with low green fences with passages for pedestrians. The street space for cars and pedestrians and cyclists is also clearly demarcated.
Since it should be physically impossible for cars, except for maintenance and firefighting equipment, to drive into yards, entrances should have access both to the street and to the yard. The quarter typology of the building also allows for the placement of office spaces on 1-2 floors with separate entrances from the street.
There are three kindergartens left in the neighborhood, which are likely to be restored, they perform the function of supporting institutions and should ensure the demand for the minimum demographic gap. The other two kindergartens have to cover a higher demand and are arranged in a built-in annex format on the first floors, that is, with the possibility of a temporary change of function if necessary. Building along the front line with firewalls and reducing building plots will increase its diversity, reduce the size of the investment project and allow small and medium-sized developers to enter this market, because even a small company can build a 5-story building with 1-2 entrances. At the same time, the necessity of continuity of the underground floor under different sections must be taken into account.
It is proposed to significantly expand the variety of buildings by adding to the classic for Mariupol multi-story housing formats:
● city villas (point building of low height with 4 apartments per floor);● spectacular penthouses on the upper floors of buildings;● townhouses;● gallery houses;● houses with an atrium.


Private development

Most of the inhabited territory of the city is occupied by private buildings, in which half of the inhabitants lived before the occupation.
About 60% of private buildings survived, and clusters of private buildings in the city are now centers of life. It is possible to expect a faster recovery of private houses due to the smaller scale of necessary works and the presence of efficient owners, although the share of residents 60+ (28.2%, the largest among large cities in the country) that is hardly able to organize or conduct Construction works.

The main typology of land planning for plots for private houses in the city - narrow plots from the red line measuring 400-600 m2 in blocks measuring 200x80 m outside the city center and approximately 240x120 m in the city center. Private buildings need compaction.

City center, Slobidka

Private development from Myru Avenue to the south begins already on the next street. The transfer of railway tracks from the embankment will completely open the city center to the sea with the possibility of arranging full-fledged beaches. In the medium term, these areas are the biggest resource for densification. We recommend setting the maximum height of this area to at least 4 floors and switching to the model of building buildings adjoining the street facade with firewalls (deaf side walls) to form full-fledged blocks. Blocks with a length of 200-240 m should be cut across by pedestrian galleries, which can also perform a shopping function.

Separate clusters of private buildings

The strategy of densification on the outskirts - the formation of local centers around public transport stops - raising the maximum height and building with active facades. Also, for streets with main public transport routes, raising the height to at least 2 floors is recommended. Individual plots among the buildings, which have become the property of the city or which the city can buy out, should be transformed into multifunctional green public spaces, sports grounds. To ensure public health within a radius of 3-5 min. on a bicycle there should be a sports infrastructure of all sports supported by the city.

A new typical street profile should be implemented with the narrowest possible roadway, a bicycle path, linear planting of trees with large crowns, typical streetlights, benches, bins and toilets. Preference should be given to a one-way traffic pattern. In the case of choosing concrete as the main material for street elements and the availability of high-strength slag clinker bricks for covering, you can consider faster conveyor laying of the street-road fabric with Tiger Stone equipment or its analogues. In the planned programs for the allocation of building materials to the owners of private houses, it is necessary, for reasons of adaptation to global warming, to purchase materials for external coatings and roofs with a high reflective capacity (stainless steel, white coatings).

Old port and public beaches

The development of the city depends on the sea, its ecological condition and accessibility. The connection between the city and the sea can be significantly improved. The main areas, where possible, are the area of the central beach, the railway station and the old port.

This project proposes to extend the coastal strip by creating a series of wider sandy beaches and intensifying the connection with residential areas. The coastline will be fully open to pedestrians and cyclists, but will change its character every few kilometres. The Old Port will be able to compete with the Scandinavian port developments in the city centers and has the potential to become an area of high-quality development directly facing the sea. The old warehouse buildings will remain and receive new functions, and the cranes will act as a festive decoration. The existing development to the north of the port will be connected to this area by roads, paths, green spaces, new shopping and service areas.

It is necessary to remove the car transit function from the central beach (Primorsky Boulevard), extend the beach area to the territory of the transferred railway tracks up to Primorsky Park and unite them with observation decks, stairs, escalators and elevators. The building of sports facilities near the "Navigator" yacht club must be restored and returned to the citizens. Primorsky Park should be updated, clear zones and functional filling of the park should be formed. The view points of the hill and the beach line should be filled with hotels and restaurants, but they should not limit access to their territory or dominate the space.

A real business card of a beach holiday in Mariupol can be a necklace of three beaches with a radically different character: a sandy steppe beach, a central "city" beach with a water park and other activities, a family-friendly left-bank beach with a pine plantation, which today can be found in only one place in the country - on iconic wild beaches of the Kinburn spit (Mykolaiv region).
The ornithological park in the extreme east of the city completes the necklace. All beaches must be provided with access to water transport, which is included in the system of a single city transit system.

The left-bank beach should be partially washed (100+ meters), instead of traditional poplars, pines of the species Black pine, Crimean pine, Common pine, which like sandy soils, should be planted. In the eastern part of the left bank beach, a landscape suitable for nesting birds should be formed. The existing ones should be reconstructed and several new descents to the sea should be organized every 200-300 meters on the left bank of the city. The beach infrastructure should be reconstructed and filled with walking and cycling paths, sports and entertainment infrastructure.

The launch of water transport is particularly important. Within the city, a seasonal water taxi is to be launched along the entire coast of Mariupol from Berdyansk to O. Green with access to all beaches, the resort suburbs of Mariupol and the harbor in the new center. Considering the relatively short sea season, the city should also consider zones for organized camping with tents, primarily in certain areas of the Seaside Park, which can be either permanent during the season or open only during festivals.


Green Azovstal

One of the main challenges of the city is the rethinking of its heart - the territory of "Azovstal". This territory ceased to be "just a factory". There are things that are "possible" and "unethical" to do there, there are objects that cannot but appear there. Although the land under the plant belongs to the city, the city government is in a complex debating triangle with the city community in exile and the owner of the plant, who actively supports it throughout the occupation.

The city does not have a choice whether to integrate the territory of "Azovstal" into the city, but the open question is: how exactly to do it? Our answer is the consolidation of metallurgical production at the site of the plant named after Ilyich After that, part of the territory of "Azovstal" should be renovated, it should be filled with new functions. But mainly, Azovstal will also be a place that needs to be "healed" and that must remain quiet and silent for decades. We propose to give a large part of the territory to nature, and let time and nature heal this territory, literally and figuratively. At the same time, the new functional zoning of the territory should restart the city's economy, improve its connectivity, clean up polluted soils, open access to new city embankments and realize the commemoration of the city's tragedy.

The driver of the restart of the city's economy is the construction of a new container terminal in the southeast of the "Azovstal" territory (110 hectares) with capacity for storing containers and the ability to process more than 500 thousand containers per year. The port will also act as a large diversified employer. The flow of goods for the restoration of eastern Ukraine and for the consumption of about 18 million people who live east of the Dnieper, and access to the Black Sea-Mediterranean market will provide a wide range of products available for port processing (26.5 hectares, existing communications). The next phase of the plan will be to gradually move the grain terminal from the old port, which will stop freight rail transport along the beach in the central part of the city. This would concentrate production along the industrial railway north of the new port in such a way as to provide a buffer from populated areas. Territories and structures to the north and east of the port and the railway branch (150 hectares) are reserved for the choice of their use in the future between industrial, military and social purposes.

The western part of the territory of "Azovstal" becomes part of the new center and integrates the territory of the mouth of Kalmus and the harbor. Cleaning the factory territory to a condition suitable for human habitation is too expensive a project, therefore, in the medium term, only activities that have the status of temporary stay (offices, hotels, training) should be considered. The area around Azovstal Square is becoming a new city center.

The main city development project (10.6 hectares) is a new combined complex that includes a single station (railway, bus station, water taxi, city transport hub), a new city hall, office, shopping and hotel areas. The place on the harbor embankment is also the most logical for the placement of a private university, the plans for the construction of which were announced by the owner of the Azovstal plant.


Military bases

Mariupol is expected to require strong military security. Up to three military bases can be expected to be built on the outskirts of the city. Each of the bases requires approximately 90 hectares (for 3,000 personnel) plus 30 hectares for residential development. Bases can be integrated into the urban fabric, in which case nearby areas can become housing for the military. Bases should be located near the ring road around the city for easy access in the east and west directions (not through the city). Exact locations require further study and discussion with military specialists.
Today, there is a low probability that the government will want to create a naval base in Mariupol - it will be too close to the territory of Russia, and the creation of such a base is currently planned in Berdyansk.

Memorial centre

The south-west of the territory is given over to the cluster of memorialization: a museum, a memorial cemetery, the creation of 4 types of walking routes. We propose to place the Azovstal Museum and the Mariupol Memorial Center (20 hectares) on a permanent basis on the territory of the Azovstal CHP plant, adapting the existing buildings for the museum and research institutions if possible and leaving the 250-meter pipe of the CHP as a local dominant with the possibility of organizing an inspection site The concept and architectural project of such a museum should be created on a competitive basis, and the preparation of the competition task should take place with the participation of city residents.
The object, the creation of which can be started immediately after deoccupation, is a memorial cemetery on the seashore near the water mirror of the technical water basins of the Azovstal plant (55 hectares). Taking into account the heroic history of the defense of Azovstal, the state should decide on the status of such an object, because the combination of a unique location, dramatic views of the sea and the context allows treating this cemetery as a pantheon of the national level.
The issue of creating a memorial complex and museum on the territory of "Azovstal" will be relevant not only for the community of Mariupol and Ukraine as a whole, but also for the international community, as an opportunity to "experience" the tragedy. The territory of the thermal power plant, an observation deck at a height of 250 m, an extensive system of underground tunnels and a memorial cemetery are the material for creating a full-fledged memorial tourism attraction at the competition. In the case of full-fledged work with the commemoration - the creation of a research institute, the formation of a curatorial group, compliance with high ethical standards and thorough cooperation with the local community of Mariupol - the "Azovstal" memorial complex will be able to make a significant contribution to the economy of the city and moderate the processing of historical trauma within the community of Mariupol. The territory between the memorial cemetery and the port is devoted to nature.



  • Illustration

    Fulco Treffers

    Ro3kvit Urban Coalition Founder, main architect, urbanist

  • Illustration

    Mykyta Biriukov

    Public mobility and transport expert

  • Illustration

    Nathan Hutson

    Urban planning, ports and economy expert

  • Illustration

    Dmytro Gurin

    Urban strategy expert, Deputy of Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine

  • Illustration

    Natalia Kozub

    Architect, urban planner

  • Illustration

    Alice Alexandrova

    Architect, urban planner

  • Illustration

    Mykola Tryfonov

    Project manager

  • Illustration

    Natalia Shulga

    Architect, graphic designer

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    This project was financially supported by USAID