Cultural project

UREHERIT. Architects for heritage in Ukraine: recreating identity and memory

«UREHERIT. Architects for heritage in Ukraine: recreating identity and memory» -- is a three-year project international European cultural project with the aim to build competence on the heritage protection, regeneration of culturally meaningful plans and projects and empowering of local communities as a tool for building the new, democratic, and sustainable Ukraine with a unique yet European cultural DNA.
European and Ukrainian heritage specialists, architects, planners, engineers, other professionals, officers of local authorities and communities of Ukrainian cities will will share their knowledge and experience and analyze topics of protection and restoration of Ukrainian cultural heritage.  
The project will address heritage as a resource for sustainable cultural, social, environmental, and economic recovery, while solving challenges of preservation, re-definition and highlighting the national and local cultural identity and reflect the memory in the rebuilding.

  • Project duration -- 3 years (August 2023 -- April 2026 року)

  • The project will initiate a platform for long-term cooperation between architects, urbanists, landscape architects and antiquarians from Ukraine and other European countries to protect and develop the natural and heritage as a resource for the recovery of Ukraine

  • Two–way knowledge -- Ukrainians learning from Europeans, Europeans learning from Ukrainians

The program will contain:

    continuous professional development
    educational programs for architectural schools
    public discussions

«With this project we want to contribute to recovery of an artistic sector – architecture – inviting Ukrainian architects (and heritage protection specialists in particular) to collaborate with European architects on an equal footing: to share knowledge and experience and together search for a new, Ukraine-suited, methodology and ways to preserve and recover Ukrainian urban and architectural heritage in a sustainable, inclusive manner.
Ukraine, as any other place, requires tailor-made, and not copy-paste solutions. Together with other project partners, we agreed from the very beginning to adhere to the principle that all the methodologies, recommendations and proposals will be created together with Ukrainian architects, culture experts and communities, trying to adapt the best European practices to the unique Ukrainian context.”»
Rūta Leitanaitė, the initiator and coordinator of the project, a member of the Council of the Architects Association of Lithuania

The project will result in a set of recommendations on:

    Heritage value assessment methodology and damage assessment methodology
    A strategy for how to regenerate valuable heritage in a sustainable, economic and culturally meaningful way
    Holistic renovation of soviet housing in Ukraine
    Methodology of participatory process in heritage protection: Urban forums and workshops “Healing through restoration of heritage”
    Architectural design competitions: implementation and financial tips
    Technologies and heritage
    improvement of educational programs at architectural schools
    The content, financing and organization of CPD (continuous professional development) program on sustainable recovery with heritage
  • The first public event – public conference “UREHERIT: architects for heritage in Ukraine” took place on 13th of October 2023, in Lviv, Ukraine

    During the conference, all the activities were presented by Consortium partners, also calls for applications of Ukrainian participants were launched during the conference. The conference also featured a high-level round table discussion with Ukrainian government, international architectural and heritage protection organizations representatives.

Human Resource Needs for Sustainable Rebuilding with Heritage Report

Amidst the ongoing destruction inflicted upon Ukraine's heritage by russia over the past two years and the pre-existing deterioration of historic structures, urgent efforts are directed towards both safeguarding cultural assets and recognizing heritage as a catalyst for community rebuilding and recovery. Recent estimates by the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine reveal that 18% of the nation's cultural inventory, totaling 1750 objects, has suffered damage, with the Donetsk region bearing an unprecedented 83% devastation. This includes approximately 800 heritage sites of local, regional, national, and even international significance, including UNESCO World Heritage sites.
The UREHERIT "Human Resource Needs for Sustainable Rebuilding with Heritage" report outlines crucial insights into rebuilding efforts in Ukraine, emphasizing the urgent need for sustainable approaches. Amidst the ongoing destruction inflicted upon Ukraine's heritage by russia over the past two years, coupled with the pre-existing deterioration of historic structures, urgent attention is directed towards both safeguarding cultural assets and recognizing heritage as a catalyst for community rebuilding and recovery.
To facilitate these transformative efforts, the report advocates for legislative reforms aimed at elevating the standards of architectural services in Ukraine, thereby incentivizing excellence and ensuring adherence to best practices in planning, sustainability, and heritage conservation.

UREHERIT Urban Forums in Zhytomyr for participants and team leads

“Urban Forums” are hackathon-like two-day events focused on solving specific spatial issues and breathing new life into urban territories. The Forums involve bringing together diverse local stakeholders - municipal politicians, architects, developers, entrepreneurs, representatives of state agencies and the local community – in order to discuss local contested spatial issues, build trust between stakeholders, and come up with concrete joint proposals for improving the common living environment. Such Forums are relatively fast-paced and „huddly“ events, usually involving long nights, continuous rapid prototyping and visualization.

The final product of a Forum can vary – sketches and drawings in presentation format, a brief for an architectural/urban planning competition, a Youtube video recording or a series of radio shows – but in any case, it is an exercise in imagining and visualizing possible development scenarios for a particular territory. Urban Forums are first of all a platform for open and public discussions on values and vision of a place.

In Estonia, Urban Forums appeared in 2009, and since then the 17 Forums have been organized in seven different Estonian cities and municipalities, most recently in June 2022 in Tallinn Old Town.

In the case of the two Urban Forums in Zhytomyr, the focus will be on the vision for the city in the context of post-war reconstruction of Ukraine. Both forums will have 5 teams with about 6-8 participants each.

The Forums will focus on two distinct areas in the city: the area surrounding the building of the “Kosmos” cinema, and the Sokolivskyi Quarry. The Urban Forums will be organized by the Estonian Association of Architects and NGO Ro3kvit Urban Coalition for Ukraine in cooperation with the city of Zhytomyr. The Forums are funded by the European Union as a part of an international cultural project titled “UREHERIT”.

The project is a cooperation between the consortium of 11 organizations: ● Architects Association of Lithuania (LT), ● Architects Sweden (SE), ● Federal Chamber of Architects and Chartered Engineers BKZT (AT),●  Royal Danish Academy, The Institute of Technology and Architecture IBT (DK), ● Romanian Order of Architects OAR (RO), ● The National Council of Architects, Planners, Landscapers and Conservationists CNAPPC (IT), ● Federal Chamber of German Architects BAK (DE), ● Estonian Association of Architects (EE), ● The National Union of Architects of Ukraine (UA), ● Ro3kvit: Urban Coalition for Ukraine (UA), ● Kharkiv School of Architecture (UA) with the Architects’ Council of Europe (EU) as associated partner.

“UREHERIT: Architects for heritage in Ukraine. Recreating identity and memory” is a project co-funded by the European Union under a dedicated call for proposals to support Ukrainian displaced people and the Ukrainian Cultural and Creative Sectors.