"AZOVSTAL - ART SPACE AND RETURNING THE CITY TO ITS TRUE HISTORY: URBANISTS HAVE PRESENTED PLANS FOR THE RESTORATION OF MARIUPOL
Today, in Lviv, the mayor of Mariupol, Vadym Boichenko, and the mayor of Lviv, Andrii Sadovyi, opened a new space “Mariupol Reborn". During the event, four teams of urbanists presented their projects for the reconstruction of Mariupol. The USAID Project “Economic Support for Ukraine” provided financial support for the development of urban concepts.
The peculiarity of each of the projects was that the opinions of Mariupol residents were taken into account when developing them. Residents of the city by the sea insist that the history of Mariupol is much older than the Soviet authorities imposed, and the tragic events that befell the city in 2022 and during the occupation should be taken into account. For the majority of respondents, home, work and the resumption of shipping remained important factors in the recovery. Based on this, urbanists developed visions of the revival of Mariupol.
The first concept was presented by Rozkvit team, which consisted of 9 people, both Ukrainians and foreigners. First of all, the team set themselves the question of for whom and how to rebuild Mariupol. Fourteen residents of Mariupol acted as consultants and shared with the team their memories of their hometown, what they liked about it and their expectations for their return.
"Russia will always be your neighbor, they will always threaten you. This should be taken into account when planning the reconstruction. It is also necessary to correct all the imperfections of the previous planning. In particular, to move industry out of the city, make the beaches comfortable and connect the city to the sea," says urbanist Fulco Treffers.
The Rozkvit team presented their project based on one of the micro districts on the Left Bank of Mariupol. The street structure was partially changed, taking into account the space for pedestrians and cyclists. The project special feature is multifunctional zones that will make the place of residence more comfortable
and bright. Urbanists also insist on green cities.
"At the same time, a new micro district can be built next to the old one so as not to offend people's memory," says the team leader.
The urbanist from the Netherlands stressed that they also considered options for the density of the city's development. The four possible scenarios are ready to go, but they need to be implemented with an understanding of how many citizens will decide to return. At the first stage, the Dutch experts propose to consider not dense development of the city, and then to start from the needs and demands of Mariupol residents. Urbanists also insist that future workplaces need to be created now. The authors of Rozkvit project propose to develop the entire industrial zone in the context of a “clean” economy, and to focus special attention on the port, which will become the gateway to the recovery of the eastern region: "To do this, the port of Mariupol should be moved to a more convenient location that would allow it to expand and open up new opportunities for cargo capacity"
It is proposed to make the territory of Azovstal multifunctional, but with a memorial and museum to always be able to honour those people who defended Mariupol.
A team of urbanists led by Mariupol brand developer Serhii Rodionov presented their vision of the city's future. Serhii is a Mariupol resident and knows from his own experience what the city went through during the occupation.
"Mariupol is my hometown. This time that we now have before the de-occupation should be used to our advantage and prepare for the recovery," says Serhii Rodionov.
According to this group of urbanists, the first priority should be given to security issues and the fact of close proximity to the aggressor. This challenge can be solved by locating a powerful military base in Mariupol - it should be a fortress city with special development ways enshrined in law.
In addition, urbanists advise paying attention to environmental challenges.
Experts suggest densifying the construction and making it more convenient for residents, creating a comfortable space in the centre, and making it accessible in a “15-minute format” - that is, it will be possible to get to the right place in this time, including the speed of movement between the left and right banks of the city, revitalizing the water structure and increasing the number of green spaces.
Among the proposals is the construction of new transport arteries - a railway and a motorway.
Experts suggest densifying the construction and making it more convenient for residents. Create a comfortable space in the center and increase the number of green spaces.
And also to implement the "15-minute accessibility" format - that is, the ability to get to the right place in this time. The team's project also takes into account the speed of movement between the left and right banks of the city.
This group of urbanists proposes to turn the Azovstal plant into an industrial zone, but with places of memory.
"An important place in Mariupol should be the island where the railway and river stations are planned to be relocated. And where the ferries will depart from. The heart of the city should be the old cossack fortress, which has been preserved on maps and was the vibrational center of Mariupol," the developers say.
In their project, Viktor Zotov's team focused on what they consider to be the city's greatest value - the sea. As part of their project, the sea needs to be combined with river embankments. It is also proposed to dismantle the railway that divides the seashore, integrate the public transport system, and most importantly, to leave Mariupol as an industrial metallurgical giant.
"We also propose to densify the city to avoid abandoned areas and voids. To use the opportunity to develop the geometric center of the city, where the factory was located, and what was literally a violence against a beautiful area. We can fix it now. Instead, the historic center will become a tourist destination, as in most European cities," says Viktor Zotov.
In addition, the team of urbanists proposes to use water transport as a tourist one, with the possibility of visiting resort villages. As a first step, the experts suggest updating all utility networks according to the latest global trends.
The fourth team of architects, Big City Lab, suggests that the first priority should be given to economic recovery and the return of educational centers to encourage people to return to the city.
In particular, the team proposes to pay special attention to schools, which can become centers of social life, at the first stage of the city's recovery. Thus, assembly halls can be transformed into places of learning for adults, canteens into cafes, and sports grounds can become publicly accessible.
In addition, it is proposed to densify the city and make it more architecturally diverse. And also to "turn" to the sea and develop areas along rivers as well as focus on port development.
The architects propose to restore the old city center and build new buildings around it. It is proposed to green the city and restore already green metallurgy. There should be a Memorial on the site of the Drama Theatre, and a Memorial Park with a museum on the site of Azovstal.
"Despite the economic recovery, we propose not to forget about the city's ecology, to make more expressive buildings and turn the city towards the sea. In the first five years, we have to work actively to restore and build housing. And all infrastructure should be of the same quality," says Victoriia Titova, the company's founder.
Urbanists insist that now it is necessary to think about qualitative changes in Mariupol.
You can learn more about all the projects, view plans and photos HERE.