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Kharkiv asks foreign firms to bid on city reconstruction work after 5 pilot projects are unveiled

Damage to Kharkiv. (Photo by Ukrainian State Emergency Service)

Ukraine Rebuild Newswire Staff, Sept 8, 2023

Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, announced it will hold an international competition to rebuild the city center based on a master plan created by a team of foreign and domestic architects led by the Norman Foster Foundation.

Kharkiv City Council said in a Telegram post that the city is preparing to present plans for five pilot reconstruction projects at an investment forum in Kyiv in September, but offered few other details as to scope and timing of an international competition.

 “Now, together with the foundation, we are preparing an international competition of projects for the restoration of downtown - the central part of Kharkiv. We are open and transparent, so anyone willing can join our work to restore the city," Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov said. “If you want to join this work - please!”

The Telegram post added that “the best domestic and foreign architects, led by the Norman Foster Foundation, are working on the development of the updated master plan for the development of Kharkiv, and specialists from Oxford and Harvard universities are also working on creating an economic model for the city's development.”

A World Bank survey of damage published in February cited the Kharkiv region as the second-most-damaged area of Ukraine, after Donetsk, with $26.8 billion in damage at that time. The city has seen repeated strikes since that have left school children studying in the subway system for safety.

The Norman Foster Foundation, which has been working with the Kharkiv City Council since April of 2022, has said “the purpose of this masterplan is to become a pilot project for the reconstruction of other cities in Ukraine.”

The five pilot projects to be presented in September are separated under the labels “Heritage, Rivers, Industry, Housing and Science.”

The “Heritage” project foresees the creation of a new landmark in the city center, while “Rivers” is meant to transform a 6 km strip between the Kharkiv and Nemyshlya rivers into a park-like pedestrian and bicycle area, and “Industry” would transform a coal plant into a clean energy facility.

The “Housing” project aims to retrofit existing residences for energy efficiency and “Science” intends to bring high-tech industries and startups to the city of 1.4 million residents, which lies 30 kms from Russian border.

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