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More Western experience is needed to rebuild Ukrainian cities

Jul 3, 2023

During the postwar reconstruction of Ukrainian cities, it is necessary to overcome the Soviet aggression that still exists in the national architecture.


Architect Oleh Hrechukh told Ukrainian Radio, analyzing how best to design buildings after the war, Ukrinform reports.

He noted that more foreign specialists should be involved to change the Soviet architectural paradigm.

"The experience of English industrial cities and Ukrainian ones is different because Ukraine has been colonized and industrialized for 300 years by the Soviet government. A lot of cities were oriented towards the Soviet military industry, and in fact, the last thing that was considered was how people would live there. After all, the task of those people was to travel and manufacture weapons, which is why our cities are shaped quite harshly toward people. It's also unaesthetic. There was a Soviet utopian idea that we should make a "garden city" with lots of trees and houses between them, and wide streets. But we know that they are wide because tanks had to drive through them," the expert said.

According to him, it is difficult for both us and Western architects to transform this aggression, which has been built into the architecture of cities for many years and is aimed at resisting, into a completely different philosophy and direction of development.

"But we need to attract more Western experience to change our paradigm. It's enough to stick to the Soviet school of architecture," he said.

At the same time, Grechukh called the relevance for Ukraine of the experience of rebuilding Warsaw, Frankfurt, Dutch and English cities destroyed by Nazi bombing after the end of World War II.

Author - Serhii Kolomiets, 03/07/2023

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