Live stream from Lviv – Liverpool students learn about urban planning in Ukraine

Kharkiv, Svobody Square 2017

Students studying planning at the University of Liverpool recently received a lecture on the evolution of planning in Ukraine from Oleksandr Anisimov, Chief specialist in the Department of Urban Mobility and Street Infrastructure for the Lviv City Council in Lviv, Ukraine.

As well as working in planning practice, Oleksandr has written on planning in Ukraine including on its capital city Kyiv.

The lecture was delivered by live stream and addressed the theme of Totality, Incrementality and Strategy: Urban planning in Ukraine.

The students are taking the International Planning Studies module which explores planning in different parts of the world including Brazil, the USA, China, India, France, Germany and the Netherlands.

Dr Olivier Sykes, Senior Lecturer in European Spatial Planning at the University’s Department of Geography and Planning, organised the session.

He said: “This was a fascinating account of the evolution of the urbanisation and planning of Ukraine with the geography and history of settlement in Ukraine providing the backdrop to  different points in history. The urban layouts and creations of planning under periods of imperial control were discussed, as were the plans and realisations of Socialist planning under the Soviet Union.

Image below: Socmisto in Zaporizhzhia, early 1930s

“The lecture was richly illustrated with images of plans and towns, cities, new towns, and housing. The gradual ‘postmodernisation’ of Socialist planning in the 1980s, with greater attempts to respect historical townscapes and recreate perimeter urban blocks and introduce less rigid architectural forms, provided on interesting insight into the history of planning in the country.

Image: Kyiv, Obolon district masterplan, 1970s

“The evolution of planning following Ukraine’s independence and the arrival of free market conditions was also discussed, with its implications for a shift in the role of planning towards being a facilitator of land markets and developer ambitions, rather than a comprehensive agent of state directed futures.

“A sombre note was struck by images of the urban destruction visited on territories of the former Soviet Union and surrounding states since the 1990s by Russian armed forces and/or Russian-backed separatists.

Image below: House destroyed in Slovyansk in 2014

“It was clear from the lecture that the history and contemporary trajectory of planning Ukraine provides a rich setting for international and comparative planning studies – one which has yet to be fully explored and brought widely to the attention of international academic and practitioner audiences.

“I would personally like to thank Oleksandr for delivering this session to our students at a time of extreme stress caused by the horrific situation that those in Ukraine are currently facing.”

The International Planning Studies module is part of the MPlan Town and Regional Planning and is also available to study via the BA Environment and Planning, the BA Urban Planning, and the BA Geography and Planning.