15:22 15.02.2023


Great reconstruction: Ukrainian cities will be built using "green" technologies

4 min read
Great reconstruction: Ukrainian cities will be built using "green" technologies

Musa Magomedov, member of the Parliament of Ukraine, member of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Economic Development


Mariupol, Avdiivka, Severodonetsk, Volnovakha, Kharkiv, Mykolaiv, Chernihiv. This is not a complete list of Ukrainian cities destroyed by Russia, which are expected to undergo a major reconstruction after our victory. According to preliminary estimates, the damage caused to Ukraine as a result of Russian aggression already exceeds 700 billion dollars. About 40% of this amount is for residential buildings, 10% for enterprises. The rest are roads and other infrastructure.

Although the war continues, the discussion about the future development of the country and its reconstruction should be started immediately. There are cities in Ukraine that were literally destroyed by the Russians. For example, one hundred percent of the buildings in Avdiivka were damaged. Mariupol is almost completely destroyed. Obviously, the reconstruction process will not be fast, so it is necessary to plan it several decades ahead.

After the Second World War, dozens of countries emerged from the ashes. The Soviet Union followed the path of building typical buildings designed for 50 years. Residential buildings, factories, infrastructure facilities were built - almost everything according to typical projects, in every settlement and city.

Poland took another path. For example, after the expulsion of the Nazis from Warsaw, practically only ruins remained. The Poles rebuilt the capital carefully and gradually, according to memories and photographs. It took 20 years.

With this in mind, we can now unequivocally state what Ukraine does not need to do in any case. We don't need "cardboard" boxes, we don't need Potemkin villages. We need modern, high-quality housing. There is no need for "reconstruction" a la the drama theater in Mariupol. Because this is not reconstruction, but further destruction in order to hide crimes.

The Russians had already done something similar when they were "rebuilding" Grozny. While the whole city was groaning in ruins, skyscrapers were being "built" for a propaganda picture on TV. And it satisfied everyone.

In its so-called reconstructions in the temporarily occupied territories, the enemy does not take into account the social component - the people who should inhabit the city. Their regime never considers people at all. Who are these people? How old are you? Who will be employed? Unanswered questions.

Our rebuilding plans are extremely ambitious. We need to turn ruined cities into models of modern technologies. Contaminated and mined territories (which are about 270,000 square kilometers) should be turned into protected and recreational areas.

New cities must be built according to "green" technologies. First, it refers to the reconstruction of enterprises. It is critically important to make them ecological, according to European standards, at the same time gradually - taking into account the circumstances in which Ukraine found itself.

The requirements for industrial enterprises are high, but to restore according to old technologies is not only strange, but also illogical. After all, it is simply unprofitable in the long run.

Second, cities must be built for people. The modern approach allows taking into account all the needs of the region, the needs of people with disabilities (of whom, unfortunately, there will be many after the liberation of Ukraine). Clean water, air and healthy soil are the things without which a person cannot exist in the modern world. Let me remind you that the all-European goal by 2050 is a carbon-neutral economy.

So, all this should be planned and implemented during the next decade. But at what cost?

Mainly thanks to international donors. In order to involve them, it is necessary to have a comprehensive, transparent and integrated vision of every city and region. Secondly, due to reparations. It's a long process, but it's moving. For example, on February 13, the Swiss international financial group Credit Suisse announced that it had frozen 17.8 billion euros of Russian funds in its accounts.

In December 2022, the European Union froze Russian assets in the amount of 20 billion. And a month earlier, the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said that the EU had blocked 300 billion euros from the reserves of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation. I hope that the West will find a mechanism to transfer them to Ukraine.

It is important to decide how we want to see our country after the victory, to show maximum political will during the adoption of laws, not to delay the processes. And start building the future right now.