Ukrainian Urban Forum 2023 “Common Home”: summaries and materials

The fifth Ukrainian Urban Forum took place on July 28-29 in Vinnytsia. The forum brought together researchers, activists, volunteers, representatives of authorities, international institutions and all those interested in the fair and sustainable development of Ukrainian cities.

The main topic of this year’s forum was “Common Home”. The organizers paid special attention to the discussion of housing. The issue of housing is one of the key issues for the recovery and development of Ukrainian cities, and the problem of the lack of affordable and high-quality housing only worsened during the full-scale war.

On the first day of the forum, participants took part in discussions and round tables with experts and researchers, representatives of authorities and international organizations. In the program of the first day, in particular:

  • The Opening Ceremony with the mayor of Vinnytsia, Ukrainian experts and international partners.
  • National roundtable on problems and prospects of housing policy.
  • A series of short presentations on Recovery, Housing and Urbanism.
  • Workshop “The Netherlands’ experience in creating social housing”.

On the second day of the forum, special excursions were held for the participants, as well as a discussion of the prospects of regional development and the joint restoration of Ukrainian cities. In the program of the second day, in particular:

  • Excursions in Vinnytsia where you can learn more about small rivers and their role in the life of the city, the Vinnytsia tram and much more.
  • Roundtable on regional policy and reconstruction with the participation of the Deputy Minister of Hromadas’ Development, Territories and Infrastructure, experts and hromadas’ representatives.
  • Workshop Recovery Together: How to involve residents of cities and communities”.

An important component of the forum is the exchange of experience and networking. Therefore, during two days, all participants had many opportunities and a friendly space for acquaintance, interaction and informal communication.


Here are main materials, broadcasts and photos of this year’s forum:

The participants of the forum also signed the “Declaration of the Ukrainian Urban Forum 2023”, which defines the key principles of the restoration and development of Ukrainian hromadas.

“The idea for the topic of this year’s forum, “Common Home”, came to our team during the study of people’s experiences during the war, on which the think tank Cedos worked during the past year. Tragic and difficult things have been shared with us during this research, but today I would like to share some inspiring results. Research participants often said that they experience a great sense of togetherness and unity, a desire to help others more. And this feeling of solidarity and togetherness is something that I would like to preserve and multiply. Cities are our common home, and I would like that in the future every one of us would have a roof over our head and be able to confidently say “I have a home””. — Anastasia Bobrova, coordinator of the Ukrainian Urban Forum, senior analyst at Cedos and area coordinator of housing policy
“After our victory, we have a serious chance to approach the concept of restoration in a radically new way. Of course, for this you need to work in different directions. And we formed a package of those projects that are important for the stability and development of the hromada. Currently, expertise and support from our international partners is important for us. At the same time, we have to take into account the demographic and regional context. In particular, we must create conditions and ecosystems in which people will live comfortably. Housing is an important issue — it must be of high quality, and at the same time we must have several options for obtaining and using housing. But also take into account transport provision, the quality of communal services, issues of education, economic and social opportunities, so that people who have been forced to change their place of residence have the motivation to return and participate in the reconstruction and recovery“. — Serhii Morhunov, mayor of Vinnytsia

Forum was organised by Cedos think tank supported by the Heinrich Böll Stiftung Ukraine. The main local partner of this year’s forum is the Institute of Urban Development (Vinnytsia).

The partners of this year’s Forum include the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Ukraine, Vinnytsia City Council, Agency for Spatial Development (Vinnytsia), Western NIS Enterprise Fund (WNISEF), Integrated Urban Development in Ukraine II project implemented by the German government company Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH with financial support from the governments of Germany and Switzerland, Association for Participatory Community Development, Vidnova Fellowship, Mistosite Urban Platform, Khmarochos Urban Magazine.