Vadym Boichenko, the Mayor of Mariupol now forced to live outside his city, presented the “Mariupol Reborn” plan to representatives of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) in Brussels on April 17 and appealed for support from Ukraine’s Western partners in its post-war reconstruction.

The “Mariupol Reborn” initiative is a detailed plan for the reconstruction of the city – located on the coast of the Sea of Azov now under Russian occupation – broken down into six main steps. The plan included various aspects of urban planning in its post-war reconstruction, including the formulation of new economic models “taking into account the capabilities and geographical location of the city.”

“We are developing a strategy for the revival of Ukrainian Mariupol even to the de-occupation to start reconstruction and return of life to the city as soon as possible and better,” read the initiative’s website.

“Mariupol Reborn has already developed a comprehensive examination of the city’s restoration, covering the urgent first steps and strategic visions for the city, as well as developing experience in attracting donors.

“This expert base is universal and is already being used by communities to restore Ukrainian cities,” said Oleksandr Vyshniakov, director of Mariupol Reborn and head of community development at the Metinvest Group.

Reconstruction plan under the “Mariupol Reborn” initiative. Photo: Mariupol Reborn

Boichenko said while the date for Mariupol’s liberation remains uncertain, he wished that Ukraine could borrow best practices from its Western partners in preparing for the eventual reconstruction of his city, which saw intense fighting in the initial days of Russia’s full-scale invasion that reduced much of the city to rubble.


“We need European experience in creating a personnel reserve for the recovery and reconstruction of our country. We are looking for opportunities to adopt best practices from our partners. And we need your help to create a joint training tool for managers for reconstruction, a kind of School of Recovery of Ukraine,” said Boichenko.

He said there are also other similar initiatives for Ukrainian cities such as Bakhmut, Irpin and Bucha.

Once a thriving port city, Mariupol is located 121 kilometers south of Donetsk. It was briefly captured by Russian forces in 2014, but quickly retaken by the Ukrainian government. With Russia’s 2022 full-scale invasion the city saw intense combat that destroyed much of the city and left it occupied by Russia.

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