Published 8 May 2024

Best Practices and Opportunities in Reconstruction and Recovery Discussed at “Rethinking Cities in Ukraine” Conference

During the conference in Stockholm on the 29th of April, 5 frontline municipalities from Ukraine showcased their reconstruction projects developed in the “Rethinking Cities for Ukraine” programme. Stakeholders, government representatives and partners also shared opportunities for funding and valuable insight in the reconstruction work and urban development in Ukraine.

Speaking at the conference, SALAR International Managing Director Ryan Knox, stressed the need to position local authorities at the centre of recovery and reconstruction efforts in Ukraine. That municipalities need to be an active and driving force in their own reconstruction – ensuring ownership and inclusivity of efforts in their communities. Using an integrated, participatory and evidence-based approach will ensure more transparent recovery and reconstruction and uphold previous gains in Ukraine’s decentralisation reform. The conference, organized by Ragnar Lund at Stockholm Business School, provided a valuable platform to exchange lessons learned and insights from a wide range of actors.

As the work for reconstruction and recovery is ramping up in liberated parts of Ukraine, SALAR International will work directly with municipalities as well as with national and regional stakeholders – helping to further development, recovery and the decentralisation reforms in the country. SALAR International will pilot a locally-led, participatory recovery approach, centred on communities (present and displaced), aiming to raise capacity of local self-governments and further decentralisation reforms in Ukraine. With recovery and reconstruction work moving ahead, seizing on opportunities brought by new and developing technologies will be a chance to increase participation and make efforts better targeted and more impactful.

Local self-governments have proven themselves, and continue to, be central in resisting the full-scale Russian invasion, and the decentralisation reforms have played a crucial role in this as noted by Oleksandra Azarkhina, Deputy Minister for Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development of Ukraine at the conference. The "Rethinking Cities in Ukraine" conference highlighted the pivotal role of local authorities in driving transparent, inclusive, and community-centered reconstruction efforts, underlining the significance of decentralization reforms in shaping Ukraine's recovery trajectory.