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UniCities aims to support Ukraine's stakeholders in rebuilding the country's cities and communities in a climate-smart and sustainable way. UniCities is an EU initiative led by KTH.

Ukraine aims for climate-neutral and sustainable cities

The war in Ukraine is still ongoing and both the country's inhabitants and its social structure are under great pressure. Despite this, UniCities was launched in May 2023 to support the country's stakeholders in rebuilding its cities and communities in a climate-smart and sustainable way. 

Since Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula of Ukraine in 2014, there has been an ongoing conflict between the two countries. On February 24, 2022, after a period of increased aggression, Russia launched a military invasion across Ukraine. As a result, many of Ukraine's cities have been destroyed and bombed. The new EU initiative UniCities - led by KTH and initiated and coordinated by Viable Cities Program Manager Olga Kordas - will support actors in Ukraine to rebuild the cities so that they can be sustainable for the future. Instead of rebuilding the cities as quickly and cheaply as possible just as they were, there is now an opportunity to do so by using innovative urban development to create attractive and climate-smart cities.

UniCities aims to increase the capacity for green reconstruction of Ukrainian cities. A key component is creating platforms for multi-stakeholder cooperation. The initiative is inspired by the experience and expertise of national platforms for climate-neutral cities in Sweden and Spain as well as European and global climate action.

Viable Cities has previously collaborated with many universities, cities and civil society organizations in Ukraine, including the BalticRadar project funded by the Swedish Institute. This is to deepen cooperation in research and innovation for climate-neutral and sustainable cities, and not least to develop methods for citizen engagement.  

UniCities Transition Lab Forum

Across Europe, a large number of cities and their partners are mobilizing for a faster transition to climate neutral and sustainable cities. The UniCities Transition Lab Forum and the UniCities initiative are part of the mobilization in line with the European mission of climate neutral and smart cities by 2030. 

The UniCities Transition Lab Forum is a series of online conferences that features speakers from the Ukrainian government, Ukrainian communities, universities, businesses and civil society organizations mobilizing for climate neutral and green reconstruction of Ukrainian cities .The conference is divided into two parts. Thefirst part is a plenary session in English with inspiring speakers, and the second part is a workshop inEnglish and Ukrainian where participants are invited to discuss and co-create the steps forward within UniCities.

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