About today and the future of three Industrial cities

7 December 2024

Just a day at the office? Well… yes and no. Working on urban planning and future strategies for Ukrainian cities is not daily practice for many of us.

But here we are. Together in the same room. This part of Ro3kvit is the design team as we continue working on urgent needs assessment for Dnipro and long-term recommendations for this war-affected city. Dnipro city has a lot of challenges, including a huge share of IDPs (around 180,000 people). We forme similar teams for Zaporizhia and Kryvy Rih. All together, these three cities can be supported in their needs on urgent damages, issues with IDP’s, connected to long term perspectives.

I am excited about the discussions in the team live in Kyiv at the Ro3kvit office and felt the synergy between the colleagues. Even the sun started shining for a while 🙂

Being supported by GIZ and the city municipalities, we look forward to joining our efforts in order to offer best solutions we can come up with.

Optimism in dark times

15 November 2024

I took part in an USAID Forum in Kyiv today. It is very telling that this event, dedicated to recovery strategies in Ukraine, is taking place in a bomb shelter, as air alarm was declared. R for Resilience.

Since the beginning of Ro3kvit in March 2022, the researchers in our team have been telling us: you should start thinking about the future as early as possible. The countries were not ready for rebuilding after Beirut or after the Yugoslav war. I am getting more and more optimistic when I see so many people already planning, thinking, designing and building their own future of Ukraine.



6 December 2024

As director of Ro3kvit, I visited Kremenchuk today. Kremenchuk is a town in Central Ukraine with deep connection to Dnipro river. So many challenges related to ecology, energy, security, jeopardized by Russia’s brutal war.

A local ecology expert from Kremenchuk National University gave us a good tour to where the town connects to the river. Warmed by the feeling of how important is Dnipro for the locals. Also met the municipality representatives to pave the road for future collaboration within “Dnipro River Integrated Vision” project, supported by GreenPeace.

Poet in war-time

Poet in war-time


The news struck me a couple of days ago: the death of a young Ukrainian poet Maksym Kryvtsov who was defending his land at the frontline.

He first joined the defence forces back in 2014, and then decided to do it again in 2022 when the full-scale invasion happened. He did it, together with many other young poets, artists, architects, teachers, policemen, bakers and plumbers that this war has taken forever.

The war made him to re-invent himself, without losing himself; he was still a poet. But he got killed. And that is where it ended for him. Even though his work continues.

Because Maksym was still writing poems. He wrote about the frontline, about the war. And shared insights in a way pictures often fail.

The last poem that Maksym published on facebook two days before he died, ends with these lines:
“Let it already be spring
So I can finally bloom
As a violet”

Honestly, I do not understand all of what he wrote. But it is inspiring, scaring, hope-giving, strengthening. But unfortunately, also Maksym is yet another reminder that Ukraine is sacrificing its passionate, talented people just to be able to exist as a free country.

I’ll repost the last poem he wrote in the comments below.

(photo from Maksym’s Facebook page)

Dnipro, you were a blast!

11 Oct 2022

Two important sessions in two days, including a quick tour around the town with local architects. And including a lunch with the Mariupol team, that came to see us all the way from Zaporizhia, where they are now working and living, temporarily.

It was amazing to see how the importance of the Ro3kvit values arose during the meeting with representatives of the Dnipro architecture community and the head architect of the city. From their opinion, changes and new developments in their city need to begin now. This meeting was a very good start to talk and see how Ro3kvit: Urban Coalition for Ukraine can support.

During air strike alarms, there was a meeting about the future urban strategy for Mariupol. A very delicate, beautiful and sometimes emotional topic. I am proud of the group that was present, offline and online. The bomb shelter workshop did a good job facilitating wifi and light.

Unfortunately, we did not make it to see people in/from Kryvvy Rih and Zaporizhia. Next time, for sure! I love these cities so much…!

These days are very hard for Ukraine. The destruction is huge. The loss of people, buildings, parks, infrastructure is enormous. Please, support the country and the Ukrainians you know.

Check is not mate

This is a damaged building in Baryshivka, a village near Kyiv, Ukraine. A sports and community hall. The local residents and politicians showed us around, we discussed the way to help. Part of the tour for Ro3kvit: Urban Coalition for Ukraine to Kyiv region and Rivne.

The Ro3kvit coalition starts working on various projects for local municipalities to develop strategies of recovery. Ro3kvit is a Ukrainian organisation that has been founded fo

Berlijnplein mijlpaal

Een feestelijke dag voor Berlijnplein! 

RAUM, DePlaatsmaker, Kanaal30 en HKU hebben vandaag een samenwerkingsovereenkomst getekend met de Gemeente Utrecht. En op hetzelfde moment is de opdracht voor het ontwerpen en bouwen van de nieuwe gebouwen verleend aan het consortium De Pleinmakers (onder aansturing van Vink Bouw). 

Het consortium bestaat uit Vink Bouw, Studio R, Inbo, bureau SLA – we are architects, Overtreders W, Woonpioniers, BOOM Landscape, SPIE, Adviesbureau DWA, New Horizon Urban Mining B.V., Pieters Bouwtechniek, Koen Koch, DVDL en BLOC bv

Open Day

5 May 2022

The Kharkiv School of Architecture organised an OPEN DAY for new students in Lviv today. The academy is working in exile, 1000 km away.

I talked about future challenges and opportunities in both Ukraine and The Netherlands. And about possible student projects for next year.

What a great atmosphere to work, to study, to be a tutor.

War in Ukraine

Kharkiv School keeps on functioning during the War


So proud to be part of this school, this team, this movement…

The Kharkiv School of Architecture decided to reopen online again. Here is their statement.

Dear Friends,

The first weeks of the war, announced to Ukraine by russia, was extremely difficult for the Kharkiv School of Architecture. Everyone tried to get out of the hell into which russian troops turned our Kharkiv. Our teachers and students are now relatively safe. Almost all fled Kharkiv; some are still on their way to a safe place.

After these two weeks, we try to calm down as much as possible and think about our future. Kharkiv School of Architecture has decided that we will continue working and staying in Ukraine. We need to think about the long term in this challenging time, and this is the education of our young generation of architects who remain in Ukraine and will rebuild our cities.

We also strive to become a platform for communication and dialogue between our friends and expert architects from different countries except russia to rebuild Kharkiv and other destroyed cities after the war.

The support that European education community give us now and shelter to Ukrainian students is invaluable, but we must do everything possible to accumulate all forces and efforts in Ukraine.

The school is now reformatting its program, and we are resuming online learning. It is not easy, as many of our students and faculty now do not have an uninterrupted Internet connection. We are all involved in volunteering. Several of our students and staff have joined the defense and the army. Nevertheless, we need to keep in touch, support each other and continue training in combat because we all will return to our destroyed cities with new knowledge and experience to rebuild them.

We do believe in Ukrainian victory! Therefore, despite the horrific war, we have been working closely together with locals and the architectural community to (re) build our country.