Free applied educational program for representatives of local government and professionals in the field of spatial planning.
Program duration:
11 months (part-time)
Studio duration:
5 months (January – May 2019, one week per month of intensive engagement)
Ukrainian, English (with possibility of interpretation)
Kyiv and LGDC centers in Ukrainian regions
Number of participants:
— 180 participants from 30 Ukrainian hromadas,
— 30 spatial planning practitioners
free of charge (including covering of costs of accommodation and travel within Ukraine)

The process of hromadas' (territorial communities) amalgamation in Ukraine is gaining momentum. Since the launch of decentralization reform in 2014, 758 amalgamated hromadas have been established (out of 1207 planned), with the overall population of 6.4 mn people and total area close to 32% of that of Ukraine. Being far more than just enlargement of territorial units, amalgamation is envisioned as a flagship action for fiscal decentralization, community empowerment and re-defining scale of provision of basic social infrastructure.

Supported with a number of international technical assistance and capacity building projects, decentralization reform in Ukraine may well be treated as an extension of European Cohesion Policy eastward of the EU border. Decentralization processes also indicate observed shrinking of rural settlements and continuous search for optimal territorial scale for sustainable governance.
All of these tasks bear their roots in spatial organization of Ukrainian hinterland and require overall strategic vision and spatial planning tools for its implementation. However, most of newly formed territorial communities lack necessary expertise for handling spatial component of strategic planning, while national-level planning organizations have little experience with community-based and participatory planning and tend to utilize post-Soviet inflexible top-down approach.

The observed gap in planning capacity is complemented by enigmatic context in which the decentralization reform takes place – that of socio-political, infrastructural, economic, cultural, ecological and spatial specifics of Ukraine's hinterland. In the country's dispersed settlement system, small urban and rural settlements – with their historical, social and cultural codes – remain neglected "in-between spaces", however preserving a potential to become a lens through which alternative visions for a future of the whole country could advance.
Integrated Spatial Planning for Amalgamated Hromadas program is focused on adaptation of European urban and regional development policies and strategic spatial planning toolkit to the specific scale and real-life functioning of newly formed territorial communities — amalgamated hromadas.

Spatial planning practitioners will work together with hromada representatives and jointly develop scenarios for the development of the settlements and territories of hromadas within the program's framework.

The program is created by CANactions School for Urban Studies, an independent education institution established in 2015 and based in Kyiv (Ukraine), aimed at exploration, identifying concepts and defining actions for urban development of Ukrainian cities — on strategic as well as tactical levels — considered in a broader context of dynamic transformations in Central-Eastern Europe and developing countries at large.

Based on the principles of teamwork and learning-by-doing, CANactions School for Urban Studies offers an interdisciplinary perspective on the complex urban context thanks to the involvement of international experts and mentors, organizing local and international study trips and peer learning between professionals in the group.
Program aims
● to develop a model of enhancing capacities of staff of amalgamated hromadas and other local stakeholders in preparation of local spatial development concepts. The model will receive practical application in 30 AH-s over the period between November 2018 and October 2019;
● to prepare and empower professionals in the fields of urban and regional development to introduce strategic design and integrated planning approach to the real-life functioning of amalgamated hromadas in Ukraine.
Program Structure
Program deliverables
For amalgamated hromadas:
● professional integrated analysis of available hromada's strategic and spatial planning documents; studying potentials and obstacles for spatial development of settlements within hromada in the context of broader region;

● development of a spatial development concept that could be further utilized for spatial planning and infrastructure development on hromada's territory in the next 10-15 years:

● development of prototype pilot projects (social infrastructure, public spaces, other local projects and initiatives) that can be utilized to attract investments;

● enhancing competences of hromada staff in assessment of planning documents and development of terms of reference for land-use and other technical plans;

● exchanging experience and best practices with representatives of other Ukrainian hromadas.
For spatial planning practitioners:
● applied learning experience in interdisciplinary research and strategic spatial planning curated by practitioners with international experience;

● experience of working with real cases of Ukrainian hromadas with a prospect to continue professional collaboration with local authorities and international technical assistance projects upon completion of the program;

● building skills in moderation of participatory planning process through working with representatives of amalgamated hromadas ;

● contributing to ongoing decentralization reform in Ukraine through promotion of sustainable spatial development practices in Ukrainian hromadas.

Participation in the program is free of charge thanks to support from U-LEAD with Europe: Ukraine – Local Empowerment, Accountability and Development Programme, a multi-donor action of the European Union and its Member States Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Poland and Sweden.
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