About the Programme
Integrated Spatial Planning for Amalgamated Hromadas is a free 11-months educational program for representatives of local government and young professionals in the field of spatial planning. It 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.
The 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.
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 million 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.
As a result of the program participants will become involved into designing spatial development concept for amalgamated hromadas, as well as will considerably broaden their professional network and get acquainted with representatives of amalgamated hromadas from all over Ukraine.
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.
Representatives of local government and young professionals in the field of spatial planning.
Selection will be based on the following criteria:
- The content of the answers to the questionnaire block devoted to the priorities of hromada's strategic development and analysis of the current problems of spatial development;
- The content of the responses in the individual motivation block of the questionnaire, stated readiness and motivation of members of the Working Group to participate actively in educational events of the program;
Criteria for balance:
- Geographic balance between the regions of Ukraine participating in the program;
- Gender balance within the Working Group;
- Balance between participating hromadas in regards to availability of urban planning documentation and strategic documents for local development;
- Balance between the participating hromadas, taking into account the previous experience with similar programs carried out by the government, associations of local self-government bodies, international technical assistance programs that support the decentralization reform in Ukraine.
CANactions is an educational platform, our mission is to enhance the creation of places and communities where people love to live and work.