Kyiv, Ukraine: The New Dnipro Edge: (Re)defining the City

This design studio is the first at the GSD to focus on Ukraine and its capital city, Kyiv. Like many of the former states of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) – as well as the former Iron Curtain countries – Ukraine is now awakening to the realities of a new economically powerful European Union. With Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and seven other countries set to enter the EU this year, Ukraine is positioning itself for entry within the next decade. Kyiv with its western European cosmopolitan life style – located 300 kilometers from the Polish border – is poised to capitalize on its historic past and geographic advantage as a new European urban center. To its advantage, Kyiv possesses a strong, well-designed and intact Stalinist era infrastructure of roadways, parks and buildings. Its appearance and feel is reminiscent of the great capitals of Western Europe but at a smaller scale. It is an extremely attractive city, not very well known to Westerners, awaiting discovery and redefinition. The focus of the studio is a 200-hectare site on the southeastern corner of the city bounded by the Dnipro River and the Ukranian Academy of Sciences Botanical Garden. The site is presently covered with small industrial buildings and warehouses, typical of such urban edge riverfront sites around the world but now understood as possessing great potential to help redefine quality of life and the image of the city. This vastly underutilized waterfront, along with its contiguous neighborhoods, offers great potential for either a single purpose use or as a new mixed-use development that could include major residential and commercial development, combining existing buildings and new construction. Newly designed open space and parkland along the river\’s edge is also anticipated and will be linked into extensive island parks and river beachfront infrastructure. It is intended that this new 200-hectare urban-scaled intervention will be the 21st century gateway to Kyiv from the airport 25 kilometers to the east. While this studio is located in a particular place, the issues to be explored are paradigmatic of the 21st Century urban condition and the lessons learned here will be applicable throughout one\’s career as an urbanist. After a brief two-week research project to familiarize the studio with relevant subject matter, including a review of other Eastern European cities, work during the first half of the semester will concentrate on the identification of urban renewal strategies that will lead to a specific master plan(s) for the site. Formulation of urban design and architectural guidelines may be appropriate. During the second half of the semester, work will concentrate on the design of specific projects within the site. Designs of new, denser, urban development typologies are encouraged as a response to the current worldwide tendency toward sprawl and suburbanization. The XXI Century Development Corporation of Kyiv, a for-profit capitalist style real-estate business, is sponsoring this studio. We will travel to Ukraine over the spring break where we will present our large-scale thinking/designs to the sponsor, the Mayor\’s office and its urban design and planning officials. We will also meet with Ukranian design students at the local university. The studio welcomes all GSD students who possess a high degree of design interest and capability to work at the master planning scale and at the scale of the individual design intervention along with the formulation of site and building programs, guidelines and implementation strategies. Guy Perry is a GSD graduate in MArch II and MAUD. Guy Perry directs an active and successful urban design practice in Europe, headquartered in Cannes, France and Warsaw, Poland. It is anticipated that he will join us in the studio several times during the semester for discussion and crits. He will participate in the