Irpin: prospects and plans for reconstruction in 2023

Last year in November I told how the first six months of the reconstruction of Irpin, which was destroyed by the Russian occupiers, lasted and how we, together with the city managements team, worked from assessing the situation during the firsts visits to the city after de-occupation to calculating the damages and making a reconstruction stragedy.

At that time, we identified five main areas of work, such as international negotiations, the formation of a package of presentation materials with visualization of the destruction and estimates of needs, the starting of the Irpin Reconstruction Fund, the work of the architectural and project direction of the Irpin Reconstruction Summit, and the involvement of real partners.

Today, when a year has passed since the deoccupation of Kyiv Region, I can confidently say that we have chosen the right way. Irpin is moving step by step towards recovery. By May 2023 the owners of 412 apartment buildings and 322 private houses in the Irpin community have been already provided by one or another assistance in reconstruction. In particular, it is replacement of windows, doors, roof repairs and provision of building materials.

Not everything happens as quickly as we would like. But we are following a clearly defined plan for global development of the city for the next 20-30 years, and powerful international partners help us.

The world famous American architectural company Gensler, which we began cooperation in November 2022 with, nowadays leads the team developing a master plan for the development of the Irpin community. In particular, Gensler specialists organized a large-scale survey of Irpin residents regarding their opinions of the city’s development. According to its results, Irpin residents consider the priority areas for the Irpin reconstruction to be a well-thought-out security system, economic viability and development of the medical area.

According this survey Gensler has already presented its understanding and vision of the Irpin development as a “garden city with a smart heart”. This plan envisages that the environment, economy and technology will be priorities for creating a city that has prospects for rapid recovery and economic growth.

A lot of work is underway to rebuild the destroyed infrastructure of Irpin right now in parallel with the development of a fundamental development strategy for many years. The reconstruction of three educational institutions in Irpin, such as Irpin Lyceum 3, the kindergarten “Radist” and the kindergarten “Vinochok” has begun this spring.

The reconstruction of Irpin Lyceum 3 is funded by UNICEF. 4.8 million euros have been allocated. The work is lasting very actively and all capital processes of reconstruction have almost been completed for a month.

The kindergarten “Radist” in Myra Street is being restored thanks to funding by the Lithuanian government. Funds for the repair and completion of the new building of the kindergarten “Vinochok”, located in Kyivska Street, were provided by the Portuguese twin city of Irpin, Cashcaish.

Reconstruction of the kindergarten “Radist” in Irpin

If someone thinks that we called UNICEF and said that we needed almost 5 million euros for the reconstruction of the lyceum and they gave us them the next day, you are very mistaken. There were lots of letters, meetings, negotiations, approvals and loads of days or even weeks of people’s hard work.

The situation is exactly the same with the involvement of benefactors and patrons to restore the housing of Irpin residents.

For example, in January this year, the reconstruction of four apartment buildings, such as condominiums “Mineral”, “Everest”, “Zatyshok” and “Aristocrat”, was completed. Their reconstruction became possible thanks to the cooperation of the Irpin Reconstruction Summit project and the Italian Terre des Hommes Italy Foundation. 450 families from these houses were able to return to their cozy apartments.

The restoration of Irpin continues every day

The International Organization for Migration (IOM Ukraine) accepted to finance the reconstruction of an apartment buildings at 12-14-16 Hostomelske Shose St., the ones that were the first in Irpin to suffer from an enemy air raid in March 2022. This organization will also help repair partially damaged block of flats at 160/2, 162 and 154-B Severynivska Street.

Seven apartment buildings in Irpin will be restored thanks to the initiative of the President of Ukraine on the UNITED24 platform. In particular, they are the block of flats in the residential complex “Irpinski Lypky” at 4, 11 Liniia St., the blocks of flats at 53 Kyiivska St., 104-a st. Mechnikova St., 106, Mechnikova S., 42, Davydchuka St., 3-B Myra St. and 14H Lysenka St.. In total, the reconstruction of these houses requires more than 285 million hryvnias. Thanks to the funds raised through the UNITED24 platform, 698 Irpin families will be able to get their own housing. And I sincerely thank all the benefactors who donate to UNITED24.

By the way, two tenders out of seven for reconstruction by UNITED24 have already been announced. So work will begin very soon.

Also, the Irpin city stadium “Champion” will be rebuilt thanks to the UNITED24 platform. Funds for its restoration were collected by the legend of Ukrainian football, project ambassador Andriy Shevchenko. The football clubs “Milan” and “Shakhtar” responded to the call of the footballer, which allocated 150,000 and 100,000 euros. 150,000 euros were raised at a charity evening in Milan, which was held under the patronage of Shevchenko. And 200,000 euros for the restoration of the “Champion” were provided by Parimatch Ukraine. Thus, the necessary 600,000 euros were collected. So, design estimates are already being developed at the expense of the city budget.

We also have strong support from the Dutch NGO Open Door Ukraine (ODU). It has already financed the restoration of damaged apartment buildings of the residential complex “Pushkin quarter” (62 L, Pushkinska St) and the residential complex “Novooskolskyi 2020” (2C, Novooskolska St). ODU will help with the repair of two damaged houses, the residential complex “Sparta” (22 Z, Kyivska St) and the residential complex “Zatyshnyi Dim” (4E, 10 Liniia St).

The other four apartment buildings in Irpin, two of them in the condominium “Zatyshnyi” and two ones in the condominium “RC “Novooskolskyi”, have been restored by the program “Restore the HOME” from the Energy Efficiency Fund, funded by the European Union. In total, 30 condominiums of Irpin have applied for participation in this program. And we sincerely hope that all of them will be restored thanks to EU funding.

Restored house by the program “Restore the HOME”

This year, a memorandum of partnership has been signed with the NGO “ELEOS-UKRAINE”. Within its framework in cooperation with IOCC (International Orthodox Christian Charities), ELEOS UKRAINE will help to make average repairs of hundreds of apartments and houses of the Irpin community that have suffered minor damage. There is an agreement with the organization ADRA Ukraine to provide residents of the Irpin community with certificates for the purchase of building materials.

Great work on obtaining and providing building materials for people is carried out by the Irpin Reconstruction Foundation. The Foundation is negotiating and attracting dozens of private companies that agree to provide building materials for the reconstuctiontion of social facilities in the city and private homes.

By the way, the issue of dismantling destroyed buildings occupies an extremely important place in the issue of rebuilding the city. UNDP, the Government of Japan and the Lithuanian Demolition Association are seriously assisting. After all, it is also quite a costly process. We are talking not only about the dismantling itself, but also about the proper ecological processing of construction waste and its further use in construction. A mobile platform for processing and sorting construction waste will appear in Irpin soon.

The dismantling of private houses in the area of Bahirova and Hostomelske Shose Streets is the most active nowadays. This neighborhood was perhaps the most affected during the hostilities. We are talking about more than 80 damaged and completely destroyed private buildings. About half of them cannot be restored.

Dismantling of multi-apartment buildings on the Severynivska St. in Irpin

We and the management team, together with the Kyiv Regional Military Administration, plan to rebuild this area according the comprehensive project. 60 million hryvnias have been allocated from the regional budget to do it. The biggest part of these funds will be used for designing. We will attract funds from benefactors and patrons for its reconstruction. A detailed visualization of this neighborhood is already being developed and active preparation for the development of the project is underway. The process of topography and collecting documents for each house is underway too.

We are also starting to design the reconstruction of the Central House of Culture and the Irpin Children’s and Youth Sports School. The design of the Center for Children’s Creativity, which will be built at 74th Striletskoii Dyvizii Street, and the exhibition center, which will appear at Slovianska Street, are underway.

There is a lot of work on the design of objects, which are created by architects and designers of the Irpin Reconsruction Summit. In particular, they are Freedom Square, modernization of the premises of the city museum and library, the house of culture in Romanivka and other projects.

We are also working on updating damaged heating, water supply and sewerage networks. The International Committee of the Red Cross helps us powerfully. The Irpin City Council also won a grant of EUR 7.7 million from the Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO). These funds will be used for the reconstruction of urban networks.

140 million UAH from the regional budget will be used for the overhaul of the road on the Hostomelske Shose and the bridge. The project and expertise have already been made at the expense of the local budget.

Summing up, I want to say that nowadays a lot of people compare the pace and volume of restoration of Irpin with the restoration of other settlements in Kyiv region. But, they do it wrong. After all, the scale of the destruction of Irpin is not limited to one street. Imagine that the cost of new windows installed last year in mutilated apartment buildings and private buildings equals the price of renovating dozens of damaged streets.

There are hundreds of destroyed and damaged apartment buildings and thousands of private ones. Irpin is not compared of the scale of destruction with any city except Mariupol, Izium and those settlements that are now holding heroic defenses in the east of the country.

It is a great happiness that no other community in the Kyiv region suffered as much as Irpin region did. Irpin faced with a great grief. Irpin paid a high price but it did not allow the enemy to enter the capital, which actually preserved Ukrainian statehood. And it survived. And it will be rebuilt. Now we all just need to gain strength and patience and work every day to restore our city as our men from the TRO and the Armed Forces of Ukraine stood with incredible strength and patience against the enemy army in Irpin.

I sincerely thank everyone who understands it.

Volodymyr Karpliuk, founder of the Irpin Reсonstruction Fund