Okhtyrka: Urban Vision

Okhtyrka: Urban Vision
Together with the community, create a vision for the city's development that will provide high-quality living conditions.

NGO Urban Reform
Kharkiv, Ukraine
We create and look for new ideas for the cities, use different methods and keep up with the new urban development agenda.
Team members
Viktoriia Badynska
Oleg Bykh
Pavlo Ihnatchenko
Anfisa Kaida
Anya Kulyk
Alina Lysachkova
Olena Melnyk
Oleksandra Naryzhna
Oleksandr Nazarenko
Anastasii Palii
Roman Panashenko
Olena Tokmylenko
Iryna Zaulychna
Field of work
Architecture, Urban planning, Research
Project category
Project submitted

Our mission is to popularize and create the best cities for life in Ukraine - healthy, fair, sustainable and active.
Through the introduction of new urban approaches, professional education and the involvement of citizens in decision-making, we have been developing urbanism in Ukraine for 9 years. We help cities find new visions, build high-quality public spaces, develop urban aesthetics and landscape, professionals learn from best practices, improve their skills, and Ukrainian residents learn more about urban development.
Urban Reform (UR) was founded in 2014 in Kharkiv, the year when Ukrainians changed power in the country through the Revolution of Dignity and the war in Donbass. The year when many of us felt the power of public position and the need to influence development in our cities. All these years we have been working on projects for Ukrainian cities, implementing participatory practices, experimenting with public spaces and advocating new sustainable vectors of urban development. For nine years, UR has implemented more than 30 projects in the areas of: tactical urbanism, active city, sustainable mobility, visions for communities and territories, heritage protection and city festivals. UR have worked on projects in 30 big cities and 3 hromadas(territorial communities) around Ukraine.
The UR community in Ukraine consists of 21 employees, more than 30 people who can be involved in separate projects and close partners with whom they are working.

Okhtyrka is a small town in the south-east of the Sumy region, located in the border region, just 50 km from the border with Russia. The city was caught in the war zone on 24 February 2022, following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. As a result, many of the buildings in the town were damaged. On 24 March 2022, Okhtyrka was awarded the honorary title of “Hero City of Ukraine” by a decree of the President of Ukraine. The reconstruction of Ukraine is one of the highest priority and most difficult challenges faced by Ukrainian society during the war. An urban vision is a document of spatial long-term development of a city that provides a conceptual framework for the future growth of the city. The document includes the city’s location, identification of promising areas of city development, goals and a spatial development plan. The spatial development plan addresses ecology, nature, public spaces, and contains proposals for a mobility improvement plan, a concept for development of buildings and first utility pilot projects. The city’s vision covers all spheres of life and regulates the coordinated development of the city. The process of creating a vision involves the hromada at all stages and is formed jointly with representatives of active urban communities, including the city’s youth.
The methodology for developing the vision is similar to the development of similar strategic hromada documents, but with a more extensive way of involving stakeholders and actors in the formation of the strategic document. During the development process, workshops, presentations of developments, and the implementation of a joint tactical project were used to engage residents and the hromada in the work on the vision. Participation and engagement are an important component of vision development, as they are a tool for ensuring democratic participation of residents.