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Project introduction


Building on a city twinning partnership from 1984, The University of Edinburgh (UoE) and Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv (KNU) established a series of joint research twin labs covering the shared research interests. The labs will support research at both universities, position our partnership for future research funding bids, help KNU through difficulties of its current research environment during the war and deliver sustainable research and capacity-building for future impact.  A wide range of activities were carried out including staff and student capacity-building, both in person and online, seed funding of new research proposals and research mobility.

Due to the war being waged against Ukraine, development is being seriously damaged.  Despite years of economic progress the war has set this back.   By promoting research links in key themes this project will build capacity, carry out needed research lead by KNU and help it to maintain its research capacity, during and after the war. 

The collaboration includes the establishment of four joint Labs4TwinnedResearch in: 


  • Environmental Sustainability,
  • Geopolitical Relations,
  • Impacts of War, and
  • Understanding Languages and Culture


The aim is to foster interdisciplinary research links between our two universities and provide a framework for current and future collaboration. To this date, the collaboration has delivered a range of activities to develop joint research with in-person fellowships in Edinburgh, virtual workshops and a series of small research projects to August 2023.  

impacts of war lab (think tank)

Our team, guided by Prof. Soledad Garcia Ferrari (UoE) and Kostyantyn Mezentsev (Head of Department of Economic and Social Geography (KNU)), is leading the Impacts of War Lab, which looks to limit damage, achieving justice and aiding reconstruction. The Lab's work includes: 

• A number of research initiatives across both universities, dealing with aspects related with the impact of war.

• Initial work that looks at the planning and implementation of strategies that will support the re-building of urban and rural areas in Ukraine as the conflict comes an end.

• Online academic workshop, as initial activities to explore the challenges and initiate the research, delivered in 2023 and 2024 (see details following the links). 





Colleagues at the University of Edinburgh in collaboration with colleagues at Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv jointly organised the 1st and 2nd annual workshops on “Post-war/conflict Urban Regeneration”. The workshops were primarily directed to students from the MSc Urban Strategies and Design of the Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, and students from the BSc Urban Studies and Planning and MSc Urban Studies and Regional Development of the Geography Faculty at Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. The students were called to work collaboratively online to analyse a specific context and respond to questions on the considerations and actions needed to re-build cities better after crises, while responding to current global challenges.    




The aim of the workshopss was to give the students the opportunity to work collaboratively and exchange ideas, knowledge and perspectives in the context of their academic research and practice, and through exploring different urban contexts in a post-crisis scenario. Participant students had the opportunity to discuss the broadness and complexity of issues, forces, processes, stakeholders, and actors within local urban settings, in which forms of urban strategic change (i.e. strategic, development, regeneration, etc.) take place, including decision making processes.  





  • To reflect on the potential priorities and strategies needed within a specific theme of urban development, such as: Housing and habitat, Public Space and green infrastructure, Mobility & social-spatial integration, and Cultural Heritage, considering physical as well as socio-economic and political conditions   

  • To explore processes for urban change, identifying formal and informal actors to be involved in the decision making and possible pathways for implementation of the proposed strategic solutions.   

  • To discuss drivers for post-crisis/war urban development and regeneration, considering broader current global challenges.   

Detailed information on the workshops’ briefs and outcomes can be found in the left sidebar. 




University of Edinburgh

Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv

Research Team

Prof Soledad Garcia-Ferrari

Prof Kostyantyn Mezentsev

Maritina Iliadi

Oleksii Gnatiuk

Nikolia Kartalou

Funding Body

Universities UK International (UUKi)

Photo credit: Evgenly Maloletka (AP)


Post-war / conflict Urban Regeneration    
online workshop event
22-24 march 2023 
Post-war / conflict Urban Regeneration    
online workshop event
02-04 april 2024

Coming soon

academic paper

"Displaced public spaces in Ukrainian cities: Increasing diversity and inclusion in urban reconstruction through temporary occupation"

ZARCH 22 | June, 2024


“Key drivers for the reconstruction and regeneration of post-war Ukrainian cities”

impacts of war lab: 
Labs4TwinnedResearch, a Kyiv and Edinburgh joint research development for the future
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