Professor Robert Mull is working with Ukrainians on future post-war reconstruction plans, drawing on lessons learned after 1990s war in Bosnia & Herzegovina.
Professor Mull has been closely involved with Ukrainian stakeholders around reconstruction proposals for that country’s devastated cities once the current conflict ends. He has also been contributing to the Roskvit Urban Coalition for Ukraine (Ro3vit), which has become the leading Ukrainian voice in relation to reconstruction, backed by the Ukrainian government and given support and funding by key European organisations.
From 18-29 July, Professor Mull is running an Architecture For Peace workshop in the war-ravaged Prijedor region of Bosnia & Herzegovina, bringing together reconstruction experts with students and other institutions to share insights into best practice in rebuilding places that have suffered devastating damage.
The residency project involves local charity organisation Most Mira, whose Peace Centre project in Prijedor provides an example of how sustainable architecture can provide a framework for reconciliation as well as rebuilding. The post-war reconstruction of the Bosnian capital Sarajevo will provide another case study for Ro3kvit’s plans regarding post-war reconstruction in Ukraine.
In September, Professor Mull will also curate an event at the Barbican Centre in London that will compare the reconstruction of Sarajevo, Beirut and Belfast, and investigate how these cities might inform the eventual reconstruction of Ukraine.
Professor Robert Mull, Professor of Architecture and Design, School of Architecture, Technology and Engineering at University of Brighton, said: “I’m honoured to be able to contribute to initiatives that will shape the reconstruction of Ukraine in ways that will be locally led and sustainable, drawing on deep cultural roots to build back with pride and ambition.
“Architecture can be a powerful force of good in reconstruction, and I am working with people who have demonstrated in Bosnia & Herzegovina and other countries how the way we rebuild after war can nurture wellbeing and peace in these fragile times.“
After playing a role in setting up the Kharkiv School of Architecture in 2016, Professor Mull led fund-raising efforts after war broke out to help the School relocate to Lviv and re-establish its teaching programmes there. He has also been campaigning in the UK to bolster support for Ro3kvit’s plans for future post-war reconstruction in Ukraine.
The Architecture for Peace workshop in Bosnia and Herzegovina, meanwhile, builds on previous similar initiatives around reconstruction following displacement and political change in Greece, Turkey and, ironically, Russia.
As well as Professor Mull, the workshop will feature additional teaching from architectural experts at Umeå School of Architecture (Sweden) and University of Sheffield.
Follow Professor Mull on Twitter: @MullRobert