Dispatches from Urbanistan

Kiev: Unruly City


This spring I travelled to Kiev to take part on the CANActions International Architecture Festival with my fabulous friends from Urban Forum Almaty. When I wasn’t lounging at the ‘post-industrial chic’ festival in trendy Podil, I was strolling the city trying to make sense of a city that in small doses is exhilarating, and in large doses can result in a severe headache. Look with a tourist’s eye and you see golden domes…. Look with an urbanist’s eye and you see something far more complex going on.

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Guest post from Baku: “Motorized happiness never comes”


|Photo by Gleb Kozenko on Unsplash|

This post comes from Huseyn Abdullayev in Baku. He runs the popular Transport for Baku page on Facebook. I have long argued that the best thing we can do for post-socialist cities is to put a copy of ‘Induced Transport Theory 101’ on the desk of each urban policy maker in the region. Huseyn too is a real warrior for calling out the problem of ‘induced transport’ and here he busts the myth that you can deal with Baku’s congestion problem by building more roads. Continue reading Guest post from Baku: “Motorized happiness never comes”

“Back to their roots”: 8 new urbanist initiatives in post-socialist cities


Photo by Matt Artz on Unsplash

For one of Urbanistan‘s opening posts,  I felt that the most important place to start was at the grass roots. The history of top-down planning in the post-socialist region is no secret. However more recently a raft of grass-roots initiatives have been springing up in cities across the region – Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Belarus, Georgia, Armenia, Moldova, and Ukraine, just for a start. This new generation of urbanists are seeking to expand the range of people able to have a say on what their city becomes.

Continue reading “Back to their roots”: 8 new urbanist initiatives in post-socialist cities