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Sustainability in the face of war

Sustainability in the face of war
Sustainability in the face of war

In a world where cities weren't designed with the foresight of looming conflicts, Kharkiv finds itself facing a pressing issue: how can a multi-million population ensure its safety when resources to build proper bomb shelters are limited? This dilemma rings especially true for Kharkiv, a bustling city in Ukraine, which finds itself at the front lines of crisis due to the war. But the people of Kharkiv have come together to find an innovative solution.

In response to the pressing needs of its multi-million population, Kharkiv has taken a unique and practical approach. Facing a situation where resources to build conventional bomb shelters are limited, the community came together to devise a creative solution. 'Relive,' an initiative carried out in partnership with the Youth Council of Kharkiv, is at the forefront of this effort. The project centers around Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11, which strives to create cities and settlements that are inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable.

So, what exactly is "Relive"? In essence, it's a massive effort to convert abandoned basements in the city's most vulnerable areas into temporary bomb shelters. The goal? To prepare enough of these basements to provide secure refuge for up to 100,000 people.

For a project of this magnitude, collaboration is key. Kharkiv's "Relive" initiative harnessed the expertise of six construction teams, ensuring that the process adhered to the strict standards set by the State Emergency Service. From the ground up, these basement spaces underwent extensive renovations, all in line with the mission of keeping their community safe during times of bombardment.

The impact of "Relive" has been nothing short of remarkable. To date, over 165 basements have been successfully converted, providing 13,650 accommodation spots for residents. With a budget of UAH 2,900,000, "Relive" has breathed new life into these spaces.

The extensive renovation includes crucial steps:

Clearing the Clutter: Abandoned basements needed a fresh start, with debris removed to provide adequate space.

Electrical Installation: To ensure lighting and power, electrical work became a priority.

Ventilation Overhaul: Proper airflow and ventilation were established for safety and comfort.

Antifungal Treatment: Health was a paramount concern, so antifungal measures were taken to guarantee clean air.

Sleeping Arrangements: The renovation created safe and comfortable sleeping spaces for residents.

Bathroom Facilities: Functional facilities were installed, including sinks and toilets.

Kharkiv's passionate and dedicated volunteers have offered assistance to over 100,000 people, providing support worth UAH 14,000,000. This immense effort has resulted in the evacuation of more than 1,500 individuals, ensuring their safety during turbulent times.

As Ukraine contends with the harsh reality of war and the devastation it leaves in its wake, Kharkiv's population faces dire challenges every day. This tenacious city, once an industrial hub, has lost 4,019 residential buildings, 97 medical facilities, 427 educational institutions, 62 cultural establishments, and 12 industrial enterprises. Among those affected are the most vulnerable citizens: the elderly, people with disabilities, and those without essential resources for survival.

As long as global society does not succeed in overcoming such conflicts, sustainability in some sustainability in some regions of the world must be viewed in the context of the harsh realities of everyday life: War.

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