Ukraine from space: how varied is the largest city during the years of independence

August 24, 1991, began the history of Independent Ukraine. All this time the country is on the path of its formation and developing. This process affects the Ukrainian city. The website “Today” offers a view of how a change in the largest of them over the past 26 years.

All these years Ukraine was an inherent trait of the third world countries is the main activity was concentrated in the capital. This led to the fact that Kyiv is growing, and other Ukrainian cities, including the megacities, faced with the outflow of population, told the “Today” urbanist, a specialist in transport planning and modelling Dmitry Bespalov.

Due to the fact that many of the processes were concentrated in Kyiv, in the city over the years have built a lot of housing. Moreover, as suggested by Bespalov, often it was something of a banking unit, the apartment in the “new building” used for storing money in real estate or even to “launder” income.

Kiev satellite images from 1991 to 2016

“There is an official border of the city and its agglomeration. Kiev is the nearest satellite cities – Borispol, Brovary, Irpin’, Bucha, etc. the high Cost and complexity of obtaining permits in the city encourages developers to build outside the city,” says Bespalov. At the same time, the development of the Metropolitan area goes unchecked. And it turns out that often in these cities build residential complexes without adequate social, transport and engineering infrastructure. At the same time in Kiev, many of the construction being illegal, said the expert.

Officially the capital is home to just under three million people. But, according to the research data of mobile operators, about half a million people come to the city to work, says Bespalov.

Kharkov the satellite images from 1991 to 2016

According to the expert, the Ukrainian’s biggest cities now typical principle is not complex, but the point of building. Thus, when a complex construction or reconstruction is allocated a defined territory (free or with outdated housing stock), and there is a comprehensive transport, engineering and social infrastructure. This is followed by the development itself. For spot – right next to existing houses to build a new skyscraper.

Dnepr satellite images from 1991 to 2016

To ensure that the city was built, you need demand, says Bespalov. In those who were actively built up, this factor also acted, in particular due to the migration of people from the region. According to experts, the Ukrainian cities, this process is also peculiar.

Lions on satellite images from 1991 to 2016

At the same time, the growth and development of the outskirts and suburbs is a standard trend for any city because the houses on the edge always to build lighter and cheaper and they are more in demand, said the expert.


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Among the trends of development of Ukrainian cities Bespalov allocates point construction, as the most common. Thus, integrated solutions are also beginning to implement, as the demand for such “city in cities” is.

Odessa satellite images from 1991 to 2016

According to some demographic forecasts, by 2050 Ukraine will be about 30 million people, so the city, with the exception of the capital, at risk. According to Bespalov, if the demographic predictions come true, the outflow of people first of all will come from those cities that they are not interesting from the point of view of development. But the decentralization process that is happening now, plays a positive role in a city become self-sufficient, he said.

Donetsk satellite images from 1991 to 2016

Another trend development is dictated by the fact that the experts who have the ability to work remotely, for example, in the field of IT, to choose to live in small towns where it is cheaper than in Metropolitan areas, and cities themselves more comfortable from the point of view of their compactness, the best state of the environment, the lack of traffic.

Sevastopol satellite images from 1991 to 2016

“Until recently, the economy was centered in Kiev, as well as basic life. This stimulated people to strive to the capital, the centre of culture, social life, education, etc decentralization and the example of Europe, the change in the employment structure of the population suggests that, in principle, in the future, many cities can become self-sufficient, because they are comfortable for life,” says Bespalov.

We will remind that in Day of Independence in 2017 will be held in Kiev, a military parade, and from 21 to 25 August in the city centre will open an exhibition of military equipment.