Anastasiya Ponamaryova

Architect / Urban Activist

Degrees:Ph.D. (Kyiv National University of Construction and Architecture)
Office:NGO ‘Urban Curators’, Ukraine

Dr. Anastasiya Ponomaryova is a Ukrainian architect and urban activist working at the border of art, architecture, urban design, and community development. She studied at Kyiv National University of Construction and Architecture and is a former Fulbright Visiting Scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States. Ponomaryova has been deeply involved in several Ukrainian NGOs linked to urban development, including Urban Curators and CANactions. She is currently based in Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine, working with the NGO Urban Curators on the conversion of an unused dormitory building into IDP housing.

Panel 2: Refugee Roles and Actions in Europe/Ukraine

Opportunities for IDP Co-housing in Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine


This presentation describes the transformation of an abandoned university dormitory into IDP co-housing in Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine. The talk is led by one of the project’s key members affiliated with the city development laboratory, the NGO ‘MetaLab’. It provides in-depth, on-the-ground details about how the team converted the building’s private domestic spaces and refurbished common areas, like a canteen, children’s playroom, workspace, cleaning room, and storage spaces, unpacking both the project’s opportunities and challenges. The initiative has been innovative in its efforts to involve future residents directly in building upgrading, thereby empowering them to meaningfully participate in their shelter’s creation. To understand the efficacy of such an approach, the presentation covers learned best practices and community outreach approaches for integrating IDPs into the university’s social and working life. In an effort to provide a fuller picture of the complexities of creating IDP cohousing through building refurbishment, the presentation will further discuss team structures and dealings with aid agencies, local government and university officials, and, most importantly, internally displaced populations. Describing the internal team’s capacities, the presentation will put forward examples of how architects, urban activists, and design professors—both locally in Ukraine and internationally—may work collaboratively to provide displaced communities with decent accommodation through the conversion of unused buildings.