Conceived and developed in the city of Mariupol and supported by Izolyatsia’s “Architecture Ukraine” program, in the Donbass/Donetsk region of Eastern Ukraine, the project #mariupolwillnotdie #itistheworldthatwillend is a manifesto for the future urban development of the city.  The performance in the video was used as an active tool for research and knowledge building, a catalyst to generate future scenarios.


The performance allowed us to to embody the quest of the project , that of inverting the narratives around growth in the urban matrix, by literally reversing our movements in the post-edition. This subvertion allowed us to exemplify the need for changing discourses, mindsets and practices, attacking the expansionist-by-default neoliberal logic.


Whereas the urban population world¬wide continues to grow, shrinking cities are ubiquitous. Mariupol, a city whose economy heavily relies on an industry that is increasingly being automatized, is no exception. Numerous shrinking cities across the world have embraced different policies for reducing their urban mass in recent years- “smart decline,” “strategic shrinkage.” Yet, we find that these strategies often hide intentions of growth instead of fully embracing the ebbing condition.


The main research questions were about subverting the understanding of growth,  more specifically, in terms of the master planning: What would happen if shrinking were to be embraced? How would it be planning for reduction instead of expansion?


We find that there needs to be a shift in paradigm, one where cities accept their shrinking condition and actively plan for it. This can trigger multiple new opportunities that experiment with consensual decision-¬making processes, where the citizenry gets together to establish protocols for their collective future in a reduced built environment rather than following the master planning logic of zoning.



Shifting the paradigm about shrinking cities

Video Installation/8’20’’ ----- 2015