Alain Bertaud Speaks on Reconstruction of Cities

After War


Senior Fellow Alain Bertaud spoke on “Reconstructing Cities: Physical Design and Economic Foundation,” hosted by Design Hub International, an architectural bureau based in Kyiv. Drawing on reconstruction examples from Le Havre, Warsaw, Tokyo, and Christchurch, his recommendations include:

  • Do not delay reconstruction by engaging in lengthy redesign of the city’s streets and property lines
  • Rebuild key infrastructure
  • Clear streets, restoring transport
  • Establish clear property rights, allowing private investment immediately
  • Monitor progress with indicators, taking strong corrective action when key indicators are not satisfactory

In his summary, Bertaud noted:

A city is something which is alive. You cannot stop the city from living by saying “we are working on a plan, which will take three or four years, and don't do anything before this plan is ready.” You cannot do that. So you can do it for one block or two blocks because you have enough activity around it, but you cannot do it for an entire city, and certainly not for an entire city center.

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