Theses Master's

Imperialism, Urban Warfare, and Urban Planning: Russia’s Invasion, Governance, Rebuilding and Planning of Mariupol, Ukraine

Duan, Zhaoxuan

This thesis examines the current situation in Mariupol, Ukraine, with a focus on Russia's invasion and subsequent governance, rebuilding, and planning of the city from an urbanism perspective. The research begins by exploring the historical conflict between Russia and Ukraine and the significance of Mariupol to both nations.

Through an analysis of the city’s urban context and the movement of Russian forces during urban warfare, the study assesses Russia’s determination to engage in conflict and its use of unique hybrid urban warfare tactics. The rebuilding and governance efforts of Russian authorities in occupied Mariupol are also analyzed, revealing attempts to eliminate Ukrainian influence and implement a re-Russification strategy. However, these efforts have been hindered by a lack of skilled workers, highlighting potential challenges for Russia in occupied territories. An examination of the master plan for occupied Mariupol reveals a mechanistic approach that lacks humanistic consideration, suggesting an unpromising future for the city.

Overall, this research exposes the imperialist nature of Russia’s invasion and governance of Ukraine and highlights the use of urban planning as a tool for imperialist warfare.

Geographic Areas


This item is currently under embargo. It will be available starting 2024-06-26.

More About This Work

Academic Units
Urban Planning
Thesis Advisors
Bou Akar, Hiba
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
August 2, 2023