Vitaly Boyko. Military and economic defense

"Architects against the war" - that's what we called the series of publications where we talk to real heroes: before the war - architects, urban planners, designers, decorators, artists, and in the new reality - military, volunteers, public figures. We share the stories of these people and express our great gratitude to all those who bring our victory closer.

Vitaly Boyko is the founder and CEO of the Urban Experts consulting company, which even at the beginning of the full-scale invasion had all the trump cards for a big game in the real estate market: a successful deal with Leslie Jones Architecture, joining NAI Global, demand from metropolitan and regional developers, offers for investment projects in Ukraine. Of course, the war somewhat changed the plans, but Boyk managed not only to save the team and the main values ​​of the company, but also to contribute to the program of the future recovery of Ukraine. Vitaly himself is currently defending the Motherland as part of the National Guard.



If Vitaliy Boyko has considerable experience in the professional environment — 26 years of management and entrepreneurial activity, Ukrainian and international education — in military matters, his practical knowledge is limited to two years of flight school. At that time, Boyko attended school in Tambov, from where he was dismissed, in particular, for refusing to take the Russian oath, which, according to him, led to a deep antipathy towards the neighboring country and the army as a whole. But, despite his plans or wishes, a few months later Boyko received the following verdict: National Guard, soldier.

Despite the fact that at first "an aunt from the military commissar made the choice for him, after analyzing the past according to some secret algorithm", currently Vitaly considers military service a necessity and a worthy cause. Although he treats the working conditions a little ironically: "I am very grateful to the National Guard for the opportunity to travel in time, because when I was in the infantry unit, I felt like I was 19 years old: in 30 years, weapons and procedures have hardly changed."

Vitaly Boyko, founder and CEO of the Ukrainian architectural company Urban Experts

"On February 24, I woke up a few minutes before the first explosions in order to put my parents on the train from Kyiv"

Vitaly understood that the war would start, and it would start from February, so he had an approximate plan of action. Together with his colleagues, he took a course in tactical medicine at the Azov base, but, unfortunately, he did not have time to master civil defense and behavior with weapons. In mid-February, Vitaly sent his family to Western Ukraine and continued to "fight" with his parents, who saw no reason to leave. "On February 24, I woke up a few minutes before the first explosions in order to put my parents on the train from Kyiv," Vitaly recalls. Then, together with his partners, he added the company's projects to the archive, preserved the office and established remote work.

"At first I tried to get into some TRO, but I was refused in Solomyansk, Obolonsk districts and in Azov," says Boyko, "the situation was getting worse, so they decided to take the children abroad." I came to my family in the West, spent a few days together and left: they went to Poland, I went to the Military Commissariat."

The hero of our story admitted that he currently feels much better than he predicted at the beginning of the war: the family is safe, the issues with the education of three sons have been resolved, all relatives are alive, the companies NAI Ukraine and Urban Experts have been saved with minimal losses of specialists and continue to work on projects , employees receive a (albeit not pre-war, but stable) salary.

"I am in the army and have the opportunity to benefit from my contacts and experience, but I feel that I am capable of more," Vitaly is confident. - I would never have thought in my life that it is possible to remain an active participant in the business environment while in active military service. I will say even more: people with development and design experience are really lacking in our armed forces. There is a huge demand for their expertise in a wide variety of projects, but all of them are aimed at strengthening and developing our state," Vitaly is confident.


From the leader to the soldier

Vitaly Boyko is very calm about the drastic change in his position. "I did what I had to do," he shares, "and I don't understand who the men who didn't do it see in the mirror. I see that the best sons of Ukraine are in the army, the best of the best are at the front. Because they do not need to prove what they are ready for for the sake of the Motherland. At a minimum, they have already left their own businesses, jobs, and families and are ready to do the bidding. And I want to be among the best, to be in the whirlwind of events, and not to read about them on the Internet. War is like a business (and especially a project business): all theories are destroyed by harsh reality, and you have to constantly improve, look for the best solutions and the optimal approach in the most unpredictable environment."

The emotional state during the war, of course, changed. First of all, irritability increased. "Crowds of guys in restaurants, on central streets, in recreation complexes are annoying at a time when their more patriotic fellow tribesmen are in the dugouts," Vitaly says, "shortened working hours, days off at important enterprises and in government agencies are annoying, as if the war will wait . The sense of justice has significantly sharpened: we want people who robbed the country and the army to be punished, collaborators to be exterminated, not to "thank and help" the military, but to work on their support all 24/7."

Vitaly believes that people mostly underestimate the situation and their own strength, relax too early or do not take into account important events and facts at a time when "frames from Soviet films, where all the men are at the front and the women are in the rear making shells and collecting tanks with planes, could easily become today's reality." Victory is unattainable, according to Boyk, until every Ukrainian understands: he must do everything he can if he wants to remain a citizen of the state called Ukraine. Either we all unite, or this military reality will return to us again and again.

"The best sons of Ukraine are in the army, the best of the best are at the front"

But when despair creeps in, the thought of the boys holding the defense in the trenches inspires Vitaly the most. He admits that the heroic deeds of these people are a very powerful motivator for him ("no matter how pathetic it sounds"). "When it's hard, it's enough to remind yourself how those who have a much harder time hold on," Vitaly shares.

UAre HOME concept, visualization

Work in the rear

In addition to the ongoing war on the battlefield, Ukraine must defend itself on the economic front, Boyko is sure. "Our country is fighting not for life, but for death with a fierce enemy, which is 4 times larger than us in terms of population, and 9 times larger in terms of economy. We can stand only thanks to titanic efforts, when everyone will work much more and more efficiently than in peaceful life." Vitaly believes that now is the time for exploits in the rear. In this regard, Boyko has his suggestions:

- it would be rational to replace some of the military, because someone can be more useful in the economy;

- it is necessary to increase the number of jobs at enterprises that produce products or services important for defense. This could be done at the expense of manufacturers leaving the Russian market;

- all those who did not fit into the first two groups should be enrolled in short free IT courses, and after that - in the ranks of IT companies that continue to work actively. It is the only part of our economy that can grow despite the war and has tremendous potential for growth.

Concept of a town for internally displaced persons in Kyiv, master plan

Only with the help of certain reforms in the economic sector can the further development of the country be achieved and the international community be attracted for help, Vitaly assures.

"We can stand only thanks to titanic efforts, when everyone will work much harder and more efficiently than in peaceful life"

Boyko includes housing reconstruction as an economic issue. "The sooner we start asking not only for weapons, but also for housing modules and the location of production in Ukraine, the less part of the economy we will lose," Vitaly thinks, "there are millions of people in the country who have lost their jobs and have not been able to work for several months." . Vitaly believes that it is also necessary to establish economic defense, because there is a high probability of a situation when the military will win at the front, and the defeat will come from peaceful territories. And to prevent an economic crisis, according to Boyko, there are no obstacles if everyone works, everyone in their place.

"There are many manufacturers, they are ready, and the money needed is not exorbitant - 22 billion dollars in 3 years. The armed forces are doing everything so that the whole world does not doubt our victory, and the preserved or restored labor potential will quickly allow us to repay the debts due to a smaller fall or faster growth of GDP," Vitaly explains.


Urban Experts during the war

Over the six years of its existence, Urban Experts has formed permanent values ​​and the image of the company's future. "This is a group of professional consultants, researchers, architects, engineers, designers, economists, brokers who together create optimal and beautiful projects in modern programs in accordance with Eurocodes and environmental standards, with a smile on their faces and dignity in their hearts," says Vitaly Boyko.

The company's activities are currently carried out in four areas:

- free work for municipalities or the government, development of own ideas about the future of the country;

- free work on military facilities;

– development of new projects on commercial terms;

- rethinking and completion of pre-war projects.


Modular housing and the future of the country

As an entrepreneur, Vitaliy is used to working not until a certain time, but until the goal is achieved, so currently, in addition to official duties, he tries to use his experience in real estate and investments to understand the ways of further development of the country. Thus, Urban Experts recently took part in the REBUILD.UA International Forum, dedicated to the strategies and possibilities of rebuilding Ukraine, and also spoke in an online format in Vienna, Austria, with the topic "Fast Build Ukraine: challenges and opportunities for cooperation during the war."

Vitaly Boyka's speech at the REBUILD.UA International Forum in Lviv

"I always believed that the main wealth and untapped potential of Ukraine is not black earth or minerals, but people, Ukrainians," Vitaly says, "but due to the war, more than 3 million people physically lost their homes, and about 7 million more have no opportunity to return to them . Half of these people are already abroad, the other half are gradually leaving or planning to stay there. The average age of migrants is 38 years, 80% of them have higher education, most of them have children.

These are the best Ukrainian minds and hands, which are very quickly assimilated in any friendly country. They already have documents, financial assistance, housing, opportunities for children's education. With each passing month, their return will be less and less real. And this is a great threat to our future, the reason why we will lose tens of billions of dollars of our GDP, while we need to increase it significantly to finance defense."

The idea of ​​using modular production as a means for the fastest return of migrants captured Urban Experts back in April. Realizing that autumn will come very quickly, a team of specialists conducted a study, based on the results of which they developed a presentation for the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine, presenting a proposal to Oleksandr Kubrakov, for the Kyiv Regional State Administration, introducing the concept to Oleksiy Chernyshov, for the Ministry of Community and Territorial Development of Ukraine, providing a project for consideration by Denis Shmyhal. But, unfortunately, the company did not receive any feedback. Having never heard of any alternative, experts continue to detail and popularize the idea, promote the concept at thematic events.

Concept of a town for internally displaced persons in Kyiv, visualization

The use of factory-produced residential modules is effective not only because the principle is similar to Ford's assembly line, which would revolutionize construction, similar to what once happened in the car industry, but also because the assembly of the modules takes place twice as fast as the assembly standard monolithic or prefabricated elements, according to Boyko. And, of course, this applies not only to the organization of modular production within the country: the world of prefabricated buildings is very large - more than 100 manufacturers all over the planet with the ability to produce 000 million square meters (that's how much housing we have already lost) in one or two years!

"And this, by the way, is a very good way for partner countries or aid donors to Ukraine: don't give money, give housing modules that will be made by your own manufacturers, then there will be no threat of corruption (try to steal and hide the module)," Vitaly thinks , — for example, it would be necessary to direct the money from the sold foreign assets of the Russian Federation to this."

In order to speed up the restoration of housing, according to Boyk, it is necessary to continue the work of the Ukrainian construction industry at full capacity. Using a "mixed" approach of traditional and modular construction, it is possible to create up to 10.5 million m2 per year (up to 500 m000 of temporary modular housing, 2 m5 of traditional construction and up to 000 m000 of full-fledged housing based on modular technologies). This is not just real - it is already the production capacity of companies producing modules of most developed countries! And if these production technologies are adapted for the location of factories in Ukraine and the necessary changes are made to our beloved DBN, then we will get high-quality, modern and safe housing in the shortest possible time, within a couple of years. Time is the only resource that we cannot obtain or produce.

"New "smart" quarters within a 15-minute reach with high-quality master plans and modern design, built in places of concentration of jobs, will be able to bring back many Ukrainians, - Vitaly Boyko believes, - provided that these quarters appear no later than in 5 years".



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