- Two Cities with no Soul: Planning for Division and Reunification in Post-war Mostar    click here to open paper content2077 kb
by    Narang Suri, Shipra | shipra.narang@gmail.com   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
Post-conflict environments pose special challenges for urban planners and planning. This paper explores whether planning can help overcome the trauma of war and drive cities and citizens towards sustainable recovery and reconciliation, the lessons that can be learnt from Mostar and other war-divided cities, and if there are any common principles for planning in post-war settings.
Post-conflict environments pose special challenges for urban planners. Recent wars and intra-national conflicts, whether in Iraq or Afghanistan, or earlier, in the Balkans, have clearly taken on an urban character. Cities are no longer collateral damage, but strategic targets in and of themselves. Conflicts can divide cities, both de facto and de jure, causing lasting damage. How can planners reconstruct war-affected cities in a manner as that supports mutual reconciliation rather than mistrust and division? Is it possible to unify divided cities through planning efforts? Is it possible to revitalize the soul of the pre-war city?
This paper will explore all these issues in the context of Mostar, a historic Bosnian city divided by the conflict between Bosniaks, Croats and Serbs. Today, seventeen years after the war ended, Mostar remains a divided city. Is this a failure of planning? Could planners have done more, or done things differently, in the immediate aftermath of the war? What lessons can be learnt from the failed reunification and recovery of Mostar, for other war-affected cities?
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