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Sustainable Reconstruction

By : Tigran Hasic

The history of mankind has been plagued by an almost continuous chain of different kinds of armed conflicts (local, regional, national and global) that have caused horrendous damage to the social and physical fabric of the cities. The tragedy of millions deprived by war disasters still continues. This paper focuses on sustainable reconstruction (rehabilitation) of war-damaged cities. It takes a holistic approach that considers the complexity of socio-economic, cultural, political and operational issues involved in shaping the damaged built environment and the rebuilding of social capital. Therefore, the paper attempts to gain an insight into the socio-cultural, political and environmental conditions prior to disaster and look into the specific situations, which emerged after the destruction. It also briefly looks at the important role of media in a city conflict. The paper aims at a multi-disciplinary approach, not just in operation but also in thinking (planning) by the way of systems approach, where issues are looked at in an integrated fashion. The paper gives some ideas about the complexities of reconstruction in city zones and why, sometimes new methods are needed in these crisis situations. Although some of the ideas presented here could have a wider application, the focus is on post-conflict zone of former Yugoslavia. Namely, this will be illustrated by means of a Case Study of the city of Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina. There is a dire need of developing sound approaches (ones that will work better) to reconstruction in the aftermath of wars. Even if for all the wrong reasons, new and even more favourable opportunities could emerge. Finally, the paper presents concrete strategies and recommendations (as a model representation) and gives some general conclusions.

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