PurposeContemporary wars are continuously striking population centres across the globe with devastating consequences of destruction and annihilation, and leading to mass casualties within civilians. The purpose of this paper is to question the role of architecture and urban tissue in packing up civilians’ resilience and survival practices during urban warfare.Design/methodology/approachThe investigation is based on critical spatial analysis of survival narratives obtained from an empirical study conducted in the city of Nablus in Palestine.FindingsThis paper shows that, due to its unique and highly complex socio-spatial entanglement, the kasbah of Nablus represents a paradigm in the (re)creation of community resilience. This paradigm is based on the interaction of three main elements: a multi-layered urban tissue accumulated along 2,000 years of urban evolution; a thick matrix of cultural and social constructs; and the lifting and switching of a lot of social conventions related to space during times of war.Originality/valueThe agency of architecture in supporting civilian survival practices during urban warfare is visited, nevertheless only partially unpacked by a number of prominent studies. This paper provides a deeper level of investigation and understanding of the interplay between the architecture of the city and resilience capacity.
Archnet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research – Emerald Publishing
Published: Nov 11, 2019
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