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Title: Architecture as an agency of resilience in urban armed conflicts The case of Nablus City / Palestine
Authors: Kittana, Abdalrahman M.G. 
Meulder, Bruno De 
Keywords: Architecture - Political aspects - Nablus - Palestine;Arab-Israeli conflict - Social aspects - Nablus - Palestine;Urban warfare - Social aspects;Civil resistance;Architecture of resistance;Armed conflicts
Issue Date: 2019
Abstract: Purpose – Contemporary 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/approach – The investigation is based on critical spatial analysis of survival narratives obtained from an empirical study conducted in the city of Nablus in Palestine. Findings – This 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/value – The 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.
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