In the September issue of Foreign Policy Magazine, writer Nate Berg takes a critical look at the role of architecture and design in conflict zones. Architecture has rarely been made a priority in the traditional approach to early stages of reconstruction after conflict. Berg posits a new generation of architects and planners are using the built environment not simply for triage, but as “Diplomacy by Design.” Through a series of examples, he shows how design can leverage the complex relationship between human culture and space to help a city heal.
When a city is built to separate conflicting groups or to fortify buildings against bombings--something that can be seen from Belfast to Baghdad--those separations are tacitly encouraged and the bombings expected. Allowing designers into the discussions earlier provides an understanding of the dynamics of urban spaces, and it can lead to the development of precise interventions to instill stability, functionality, and, eventually, peace.
Image courtesy of Foreign Policy