Before the War, War, After the War: Urban Imageries for Urban Resilience
Patterns of urban resilience
This article discusses urban conditions in cities that in their recent history experienced war. It puts the social component of the city into relationship with the destroyed and dangerous urban environment. In the period between 1992 and 1996 in Sarajevo and in other Bosnian cities, survival became the most important activity for citizens. In the period directly preceding the war, urban condi- tions—mobility, infrastructure, and services—started to malfunc- tion. As a result, ordinary city life became an object of new urban imageries influenced by new urban conditions and rules of behavior. The first bombing of the city on 6 April 1992 was a sign that the war had started. It brought with it war urban conditions: lack of public transport, electricity, water, and food. The inability of the city and the people living in it to function normally demanded new patterns of urban resilience, which were partly a product of the city’s prewar conditions. Using Sarajevo as a case study, this article examines whether the city had predisaster coping strategies and, if so, the extent to which these plans were used during the war. Finally, the article observes how citizens, with their own imageries about cities, can participate in the creation of patterns of urban resilience and future predisaster strategies.