Globalisation, Architecture and Peace-Building

By Esther Charlesworth.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

From the targeted demolition of Mostar’s Stari-Most Bridge in 1993 to the physical and social havoc caused by the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami, the history of cities is a history of destruction and reconstruction. What is the capacity for the design profession to assist in the physical and social rebuilding of cities and communities destroyed by war? This paper will examine the multiple roles of design professionals (which here includes architects, planners, urban designers and landscape architects) in the rebuilding of a range of cities decimated by armed conflict. By working “sans frontières”, I suggest that architects and design professionals have a significant opportunity to assist peace-making and reconstruction efforts in the period immediately after conflict or disaster, when much of the housing, hospital, educational, transport, civic and business infrastructure has been destroyed. The aim of my exploration is to expand the traditional role of the architect from 'hero' to 'social reformer' and discuss how design practitioners and design educators can stretch their wings to encompass the proliferating agendas and sites of uncivil unrest.

Keywords: Post-War Reconstruction, War, Architecture, Peace-Building

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 3, Issue 6, pp.157-164. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 544.478KB).

Dr. Esther Charlesworth

Senior Research Fellow in Sustainability, Founding Director of Architects without Frontiers, RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Founding Director of Architects without Frontiers & Senior Research Fellow in Sustainability, Architecture and Urban Design at RMIT University, Melbourne Australia.


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