Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Gaza: A case study of urban destruction through military involvement
by Ahmad, Nadiah N., M.A., Temple University, 2011, 121; 1494435
Abstract (Summary)

Nicholas Adams (1993) suggests that the destruction of the built environment and architecture of a city during war is an effective way of demoralizing and even eradicating the enemy. Goonewardena and Kipfer (2007) suggest that the built environment helps establish not only the common shared spaces in which individuals live their lives, but a sense of place and community identity. When buildings and public spaces are anthropomorphized, their destruction affects every aspect of a community. Urbicide as a tactic of urban warfare has changed the look and feel of many places such as the Balkans, Germany in World War II, and The Gaza Strip. The many faces of war have changed the landscape and homogeneity of the areas affected. Long-term, continual bombardment, precision attacks, and incursions by armies have in many cases all but destroyed the pre-existing physical environment. In its stead, is created a non-permanent built environment on the verge of destruction or change by non-civil forces. This investigation uses The Gaza Strip as a case study and looks into the impermanence of the built environment. The continual violence of change has greatly affected the resident Palestinian population. I will also examine how the temporary nature of the built environment and constant threats of change and destruction have affected everyday spaces. Although the population understands the potentially transitory nature of the structures, this does not deter them from rebuilding, when materials are available. Using data obtained from different nongovernmental organisations and aid agencies, this paper examines how repeated bombardment, precision attacks, and incursions reconfigure space, buildings and the functionality of the built environment in The Gaza Strip. Changes in the form and functionality are conceptualized as continuous processes that produce constant rounds of rebuilding. The shape and composition of the built environment is evaluated after specific bombardments, attacks and incursions in order to assess the extent and form of rebuilding. The results show that each round of destruction is followed by differing degrees of reconstruction that again restructure the look of the built environment.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Silberfein, Marilyn
Commitee: Lucas, Susan, Mennis, Jeremy
School: Temple University
Department: Geography
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: MAI 49/06M, Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Geography, Middle Eastern Studies, Military studies
Keywords: Gaza, Israel, Urbicide, War
Publication Number: 1494435
ISBN: 9781124689593
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