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PROCEEDINGS OF THE US/ICOMOS INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM

MANAGING CONFLICT & CONSERVATION IN HISTORIC CITIES
INTEGRATING CONSERVATION WITH TOURISM, DEVELOPMENT AND POLITICS
ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND, USA ‡ 24-27 APRIL 2003

No Man's Land
A Spatial Anatomy of Five Divided Cities
Jon Calame, with Esther Charlesworth

The causes lie deep and simply--the causes are a hunger in a single soul, hunger for joy and some security, multiplied a million times; muscles and mind aching to grow, to work, to create, multiplied a million times. -- John Steinbeck from The Grapes of Wrath

Introduction Every city is haunted with unfinished business: irredeemable losses, stubborn memories, odd stains, broken roofs, and unrecorded episodes. In the divided city, these ghosts multiply, harassing it with the impossible itch of the amputee. Even where new construction takes place, displacing the scars and rubble, that secret sense of forfeiture remains. Embattled communities straddling a confrontation line give the impression that nervous tissues and ligaments were torn and noting properly healed, so that even an army of architects could not bring circulation back to them. Their original vitality is elusive. Tenants of these places, forlorn despite the feverish struggle to possess them, are typically unaware of the city before its partition or unable to forget. Both groups those displaced in space and those displaced by circumstance become shaken, watchful, and reluctant heirs to no man s land. Regular soldiers eventually leave the battlefield, returning home in one condition or another. The residents of war-torn cities are already home when they encounter their terrors, and often cannot escape from them. Even when the politicians have sealed a peace, the suffering of urban residents continues with the pangs of loss and the impossibility of making up for missed opportunities. The places and institutions that once assisted or protected them have disappeared or proven themselves untrustworthy. An unwritten, and time-honored, social contract was broken along the way. Numerous authors have noted that every city, no matter how sick or how healthy with respect to inter-ethnic relations, can be located along a continuum from integration to partition.

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Belfast, Beirut, Jerusalem, Mostar, and Nicosia are among the lost cities, war cities, and pariah cities. They carry a special stigma in the eyes of residents and onlookers; they have traveled along the darkest, most uncivil paths imaginable and sometimes emerged again to recite their stories. These narratives of violent partition provide a somber reminder that urban culture can incubate bloodshed, prejudice and discord as well as cooperation and harmony. What are the ideal conditions for this type of incubation? Why bother thinking about these cities and their communities which seem to have disappeared, for a time at least, over the threshold of reason and restraint? Is a fascination with them the product of morbid curiosity? If not, what moral can be taken from the divided city s cautionary tale? The research findings briefly summarized here suggest that these impacts are neither exclusively negative nor entirely inconsistent with the more constructive forces shaping traditional urban development. This paper is intended to provoke questions that lead to better understanding, clearer recognition of patterns that unite cities in crisis, and point out the way towards less devastating outcomes for cities approaching but not yet breaching the frontier of total, physical segregation along ethnic lines. Of primary interest are appropriate professional responses to the divided city dilemma. If the problems of the divided city are intractable, strategies for mitigation are all the more urgent due to the heavy toll exacted by a segregated environment on urban residents. If the problems can be solved, the nature of the conflicts must clearly be articulated in different and more compatible terms. That is, if there is a

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discernable logic that guides the formation of divided cities, then there must be a logical response that process of development. Our research suggests that this logic exists not only in individual cases but also in the form of morphological patterns binding these five divided cities together. Divided cities provide a clue for predicting the fate of urban communities confronting violent crisis because the logic of their development reflects a struggle for collective safety and cultural identity. Their development illuminates a chain of failed negotiations and policies from the corner coffee shop to the United Nations. Their anatomy is recognizable: barricades, blight, no-man s-lands, homogeneous ethnic quilting, ruined historic cores, buffers, checkpoints. Their value lies in their elucidation of patterns that can be carried over to cities where internecine conflict has not yet sealed the fate of rival communities. The Divided Cities Project This paper synthesizes some of the findings of a field-based research project lasting four years (19982002) undertaken jointly by myself and Esther Charlesworth. This work was grounded in the desire to discuss patterns of urban partition of value to those professionals and others concerned with the health of urban communities whose security and collective identity are under siege. It was under The divided cities project resulted from direct involvement (1994-present) in the post-war reconstruction process in Mostar, where gross limitations of a divided municipal administration forced the unusually intense and lasting intervention of foreign professionals in all types of humanitarian assistance. This research stems directly from observations collected over seven consecutive summer in Mostar and the questions raised by them. We wondered if political settlements were the standard prerequisite for effective post-war reconstruction, if designing for a divided city is indeed immoral, if spontaneous approaches to reconstruction were justified by the ruined circumstances of urban residents, and if any patterns govern pre- and post-partition urban development. Above all, we felt that divided cities were not anomalous but rather the unlucky vanguard of a much larger class of cities in which inter-communal rivalry becomes entrenched in the physical realm. A pursuit of such questions and hypotheses led us to four other divided cities Belfast, Beirut, Nicosia, and Jerusalem and back many times to Mostar. Extensive dialogue with professionals, policy-makers, critics, and residents in these five cities suggest that mistakes were made that could have been avoided. The symptoms of discord in the urban environment--most specifically, the physical partitions that encourage and tutor one ethnic community to disdain another--constitute, in turn, a disease with its own pathology and symptoms, none of them especially desirable. The study did not touch upon physical or political remediation for any of these cities, nor is it meant to dwell upon morbid urban transformations for their own sake. In addition, the histories of each place are long and well-documented by others; this work relies heavily on the excellent work of these critics and historians, but will borrow from it only as far as it is necessary to understand the broadest causes and circumstances of partition and useful to the elucidation of patterns linking the five cities under investigation. Acknowledging the value of analytical works on each of the selected cities in isolation, the
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research summarized here was intended to be comparative and oriented towards better outcomes in future scenarios of urban partition. The unavoidable superficiality of treatment granted to each city is compensated by the value and novelty of the generic profile of divided cities that emerges from this research. In order to undertake comparative work on such an ambitious scale, conventional scholarly research, photographic documentation, library research and correspondence were complemented with large quantities of original interview material. In each city under investigation, conversations were documented with local residents on both sides of the partition, cab drivers, politicians, policy-makers, architects, planners, critics, and journalists. In many cases, interview subjects rejected the very notion that their native city belonged in such infamous company, while others urged even wider comparisons in order to understand the magnitude of the problems they encountered, invoking the notion of urban apartheid and anti-urban sentiment. All contributed to a fuller, more complicated picture of the phenomenon of urban division and its causes than has been previously committed to paper. Largely missing from the existing literature on the subject of urban partition, answers to a number of basic and intuitive questions guided this inquiry from the outset. Regarding agency, it necessary to identify those who drew the lines, those who produced the resulting partitions, and those who paid for them. Regarding the social and physical impacts of division, it is important to determine how life proceeds in the wake of partitioning, what penalties and profits accompany it, and whether forcible segregation serves any legitimate purpose in light of enormous social and material costs. Regarding stakeholders, any investigation must identify the primary actors in the divided cities drama, determine which of them contributes directly to the violence, and ascertain the motivations preventing them from abandoning the city altogether. Regarding function, it was important to explore how partition relates to notions of soil, security, collective security and sovereignty in each case, working with the assumption that functional patterns tied to a generic divided cities phenomenon might emerge. Regarding space, on-site documentation addressed fundamental questions related to the scale, structural nature and porosity of the partitions and thresholds separating rival communities. Crippling phase of a common disease Glimpsing the divided city reveals the debilitating end stage of a common urban disease. Every city contains cultural fault lines reinforced through voluntary segregation; they give shape and character to good and bad neighborhoods. Since all cities reflect local demographics in spatial terms, each can be located somewhere upon an imaginary gradient spanning from perfect spatial integration to complete separation. Beyond the far end of this spectrum lie a small handful of physically partition XE "partition" ed cities that passed beyond the civil horizon, into dim labyrinths of inter-communal violence, and largely out of sight prominent among them are Mostar XE "Mostar" , Belfast XE "Belfast" , Beirut XE "Beirut" , Jerusalem XE "Jerusalem" , and Nicosia XE "Nicosia". While each of these cities remains in the throes or aftermath of its partition, struggling to repair assorted kinds of social and physical damage, the rest of the world is routinely introduced to another patient who might be coming down with a case of the Troubles ; the roster includes Lagos, Dagestan, Singapore, Mitrovica, Kirkuk, and many others.

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Because its development is marked by institutionalized fear and suspicion, the partitioned city acts as a warning beacon. It evolution some would say regression defies liberal principles of tolerance and pluralism in favor of strict, rudimentary notions of survival. It suggests that cities too have fevers, memories, suicides. They can dismantle themselves, split, and submit to almost limitless siege within their own boundaries; they construct interior borders, wrestles internal enemies, and makes strangers of natives. These struggling, smoldering, anxious places are inhabited by people forced to choose between evils: suffocating chauvinism or humiliating assimilation; exacerbation by paramilitaries or neglect by police; subsidized complicity or impoverished resistance. In these places, voluntary segregation was compounded by involuntary displacement of residents according to ethnicity. They are the gravitational centers of regional and national conflicts, and they are the proxies for wars fought larger adversaries sometimes at the international level, as with Palestine and Cyprus. Through and along the streets, military or paramilitary engagements inscribed new boundaries between neighbors, colleagues, and families. These boundaries often incorporated traditional fault lines through processes both studied and spontaneous. In all cases, spatial separation of ethnic groups was punctuated by physical partition, legitimized by discriminatory public policies, rationalized with mythical narratives of group struggle, and cemented by recurrent inter-group violence. By the time each of these partitioning processes was complete, thousands of civilians were dead, hundreds of institutions were crippled, and five cities achieved the status of international pariahs. What ends were served? Looking at the extreme case Though mild forms of urban partition are not rare, in a handful of cases segregation is so rife that it distorts all the normal functions of the city and shapes every aspect of its subsequent development. These are the limit-cases, and the ones most fruitful for the discernment of patterns. Belfast XE "Belfast" , Beirut XE "Beirut" , Jerusalem XE "Jerusalem" , Mostar XE "Mostar" , and Nicosia XE "Nicosia" are further linked by a small set of common characteristics: all were the product of regional inter-ethnic antagonisms, all were the product of violence and discrimination between old neighbors, and all remain at least partially unresolved with respect to communal relationships and social viability. Of the five, Nicosia and Belfast remain physically partitioned, Mostar and Beirut have shed their barricades in recent years, and Jerusalem has the dubious distinction of rebuilding dividing walls following extended periods of partition (1948-1967) and unification (1967-2001). The Symptom and the Illness In most cases, urban partition walls can be simultaneously interpreted as the outgrowth of traditional discord, as a form of remediation in response to that discord, and as generators of new social crises stemming from distrust and isolation. Of special interest here is the way physical partitions evolve from the realm of the unthinkable to the realm inevitable, since this would chart a path to be studiously avoided by city managers elsewhere. Cities progress towards, through, and away from partition can be traced in reasonably systematic ways. Accordingly, their stories suggest both a widespread latency and the possibility of developing frameworks for effective intervention.
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Divided cities are characterized by protracted inter-group violence, mutual distrust and chauvinism, but these difficulties cannot be considered a natural outgrowth of ethnic diversity within the urban condition. It is easy to cite a larger number of ethnically diverse urban populations cooperating freely despite narratives of national identity that seem mutually exclusive. The core conflict underlying the divided city condition may relate to incompatibility of social structures only roughly corresponding, if at all, to religion or race: those tied to class and caste affiliation, to legitimate and illegitimate political cultures, to indigenous and foreign communities, to loyalist and republican social movements, and to those seeking social justice when opposed by those seeking sovereignty. Containing a crisis When the process of segregation slips beyond the grasp of governments and institutions trying to curb it, urban residents living and working near inter-ethnic fault lines are among the first to feel the most negative and violent effects. In this environment of social instability, even cities that appear healthy and successful can become a convenient container for protracted ethnic feuds. The divided city commonly functions as a regional sink for ethnic antagonisms not produced or fostered in the urban environment. These cities contain ethnic fault lines as the remnant of earlier skirmishes, and the latent resentment associated with these lines is activated by new stresses. The lines appear to have a life of their own, but this impression is illusory. Considering only the immediate vulnerabilities of local communities, the phenomenon of divided cities is easily explained: physical violence must be minimized at interfaces were rival communities interact. Like boys with their fingers in the dyke, city managers in all five cases examined were compelled to provide protection in the form of barricades for beleaguered citizens once conventional approaches failed. In many instances, barriers had already been erected by threatened citizens or paramilitary groups claiming to act on the behalf of community bearing minority status with respect to governing interests at the municipal or national levels. Physical partition is employed to contain a crisis that has overwhelmed the normal systems for maintaining order and protecting the personal safety of urban residents in an even-handed way. One reason municipal governments are hesitant to address the subject of partition is that the barricades are a measure of their own failure to fulfill a basic mandate. Another reason is that walls, whether illicit, scandalous, or ugly, curb inter-communal violence more cheaply and effectively in the short term than police surveillance. They solve a profound, longstanding problem in a superficial and temporary way. If such partitions worked over the long haul, partition walls could be considered an unfortunate but effective response to ethnic conflict. Their failure as passive security devices for the municipal government is just one of many reasons why they should be questioned. In many cases, these partitions also postpone or even preclude a negotiated settlement between ethnic antagonists because they create a climate of dampened violence, sustained distrust and subcutaneous hostility. Urban partitions seem to dampen violent confrontation while affirming the notion that fear and paranoia are justified; if not, why would the wall still be standing? Is it not the emblem of a threat as much as a bulwark against it?

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A crisis of containment The communities living behind these walls often find that their living environment has shifted from the intense, unstable mode of violent conflict to a low-grade, bureaucratized pressure cooker. Though neither is acceptable, the stabilized system is insidious because it is commonly perceived as a form of resolution deemed acceptable by local politicians and foreign onlookers. It relies on thresholds both spatial encompassing the partitions themselves with all the difficulties attending them and human, since the violence and emotional suffering that come with sustained inter-ethnic rivalry are never brought to normal levels. Meanwhile, the urban residents unlucky enough to live on barricaded interfaces or in partitioned enclaves are harnessed with unusual burdens. Their opportunities to move, work, socialize, shop, and take advantage of municipal services are severely constrained. Their lives often become co-opted by their leaders desire to retain contested urban territory even after social or political conditions have improved. Worst of all, their fears and prejudices are unlikely to change as long as their view of things is distorted by the uncompromising presence of a defensive wall. In this way, the partitions intended to contain a crisis themselves generate new ones. In all five cities explored here, whole generations have been molded by a physical environment that denies the promise of renewed inter-communal trust. New psychoses emerge, different and often more virulent than the ones that prompted civilian violence in the first place. In Nicosia, it seems almost preferable to hear the anger of an older Cypriot directed at his ethnic rivals, where there was at least some direct knowledge between individuals from both groups, rather than the idle prejudice of the younger citizens who have not yet had the chance to test their cynicism through direct contact. The ignorance that breeds behind these partitions is a core ingredient for future conflict, and its toxic effects on the social atmosphere of the city must be weighed in relation to the short-term benefits of division, most of which accrue to the city s managers rather than its citizens. Statistics on Inter-Group Conflict Divided cities are symptomatic of larger trends related to warfare, sovereignty, and group identity. Small-scale, non-conventional wars involving groups most easily identified by language, religion, or place rather than nationality have blossomed in a global renaissance of amateur warfare. These wars typically lack uniforms, leaders, rules, treaties, conventions, exemptions, beginnings, and ends; their seeds are sown in the swampy terrain of cultural identity and irredentism. Long obscured or trumped by Cold War rivalries, inter-ethnic conflict has since become ubiquitous. More specifically, since World War II there has been a clear shift in global warfare trends from inter- to intra-state conflict: 59 of 64 wars occurring between 1945 until 1988 were intra-state or civil wars, and during these conflicts about 80% of the war dead were killed by someone of their own nationality. During this same period, 127 new sovereign states have been created, and 35 new international land boundaries have been drawn since 1980.[1] Currently, about 46 protracted civil conflicts are ongoing, and of these 87% are grounded in contested group rights or threatened collective identity. The last five years have witnessed significant inter-cultural hostilities in Afghanistan, Angola, East Timor, Chechnya, Dagestan, Kosovo, India, Nigeria, the Philippines, and Rwanda. In 2002 Israel initiated a partitioning program amid escalating friction with
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disenfranchised Palestinians; the construction is ongoing, with plans to construct 50 miles of fencing along the Israel-West Bank border, 30 miles around the Gaza Strip, and up to 790 yards on the vulnerable eastern and northern flanks of Jerusalem. Spotlight on urban, emblematic areas Jerusalem s predicament illuminates another unfortunate trend: symbolically important cities are often central to inter-ethnic conflicts. Whether or not they posses strategic military value, they have become increasingly prone to violence. Running contrary to conventional wisdom and gathering speed, old forms of fraternal violence are lodging themselves in cities where security can no longer be guaranteed. Thanks to proximity, convenience, ease of disappearance, historic associations, and a host of other factors, cities are exploited as sustainable platforms for inter-ethnic feuds. This pattern is closely tied to troubling statistics showing a growing death toll in the civilian sector. Civilian toll rising Civilian urban populations have been severely affected by the promulgation of inter-ethnic warfare; more recently, in relative terms, than during any other period. In World War I, for example, 14% of all deaths were civilian. That figure rose to 67% in World War II, and in the 1990s when most wars were within rather than between states civilian deaths constituted 90% of the wartime totals. It can be safely assumed that psychological trauma on a massive scale accompanies this type of loss, dislocation, and prolonged anxiety. While most cities act as a magnet for artistic, financial, and intellectual activity, this very concentration of wealth and cosmopolitan behavior can also convert the urban arena into a cultural battleground when communal vulnerabilities are exacerbated. For residents of cities that become the interface for rival ethnic communities, individual vulnerability increases even further. In these cases the city can be interpreted as a political stage, citadel, icon, idol, treasury, emblem, and incubator of both tolerance and prejudice all at the same time. As the state of contemporary warfare rapidly devolves towards fratricidal struggle, the scale of conflict narrows and the willingness of superpower nations to intercede wanes, the likelihood of violence in historic and heterogeneous cities will increase proportionately. These global trends and statistics strongly suggest that small-scale warfare remains on a collision course with emblematic cities of mixed ethnicity, posing challenging questions regarding how future wrecks be avoided. Divided Cities Are Not Anomalies The comparisons at the center of this study provide some grounds for optimism. Since divided cities provide relatively unambiguous clues regarding the evolution of urban violence and segregation, analysis of them may provide a driving wedge into the larger problem of inter-ethnic antagonism and rising civilian death tolls. Long neglected by scholars, divided cities provide important insights into the relationship between urban vitality and communal rivalry. Any straightforward assessment of ethnically partitioned cities will illuminate the sobering pitfalls and penalties in store for city managers choosing to address collective insecurity through physical division.

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Not freaks in the urban circus, patterns connect them These cities have received far less attention from scholars and professionals than they deserve; while the relatively mundane issues of public space and sprawl continue to inspire mountains of expert analysis, cities whose development was characterized by carnage, ruin, and immeasurable suffering over extended periods have been marginalized in the literature. Long treated as anomalies, divided cities are linked to each other by clear and coherent patterns. These patterns encompass concerns shared by almost every city: institutional discrimination, ethnicity as a prominent criterion for political participation, physical security, fairness in policing, shifting relations between majority and minority ethnic communities, and so forth. The dynamics of partition in cities like Beirut XE "Beirut" , Belfast XE "Belfast" , Jerusalem XE "Jerusalem" , Mostar XE "Mostar" and Nicosia XE "Nicosia" become of urgent importance if they are accepted as warning beacons for a whole class of cities prone to violent forms of inter-ethnic tension. This class appears to be large and growing. Even a casual scan of international affairs in the early twenty-first century reveals that urban communities torn and traumatized by physical segregation are multiplying quickly. Brussels remains the would-be trophy of separatist parties in Wallonia; Montreal could be caught in a similar tug-of-war in Quebec; Los Angeles has yet to confront the racial fractures exposed by popular violence in the 1990s; Serbian and Albanian residents of Mitrovica have split themselves on either side of the Ibar River; Hausas and Yorubas in Nigeria are locked in a lengthy cycle of violent reprisals in Lagos; Hindus and Muslims clash routinely in Ahmedabad, though they dispute the Ayodhya religious complex hundreds of miles away; war in Iraq have brought old ethnic rivals out of the woodwork in Kirkuk, where Kurds, Turkmen, Christians and Arabs all lay claim to the city; and Cincinnati s racial fault lines were recently activated in the wake of discriminatory police brutality. These citations are just a sampling. Preconditions increasingly common This understudied urban class is growing because a number of global trends related to communal identity, nationhood, and urban management have conspired against the conventional model of the healthy city. The social pressures on minority urban groups are mounting with the devaluation of their identity, beliefs, and knowledge within a market-driven global economy. Many of these communities, in both rich and poor contexts, are witness to a systematic failure of the traditional urban security infrastructure due to neglect, discrimination, or persecution. These failings are the preconditions, though probably not the causes, of urban partition and they are becoming measurably more common. In reply to this kind of chronic insecurity, urban communities mobilize paramilitary organizations, riot, revolt, threaten of succession, and frequently succumb to the paranoia manufactured by ethnonationalist political parties. In step with these trends, new walls between rival ethnic groups are constantly emerging, while old scars are stubborn in healing. The causes for rivalry, along with an awareness of forsaken alternatives, generally go unrecognized. Politicians both those embroiled in the ethnic conflicts and those attempting to intercede on behalf of the international community often become mired in short-term policy fixes that are designed in response to a crisis. Physical partition has emerged over the last fifty years as one of the most popular and most myopic solutions to inter-ethnic violence in the urban
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environment. What the engineers of these partitions often misunderstand, regardless of the nature of their intentions, is the corrosive effects they have on the lives of urban residents forced to navigate them. The Seeds of Partition Similarities Looking for patterns, five cities split physically along ethnic fault lines will be compared in detail. They each became a place despised and avoided; their names that have become synonymous with chaos and discord. All were once thriving, all were subsequently partitioned, and all were at the epicenter of civil conflicts fuelled by inter-ethnic rivalries. Something went wrong along the way, old wounds began to bleed, and they were compelled to construct interior borders, wrestle internal enemies, and convert natives into strangers. In this way it seems that good cities go bad. Their stories of physical segregation suggest that cities are subject to fevers, hallucinations, and suicides when they are weak. They become weak when they mistake enemies for friends, neighbors for rivals, and separation for safety. In the throes of these afflictions, they sometimes enact very un-urban dramas; they dismantle themselves, split apart, erect labyrinths and submit to almost limitless selfimmolation within their own boundaries. Following a siege, the besieged almost invariably point to former neighbors, friends, and colleagues as the objects of their resentment, those with whom they once mingled in a thoroughly unremarkable way. Limit cases If these places could be counted as exceptional simply the byproducts of extraordinary circumstance they would merit little more that passing interest from professionals and scholars. It will be argued in the following pages that they are representative of a large, and perhaps growing, class of cities. Many other cities are on a similar path towards polarization and partition. They generate little alarm because their cases are not yet full-blown; they have not yet crossed the final threshold where prejudice crystallizes into physical barricades and voluntary ghettos. Though that frontier often proves to be a point of no return, few strategic efforts are made to avoid it. For such reasons, the partitioned city acts as a warning beacon for all cities where inter-communal rivalry plays a potentially prominent role in social interactions.

While many predictable forces may have predisposed Mostar XE "Mostar" , Belfast XE "Belfast" , Beirut XE "Beirut" , Jerusalem XE "Jerusalem" , and Nicosia XE "Nicosia" to ethnic conflict, they were neither unique in their predisposition nor destined for the intense internal violence visited upon them. In many ways, these divided cities were caught in the crossfire of larger political events that exacerbated ethnic rivalries and brought them to the foreground where they might have, under more stable conditions, remained dormant. Looking further at the impacts of political instability and cataclysmic events on the process of urban partition, a clear correlation appears, as outlined below.

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City Belfast

Proximal catastrophic events WWI; 1920 Irish independence; Education Act of 1944; 1963 advent of O Neill liberal administration; 1960 s civil rights revolutions worldwide 1948 Israel state formation/Arab war; expectation of UN settlement; 1982 Israeli invasion 1938-45 WW2 holocaust; 1948 abandonment of British Mandate; first and second Palestinian entifadas; WTC disaster 1989 end of Cold War with dissolution of USSR; 1990 advent of Yugoslav disintegration; breakdown of designated UN safe areas and mass shifts of displaced persons 1958 British pullout with interethnic loyalty split; 1961 Cyprus Independence; 1974 Athens-backed coup d etat of Makarios/Enosis; breakdown of US regional strategy due to the 1979 Iranian revolution, new alliance with Turkey

Partition 1965

Beirut

1975

Jerusalem

1948/2002

Mostar

1992

Nicosia

1958/63

The way each city absorbed or failed to absorb the shock of proximal events is closely related to the evolution of inter-ethnic antagonism. What happened in these cities was avoidable before its unfolding and subject to mitigation afterwards. If their fate is unusual, the challenges and milestones they encountered along the path from tolerance to partition were not. What were the key steps leading from cooperation to partition? Green Wax Pencils Cities have been shattered by a wax pencil in the space of an hour, split for decades to follow by a chinagraph frontier [2]. Lines on a map arbitrary with the urgency of a compromise, the necessity of war, or the waver of a human hand result in urban minefields navigated daily for decades by those unlucky enough to live or work near them. They isolate communities that know each other, rely on each other, and overlap. They are typically the product of external forces acting on the city with the intent to protect it, or save it, or claim it, or demoralize it, or enlist it in a larger struggle from which it cannot benefit. It is rare when cities divide themselves alone. Lines become walls, and walls govern behavior steeped in paranoia and ignorance, mystifying and rendering sinister what lies on the other side. These behaviors, evolving outside the influence of direct experience, intensify antagonisms and fears that ultimately make bigotry automatic and physical division superfluous. For this reason, they deserve careful scrutiny. Drawn on paper, carved into the ground, and messy While their impacts are nearly identical regardless of context, urban partition lines bear little resemblance to one another and the processes that generated them differ greatly. Some, like those in
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Jerusalem and Nicosia, were hand-drawn by appointed negotiators on a map. Though the reasons for each particular plotting is tied to tradition, landforms, and prior episodes of violence, the first iteration of a partition in the form of a negotiated line on paper had huge implications for the communities divided by them. Often arbitrary or counter-intuitive in their meanderings through highly contested urban territory, these lines led to many accidental deaths and expensive forms of surveillance. Being the result of rational design rather than combat, these lines were constructed as parallel barricades forming a barren neutral zone in the city s center. At the opposite end of this spectrum, Belfast s government has yet to represent the peacelines separating Catholics from Protestants as a line on any map, though millions of dollars are appropriated to construct, enlarge, and maintain the walls in response to public petitions. In Beirut, the Green Line was an official military boundary quite insufficient as a mapping of protected zones for urban residents, since paramilitary warlords swiftly subdivided all larger sectors with their own lines, rules, and operating logic largely determined by shifting location of snipers nests. In Mostar, the largest north-south street became the front line between military and paramilitary forces, where a wall never was erected; open space, uniquely hazardous in a dense Ottoman city fabric, constituted the primary barricade along the line. Had this front line slipped slightly eastward to the natural partition the Neretva River gorge the elimination of the city s native Muslim population would have been assured. These observations suggest that it is possible to craft a system for classifying partitions according to their origins, conceptual nature, and physical nature. Armed with such a system for rational disaggregation of embedded issues and strategies, further purchase may be gained on the problem of urban division as a whole. Assuming that the underlying conditions for physical segregation will recur, leaving new cities vulnerable to violent disruption and discord, more effective and precise ways of discussing the evolution of partition must be found. An intensive investigation of the spatial and functional anatomy of these places must complement the extensive work already completed on failed policy and governance. This study augments a small but growing body of literature pushing in this direction, from the ground up. None is unheralded, none is predestined Lending additional urgency to the project of studying divided cities is the slow, predictable nature of their transition from healthy, integrated places to physically partitioned ones. While sudden and unexpected episodes of violence often herald the final stages of inter-communal isolation, the fault lines activated during these cataclysmic periods are rarely unfamiliar to residents. They are the invisible, largely unspoken boundaries that governed movement and perceptions between ethnic groups within the city for decades, or centuries. They were the informal, voluntary thresholds between neighborhoods, quarters, or parishes, and unremarkable until brick and barbed wire converted a preference into a rule. Every city has them. Just as no dividing wall was unheralded in the cities where they were built, none of these ill-fated places was destined for the trauma of partition. Up until the year of its crippling, Mostar was the emblem of inter-faith tolerance in the Balkans; it would have been the educated observer s last guess for the city most likely to erupt into sectarian violence. Beirut was the Paris of the Middle East, a seat of international banking, a portrait of secular and cosmopolitan life; proud of their central role in the
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business culture of the region, Beirutis held a strong faith in the unifying power of entrepreneurship and prosperity over the divisive influence of inherited culture. Jerusalem and Nicosia had long been crossroads of belief, politics, and commerce; they were defined by exceptional ethnic diversity, which had been absorbed successfully for hundreds of years prior to their episodes of partition. Belfast, sacrificed by Dublin s independence movement in 1920 and a stronghold of British influence, was the one place in Ireland with a guarantee of strong, centralized social control; it was reasonable to assume that peace could be maintained by Westminster, one of the strongest and most seasoned imperial democracies in the world. In each case, the tide of social unrest and institutional discrimination could have moved in a different direction. The paths that eventually led to physical partition were determined both by longstanding habits of segregation and by the vicissitudes of political fortune, making the final outcomes neither random nor inevitable. This blending of native and exotic influence gives an analysis of the divided city scenario much of its complexity. Related Crises As with any problem associated with abiding social trauma on a vast scale, divided cities should not be appraised in isolation. They are not best characterized as bad eggs, sideshow freaks, or victims of cruel political manipulations. Though their episodes of violence may be contained in time and space, they are rarely a product of local forces alone. More often, they provide a stage for larger proxy wars initiated and orchestrated by agents with interests extending well beyond the municipal boundaries. On an even more fundamental level, the demise of a city cannot be easily separated from a failure of the social institutions and political systems of which it is an extension. In the case of split cities, these systems include new and old nationalisms, liberal democracy, and mechanisms of social justice. Tied to the demise of the nation-state Divided cities commonly rest at the center of a struggle over national identity and sovereignty. They are often the product of a zero-sum game played between neighboring communities seeking security and refusing compromise in relation to each other. They are a beachhead for sovereignty struggles tied to territory through irredentism or expansionism. Accordingly, these cities bring to the foreground much larger questions of the status of nationhood in general as well in the regionally specific struggles they are associated with. It is probably no accident that the phenomenon of inter-ethnic urban partition has largely been the product of the twentieth century, when great empires were dismantled and theories of a hierarchy of races or cultures were subjected to increasingly skillful attacks. If this generation of professionals is witnessing the demise of ethnically homogeneous nation-states, or cities, as reliable building blocks for social organization, then divided cities are the bearers of bad news. Discomfort and disorientation in the face of the divided city condition is not surprising, both for beleaguered residents and incredulous onlookers. Partition is antithetical to what the city traditionally represents, and it is anathema to all those whose social and material prosperity rely on the opportunities only a city can provide. Physical division seems to imply a moral transgression as well, since it is predicated on discrimination so ubiquitous and insecurity so rife that the city like a body can no longer physically function as a whole. Severing the same links and networks that define it, the
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divided city becomes a hostage to the fears of small clusters of ethnically homogeneous residents. Division may be said to be tantamount to the death of the city, if urbanity is primarily defined in terms of cooperation, opportunity and tolerance. It seems to imply a profound failure of civility. Calling the city managers bluff? More likely, the divided city demonstrates a failure of fair governance. The purpose of this investigation is not to trace partition back to poor policy, but it must be noted in passing through the political sphere that only a legacy of institutional discrimination upheld by numerous administrations and through numerous cycles of decision-making can produce urban fratricide. These policies are the plow that loosens the soil in which inter-ethnic violence is sown. When the city s protective web of spaces, services, and laws breaks down, disenfranchised communities will contemplate isolation from the traditional social networks. Decision-makers who look on as cities in their jurisdiction fall apart are quick to point out that their hands were tied by external powers, that the violence was popular, and that attempts at rapprochement were earnest. This may partially explain some of the scenarios under investigation, but stops short of persuasiveness. The record shows that many politicians were happy to ally themselves with national or foreign interests at the expense of disenfranchised minority communities within their jurisdiction. On the road to partition, examples of inter-communal cooperation and pluralism are ignored or discounted. Even before politically weak communities are antagonized, their legitimate need for fair treatment and access to opportunity is frequently subordinated. At the most fundamental level, guarantees of physical safety from violent attack were not upheld in each city that ultimately resorted to urban partition. In response, frustrated urban residents whose interests were systematically disregarded sometimes choose to abandon the systems that no longer serve them. By way of compensation, they typically are replacing a faith in police with paramilitaries and allegiance to political representation with direct action. Under extreme circumstances, one of the first projects of such an agitated group is to erect barricades between themselves and their immediate enemies. Citing threats to their physical well-being both real and presumed, these communities call the bluff of politicians who defend failed systems of social control. From this first moment of abandonment, all other episodes of urban division follow according to a rational sequence. It remains only to isolate and understand the steps that lead up to this initial break in order to characterize the process of urban partition in general terms. The Cost of Partition The litany of impacts stemming from urban division are too numerous and varied to mention. Whether or not the process of urban partition is considered necessary from a policy perspective, it is impossible to dismiss the negative consequences of forced social segregation. Whatever the political advantages may have been for rival communities seeking isolation, both voluntary and involuntary forms of division have universally resulted in incalculable death, suffering, disorientation, loss, and social anemia at the local levels where they occur. These acts of urban apartheid constitute a failure of governance and diplomacy because they rely on violence and ongoing intimidation for their success. If the assertion and maintenance of viable ethnic clusters are essential to the health of certain cities, it is obvious that a better way must be found to construct them within the urban environment.
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The many actions leading towards urban partition which are both traceable and predictable seem to defy liberal principles of tolerance and pluralism in favor of rudimentary notions of collective survival. Where unitary cities are in many ways the synthesis of individual strivings and shared goals, the divided city appears to be a product of communal goals that resist thoughtful negotiation, present themselves as mutually exclusive, and overshadow individual aspiration. The process of partition generally follows a period of prolonged institutional discrimination and is accompanied by the invigoration of paramilitary organizations. In this sense, barricades and walls constitute an insult heaped upon longstanding injury: the persistence of a social justice system that consistently fails to meet the needs of an ethnically diverse population. Once built, they support or even disguise the continuing inadequacies of those same government institutions that made them necessary. In the process, vast sums of public funding and large swaths of public land are squandered[3]. Walls at an urban scale are expensive to build, land values are at a premium, and interfaces prove costly to maintain when constant vigilance is required to monitor simmering conflicts that have not been addressed, but merely dampened. In some cases elaborate no man s lands must be constructed and patrolled, while in others checkpoints and transit stations track movement at each crossing. New physical and institutional infrastructure must be built on both sides of an urban partition to replace what was left behind, and whole bureaucracies blossom in order to address problems of jurisdiction, compensation, and encroachment. Rather than investing in the growth or prosperity of an urban community, partition-era administrations must spend lavishly to resist the back-sweeping tide of intercommunal violence. Constrained by this stunted system, the lives of urban residents are disfigured along with the fabric of the city. Family members and friends are often wounded or killed. Property is lost, social networks are shattered, and opportunities are forfeited. Physical safety is constantly open to question, and psychological well-being is universally undermined. Most regret the loss of places where those memories once had residence. The real costs of urban partition are typically paid by those who had least to do with their creation: the student, the mother, the pensioner, or the soldier. Residents in these struggling, smoldering, anxious places are forced to choose between evils: security in chauvinism or exposure in assimilation; harassment by paramilitaries or neglect by police; subsidized complicity or impoverished resistance. Salma, a resident of post-war Beirut living adjacent to the former Green Line, finds it very difficult to make up for the losses she incurred during the partition era: We used to see death in front of us. This is how we lived: shells, theft, murder, sniping this is how we lived and you would reach a point when everything becomes so blurred that you would no longer differentiate between your friends and your foes No one protected us. And I ll tell you again that those who paid the price are the Lebanese citizens Probably others would not be affected, but my life was deeply shaken by the war. Sean, a resident of Catholic Belfast, XE "Belfast" seems to have become dislocated in both time and place as a result of the Troubles:

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But this here--to me this is desolate, this stretch of road. Well, I remember this as a child: there were shops everywhere. [N]ow I remember as a child being brought down there to a wee café, and I still to this day can remember tasting the stew, it was the loveliest stew I ve ever tasted. We used to walk across onto the Falls Road and nobody said Boo to you. You know what I mean?

Senada, a resident of eastern Mostar whose father and brother were imprisoned during the war XE "Mostar" , feels a keen and abiding disillusionment in relation to her former neighbors: in this war I found out who is a friend, who is not a friend, what it means to be a human being, what it means to really be a good person and a good character. It s like, sometimes you say to someone, I love you , but what does that mean, I love you ? it is only after you do something for me, for example if I get into trouble and you want to leave me to suffer, that I will find out if you really love me. Otherwise how come you think I will believe you? This kind of loss and disorientation is more than anecdotal. In Northern Ireland, a number of landmark studies have quantified the impact of a shattered economy and fractured social networks in a series of reports regarding The Cost of the Troubles. This research confirms the notion that physical partitions generate a host of social problems separate and distinct from the ones that prompted their construction. Divisions, while often beneficial to interface residents in the short term, typically become a self-fulfilling prophesy of exclusion and resentment in the long term. Physical risks are among the most traumatic for residents of divided cities. Because they are so foreign to the typical experience of the city, most external observers have difficulty understanding them. Several interviewees described the peril of becoming caught in the cross fire, like a Mostar XE "Mostar" resident named Mili: Any attempt to cross over the line was awfully risky. Let me give you an example. Knowing that my wife and our child were on the other side of the city, a friend of mine, whose girlfriend was also on that side, even suggested that we swim across the River Neretva. [A]t the time I would surely have done anything just to see both her and the child. However, it was impossible to swim across under those circumstances. Someone over there wouldn t know whom you were and why you were trying to reach the other side of the city. They would probably kill you. While political struggles define the shape and behavior of the city as a whole, residents with little stake in the negotiations pay the price for long-term destabilization and violence. A good example can be drawn from the frustrations of a resident of northern Nicosia XE "Nicosia" named Nevzat: We are waiting that moment. We are waiting for peace in Cyprus. It will affect everyone; it is good for our health. I am 50 years old, and for almost 30 years I am thinking that tomorrow I am going to have peace, tomorrow I am going to have peace, every day I said: tomorrow, then the coming year the coming year, the coming year like that, and you are not thinking anything else for your life.

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For many divided city residents, partition corresponds with a sense of lost time and opportunity that may never be regained. Mario, a resident of western Mostar, XE "Mostar" describes his losses in terms of theft: The current situation, which has lasted for years, tells that Mostar XE "Mostar" is really a divided city, practically. Before this war started I hoped but nobody asked me. Nobody asked all the other reasonable people. That s why I still cannot find the answer. I left my town. My memories have been destroyed I am forty-one now. When this war started I was a bit over thirty. I see myself as a person from whom somebody has stolen those eight years. In relation to the full spectrum of injuries bound up with the divided city scenario, these voices address only logistical concerns. There is no good way to speak of the death, anxiety, and intense deprivations that many experienced along with partition. These comments reflect the outlook of normal residents with little stake in the political struggles that left their hometown broken. Long after the war and its partitions faded, as in Beirut, individuals still found their sense of belonging shaken and their prospects darkened. The Logic of Partition The process of urban partition is rational, predictable, and patterned. It marks the failure of traditional urban security infrastructure from the perspective of at least one resident group. If it provides a shortterm solution to inter-communal violence, it also typically creates a long-term impediment to intercommunal cooperation and normal urban development. Divided cities breed a fatal sense of insularity as social and institutional structures are built to fit them like a straightjacket; services are rerouted and improvised, resources are atrophied and duplicated, streets and buildings are rendered obsolete, and relationships are severed. The divided city becomes a war metropolis, a non-city, a pariah, and a warren of claustrophobic ethnic enclaves. This apparent inversion of natural social inclinations in the city obsessed with fortification and security is described by Lewis Mumford as nearly fatal: The city arose as a special kind of environment, favorable to co-operative association, favorable to nurture and education, because it was a protected environment Plainly, a civilization that terminates in a cult of barbarism has disintegrated as civilization; and the war-metropolis, as an expression of these institutions, is an anti-civilizing agent: a non-city. Accordingly, it may be concluded that the divided city is no city at all, if cooperation and security are the hallmarks of that class. The question is a thorny one, since many urban communities demonstrate unusual levels of intra-communal solidarity in the process of securing themselves against intercommunal violence. In this sense, the divided city phenomenon demonstrates how a larger urban unit can become dismantled even as security and cooperation are reinforced at the scale of the ethnic cluster. Because the divided city appears to the foreign onlooker as a massive, endemic failure of ethical principles, the intricacies of its evolution from function to dysfunction are routinely overlooked.

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Diverse Vulnerability The central concept tying together all instances of urban wall-building is vulnerability. For most of urban evolutionary history, this vulnerability was share and of a homogeneous character within the urban domain because it was focused on discrete foreign enemies often ones without an urban culture comparable in sophistication to the one undergoing siege. The uniformity and ubiquity of these threats stimulated a kind of solidarity between social groups within the city as well as important bonds between all these groups and the city managers. This bond was repeatedly tested as the economic and technological burden of collective defense grew heavier. Taxes rose to pay for increasingly elaborate perimeter walls; occasionally, cities starved and bankrupted themselves in the process of protecting their dwindling assets from attack. Once built, at enormous material and social cost to urban residents, it is instructive to note that the protective benefits of the walls were offset by assorted unintended social and psychological effects. Mumford observed: As in a ship, the wall helped create a feeling of unity between the inhabitants: in a siege or famine the morality of the shipwreck share and share alike developed easily. But the wall also served to build up a fatal sense of insularity: all the more because of the absence of roads and quick means of communication between cities. Again, it is easy to ascertain the key similarities linking traditional defining and contemporary dividing city walls: promulgation of solidarity, a siege mentality, and a moribund insularity. Medieval walled cities in the western tradition reinforced their urban singularity in the process of defending against a shared threat, and their internal discrepancies were generally overshadowed by the prospect of collective defeat at the hands of unfamiliar enemies. Divided cities seem to have inverted this dynamic: partitions reinforce social difference and weaken the city s capacity to contend with larger forces external to itself. Walls are the product of a diverse vulnerability that erodes traditional forms of urban solidarity while multiplying the ills and rewards of insular behavior. When these multiple vulnerabilities weaken solidarity among urban residents, familiar defensive impulses are brought to bear against a host of new threats. As natural heir to the mural tradition of urban fortification, the divided city bears a strong likeness to its ancestors with one important mutation: the paranoid reflex is directed towards an internal enemy. At this point, the city tears at its own substance and lays siege to itself. By the time permanent internal thresholds appear, policy-makers have learned to manipulate the notion of collective security and survival to justify coercive government actions, of which the walls are both emblem and agent. These justifications often fall on fertile ground when delivered forcefully and repeatedly to communities prone to chronic violence and social instability, but they ultimately fail to explain why the walls were necessary and overlook negative impacts on the communities separated by them. Divided cities may be the most complete and unmistakable manifestation of sustained and institutionalized discrimination. They are a form of dynamic decay and neglect, a vivid reflection of urban discrimination and blight centered on collective identity rather than economic status. The physically partitioned city has many cousins: the racial ghetto, the abandoned core, the neighborhood
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red-lined by lending banks, Chinatown, and the increasingly popular gated residential community. All of these represent the end-stage of some form of demographic devolution, where cultural retention and solidarity have been pitted against the forces of assimilation, open competition and cooperation. Within this family, only the physically divided city makes the metaphor of fratricide visible and the habit of ethnic discrimination mandatory. The divided city is different because it creates a fully selfpropagating system for institutional discrimination, no longer reliant on social indoctrination or subject to amelioration through personal encounters with members of a rival group. Barricades assert what seems to be a natural, preordained principle of mutual incompatibility that becomes very difficult to test or resist for residents affected by it. Urban Contract Broken Commonly dismissed as corrupt and irredeemable, divided cities are subject to countless misconceptions regarding their origins and meanings. Many of these misconceptions need to be uprooted and replaced before the phenomenon of urban partitioning as a whole can be correctly understood. In some cases, assessments according to a liberal political philosophy can lead the outside observer astray. Though good fences rarely make good neighbors where they are the product of chronic discrimination, it is still essential to ask Are dividing walls good or bad for the communities they separate? and Who benefits from their creation? The answers to these questions lead to a complex evaluation of the value and function of urban partitions, and one that runs contrary to the notion that compromise and cooperation are the only acceptable paradigms for coexistence in a mixed urban society. For example, to assume that all urban residents are harshly constrained by physical barricades ignores the function of the partition as a safety guarantee. This security function may constitute a shortsighted response to civilian violence, but it is often quite meaningful to the people living and working near interface areas. Similarly, the economic value of dividing lines to municipal authorities must be acknowledged. Where inter-communal violence is rife, partitions are commonly used as policing tools by local governments lacking the resources to support continuous human surveillance. In this context, dividing walls offer a relatively inexpensive, passive instrument for the damping of mob violence and also can discourage isolated criminal acts by creating funnels and cul-de-sacs that narrow escape routes to a minimum. From a more symbolic perspective, partitions can augment social coherence, support voluntary cultural quarantine, punctuate localized replies to globalization and alienation, or serve to refute a unitary, liberal model of cities in general. All of these factors and many others make dividing walls popular in many cities where they have appeared. For some residents, they are more than a source of reassurance; they become a vocation in themselves, a cause or entitlement in their own right that must be defended. For related reasons, members of ethnic communities from rural or suburban areas will come to the defense of urban enclaves simply to defend what they consider to be a common cause. In this way, a divided city can become the staging ground for regional strife, a proxy in relation to larger social or political antagonisms.

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Surrogate conflicts and proxy wars If urban partitions were simply a local protection scheme for residents living along a violent interface, it would be difficult to condemn them. In practice, the need to protect innocent civilians has generally been exploited as a smoke screen by bigoted politicians, a pretext for intervention or abandonment by external powers, and a means of extortion for paramilitaries. In these cases, the safety and frustration of interface residents are manipulated to the advantage of assorted political or quasi-political interests while an abiding sense of dread and paranoia deepens within each isolated community. While most normal residents of divided cities have a hard time explaining the origins and necessity of the barricades that separate them from their rivals, few struggle to find examples of how their lives have been damaged in the aftermath of partition. The very local dilemma of physical segregation often stems from distant conflicts and rivalries. Explaining the complex dynamics linking local and external interests in a divided city requires a careful appraisal of the rivalries that lead to urban violence between resident groups. While all of the cities examined by this study are formally defined by conflict between rival religious communities, it appears likely that religious affiliation provided a convenient cover for struggles tied to sovereignty, political influence, territory, property, and opportunity. Some contend that cities split when those who cherish urban values are challenged by those who disdain all that the city represents. Some radical intellectuals reject the city as a font and stage for social progress, most notably the early Zionists disparaging view of urban culture in general and Jerusalem XE "Jerusalem" in particular. Who are the antagonists in the divided city? Is it the frightened residents on either side of a wall? Rival political parties? Seething clerics urging their adherents to pursue mischief? The Green and the Orange? The painful cleavage punctuated by urban partition cannot be understood well in relation to any single criterion of difference; it is best to conceive of many overlapping dichotomies that can, when taken together, describe the distinction between parts a and b in the divided city scenario. A few of many potentially meaningful combinations as listed here. In each instance, no single group will always be column a or column b , but will fit decidedly in one or the other:

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a city religion sect legitimate Loyalist for status quo orthodox conservative moderate rural east rich past present majority minority official indigenous 1st generation here before

b city religion sect illegitimate Republican for change secular liberal radical urban west poor present future minority minority unofficial colonial 2nd generation there after

alternate dichotomy security v. sovereignty Christian v. Muslim Sunni v. Shiite Israeli v. Palestinian Croatian v. Bosniak coercive v. irredentist partisan v. resolver rigid v. flexible center v. fringe homogeneous v. heterogeneous collective v. individual privilege v. deprivation entitlement v. occupancy disenfranchisement v. destiny superior v. subordinate double minority syndrome military v. paramilitary incumbent v. settler experience v. ignorance us v. them archaic v. modern

Within this framework, any number of dichotomies might apply to a specific inter-ethnic rivalry. It may be that this multiplicity of overlapping rivalries, with all the contradictions that seem to accompany them, could help to explain the persistence of conflict in divided cities and the widespread perception of intransigence . This complicated, layered model of inter-ethnic relations can be easily applied to the five cities under scrutiny here. In the following table, each of the conventionally recognized rival groups in each divided city is considered with regard to factions and interested third parties. The resulting picture of inter-group relations is considerably more intricate than is generally perceived.

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city

dominant group

subordinate group

3rd parties UK Ireland

Belfast

Loyalists (maj Protestants)

Republicans (maj Catholics)

factions: Presbyterians Anglicans Paramilitary working class liberal/affluent

factions: political paramilitary working class diaspora liberal/affluent

US

Beirut

Christians (maj Maronite)

Muslims (maj Sunnite)

Syria Israel

factions: Orthodox Communists Kata ib (Maronite)

factions: Sunni Mitawalis (Shi ite) Pal. Arab Lib Front Palestinian refugees

France Iraq Iran UNIFIL

Jerusalem

Israelis (maj Jewish)[4]

Palestinians (maj Muslim) [5]

Britain Jordan

factions: secular

factions: Israeli

Egypt US UN

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Orthodox Ashkenazi Sephardic Diaspora

West Bank/Gaza diaspora refugees paramilitary liberal/secular

Mostar

Croatians (maj Catholic)

Bosniaks (maj Muslim)

Serbia Croatia

factions: Herzegovinian Croatian displaced/rural urban/local

factions: secular Islamic displaced/rural urban/local

US UN Turkey

Nicosia

Greek Cypriots (maj Chr.)

Turk Cypriots (maj Muslim)

Britain Greece

factions: Communists Cons. Democrats displaced/rural local/urban

factions: settlers indigenous

Turkey US UN EU

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Security guarantee reneged In exploring the problems generated by the divided city condition, the sanctity of the city is far less important than understanding how and why it s ability to meet the security and development needs of resident communities can become so swiftly and severely degraded. One problematic assumption about the origins of urban division seats full responsibility for discord and partition at the highest levels of national or international governance. This is the policy-driven model that has provided a subtext for most of the existing literature on the subject of divided societies. According to this generic thesis, discriminatory policy leads to social strife, failed mitigation of those conflicts generates a crisis, partition is the reply to the crisis, and reformed policy is the sole avenue leading back to unification. Clearly the cascade of problems that follows from bad policy is a major factor in the emergence of urban partitions. A strictly policy-driven model tends to neglect the historic context of segregation and the ways in which cultural identity becomes politicized over time. This constitutes a failure to encompass the legacy of inter-communal competition that leads up to the episode of division and makes it appear inevitable. Where dividing walls are products of bad policy, that policy is generally best understood as a symptom rather than a cause of widespread social discontent. A better framework for understanding the causes and mechanisms of urban partition expands away from faulty governmental action, no mater how despicable it may be in individual instances, towards the roots of political culture. Such an expanded model acknowledges the implications of a system where political affiliation is tethered to heredity so that ethnic identity becomes the principle of incorporation into the political community , with direct implications on the rules of allocation and participation. [6] It also links scarcity of core resources to a stabilized zero sum perception of inter-group competition that is often supported by local representatives of industry and wealth seeking to avoid broad-based class conflict. Avenues of negotiation and cooperation are systematically blocked as tractable paradigms of conflict are displaced by intractable ones. Habits of discrimination are consolidated and strengthened through the institutionalization of difference within the mechanisms of government. This suffocating climate of dwindling resources and dimming prospects for peaceful resolution chafes at rival communities. An atmosphere of tension and uncertainty provides a fertile ground for isolated acts of violence. Political actors either favor the interests of their group by inclination or represent the same moneyed interests that helped to open the sluice gates of inter-ethnic rivalry in the first place. In both cases, the outcome is similar: inter-communal violence is met with half-hearted mitigation efforts. Failed mitigation leads to deepening strife, which in turn justifies coercive policies reinforcing the political relevance of ethnic identity. In the most extreme examples of urban discord, these policies are abetted by physical partition. Far from a static condition, this division intensifies and institutionalizes the antagonisms that prompted it, creating a thicket of social and political dilemmas that continue to claim the lives of residents and the careers of diplomats as long as the partition is maintained. Urban Contract Re-Negotiated These trends, and the stark realities of life in divided cities that illuminate them, indicate that the social contract knitting together the interests of city managers and urban residents since the Middle Ages has
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frayed and weakened. No longer a permanent respite from the perils of the rural hinterland, the developed western city has become a venue for every nuisance, misery and hazard imaginable while the hinterland has either fallen under its apron or become dubiously cloaked in the myth of romantic Nature. No longer a reliable reservoir of employment opportunities, the city has become a welfare shoal for whole populations trapped in cycles of destitution. Having created large, growing populations reliant on the incentives of urban culture, the city system as a whole offers diminishing benefits and little recourse to its increasingly frustrated subscribers. Responding to scalar shift and geo-political change Physical partition can also be understood as a reaction to cities that expand to a point where communal identity is threatened. In this scenario, division acts as a tool for spontaneous urban downscaling towards defensible social formations the integrated, manageable ethnic cluster . The desire to hem in an ethnically distinct community against the forces of assimilation is often linked with irredentist impulses, allowing for a partial interpretation of urban partition as a discrete form of cultural heritage conservation. The enclaves that result constitute a sanctuary when interaction with the dominant majority group becomes increasingly stressful or hazardous or competitive. How large a city is too large for the successful retention of culturally specific communal values becomes a question of great interest and importance. At what scale do the same values become dangerously inbred? If an answer could be approximated for a given group and a given urban context, many dire consequences might be avoided. Responding to immediate security crises Wall building also promises, at least temporarily in many cases, a unilateral resolution of the stalemate forces. In Jerusalem XE "Jerusalem" , for example, walls dividing the city from 1948 until 1967 provided relief for traumatized communities, an immediate decrease in inter-group violence, and an opportunity to develop intra-group cohesion through channeling of energies toward a common enemy. These are some of the many virtues of ethnic apartheid, and for many they justify the costs of institutionalized bigotry and failed cooperation. Partitioning a city may be as necessary and uncomfortable as a high fever. Walls that divide groups with different values or competing ambitions may be the super-rational response of an organism to a perceived threat within its own body. It is not assumed that division is the worst possible outcome for cities experiencing a prolonged crisis of inter-ethnic relations. The divided city may constitute a less desirable but more stable model for the accommodation of these kinds of social stresses within the urban environment. In any case, the purpose of this study was not to seek remedial strategies for partitioned communities nor to valorize the unitary city; in fact, one of the reasons that divided cities are chronically understudied and marginalized has been the inability of professionals and scholars to accept and embrace a degraded model of urban development and morphology. Their disinterest and ineptitude have deepened the wounds suffered by the residents of these physically segregated communities. This study did not attempt to condone or condemn the actors associated directly with partition, nor the results of their works, since the nature and intensity of these perceived threats are difficult for outsiders to ascertain. It did reveal forks in the developmental path of partitioned cities where they might have
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taken a less onerous turn. The goal was to construct predictive models for the divided city dilemma. If the problems of the divided city are intractable, strategies for mitigation are all the more urgent due to the heavy toll exacted by a segregated environment on urban residents. If the problems can be solved, the nature of the conflicts must clearly be articulated with a terminology that is clear and consistent. There is a discernable logic guiding the formation of divided cities, so that a logical response to these costly processes of development is viable. This logic exists not only in individual cases but also in the form of morphological patterns binding together the five cities examined in this study. Key Indicators Many threads tie together these five divided cities and provide simple tests for early detection. A history of ethnic diversity or even conflict does not lead inevitably to partition and the prerequisites for divided cities develop over long periods. This development is not difficult to measure, though it is often challenging to redirect. Simple questions that can assist in a basic evaluation are: Has the city recent experienced episodes of political instability or abrupt regime change? Is there a legacy of economic segregation and discrimination? Do exclusive, ascriptive rules limit access to education and opportunity? Is there declining trust in non-partisan municipal policing and bureaucratic mechanisms? Is ethnicity a criterion for discrimination and political participation? Are there stable incentives for the promulgation of ethn0-nationalist political culture? Do both rival communities view themselves as a beleaguered minority group? Is a strong role played by reluctant and ambivalent foreign overseers? Are there blurred lines between national and municipal jurisdiction? Is a steady erosion of functional transactions across sectarian divide observable? Is there a sovereignty debate surrounding zero-sum model of inter-group conflict? Are there missing institutions and ideological elites within subordinate group? Are prescriptive, demographic urban plans administered unilaterally at national or local level? Recent, abrupt population movements joined with severance of economic networks? Is the municipal bureaucracy used as a political instrument?

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Is municipal policy typically formulated without input from the minority group? Has the minority group endured at least one generation of relative deprivation? As the number of affirmative assessments rises, so does a city s resemblance to the divided cities examined in this study. Mixed Professional Responses Our research indicates that all professional actors in the divided city drama both passive and active play a role in the shaping of a contested urban environment and bear some responsibility for the massive and negative social impacts of division. Yet urban planners, architects, historic preservationists, and other professionals have routinely shied from intervention: urban planners have declined to defend the public interest in ethnically segregated cities; architects offer designs of only occasional, coincident relevance; and conservators fixate at most on the historic core with characteristic myopia. The typical alibis are: I am sorry; it would be unethical to plan or design for a divided community, or My work must await a political solution, or No use intervening in the built environment until it is certain that hostilities will not recur, undermining my efforts. These excuses are flawed in a number of important respects. They tend to rely on the notion that all aspects of urban partition are controlled and controllable by policy. According to this general thesis: poor policy leads to strife strife to failed mitigation mitigation to partition partition to relative stability stability to improved policy policy to unification, etc. Nearly all of the assumptions embedded in the previous sequence do not bear themselves out in the context of actual narratives of partition. While discrimination and partisan government rarely have beneficial effects on urban communities, they too can be seen as symptoms as well as causes. Bad and good policy do not necessarily bookend the divided city dilemma. A sequence that fits more closely with the actual trajectories of divided cities looks different: scarcity of core resources leads to a stabilized zero sum perception of competition frustration to violence violence to failed mitigation
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failure to preemptive policies policies to partition partition to deepened antagonism, etc. This second theoretical model presents a recurring cycle, intensified by partition, in which policy is little more than an expression of the problem, rather than its cause or solution. Within this framework there is are few moments to which the urban profession can point and say, Then I will enter the struggle, but not until! Since it is at the divided city crossroads that racial and sectarian discrimination ultimately spatialized, we assert that those trained in the manipulation of urban space are to some degree obliged to participate where possible in violent appropriate of that process. The distasteful aspects of the divided city condition are offset by enormous opportunities for improving baseline living conditions and exploring new paradigms of urban development. Professional engagement in these divided cities is spread out along a broad spectrum, ranging from complicity with the partitioning process itself to complete disengagement to active mitigation. In Beirut, the creation of a private company to managed post-war reconstruction the central business district Solidere is unprecedented in spirit and scale; and Lebanon s competitive, free-market approach to the acquisition of professional guidance brought to the table the best talent that money could buy; unfortunately, only the elite business district benefited from this input within the red line Esther just described. If Beirut s reconstruction is governed by the Invisible Hand, Belfast occupied the opposite end of the strategic spectrum, with more conflict resolution-oriented NGOs per square kilometer than any city on earth; multiple governmental agencies and scores of private non-profits have studied the impacts of the Troubles with great subtlety, but all focus on policy to the exclusion of urban and spatial concerns. Meanwhile, a few firms furtively pursued peace wall contracts and otherwise there seems to be no comment from the professional community despite the overwhelmingly spatial nature of the Troubles in Belfast. Jerusalem s governors have commissioned more than five comprehensive master plans for the city drafted since the city s first division in 1948, and it is rumored that the current plan has undergone hundreds of amendments in the last decades. Unlike Belfast, none of these documents is readily available to the public since all physical projects are tightly controlled by the municipal government and every centimeter of the holy city is treated as political territory; with such intensive spin control from government ministries and no access to base maps, private and external architects and planners have had little chance to appraise much less contribute to the process of reconstruction since 1967. Mostar has been significantly weakened by the ongoing exodus of Bosnian professionals and local urban planning agencies crippled by the war and without substantial budgets, Mostar has become a haven for reconstruction junkies from the outside world; along the way, the post-war rehabilitation process has been largely appropriated by foreign donor agencies like the World Bank, the Aga Khan Trust for
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Culture, and the World Monuments Fund; each summer, a parade of experts in conservation, planning, and design visit the city for the annual Mostar 2004 workshop; the superficiality of their exposure and shallowness of understanding for the post-war condition have limited the value of their contributions, despite good intentions; still today, bifurcated municipal planning agencies and weak overall institutional infrastructure make master planning or consensus-building untenable. A more hopeful light shines from Nicosia regarding strategies for professional mitigation. Though modest in its political profile and farthest removed from the expert circuit, Nicosia may provide the most positive example for effective cooperative post-war planning within the context of partition. Starting with a shared sewerage treatment project in 1978 perhaps the least glamorous and most pragmatic approach to professional collaboration possible both governments went on to endorse an exemplary bi-communal master plan, including progressive recommendations for re-densification, careful analysis of the bifurcation and duplication of urban functions, an architectural survey of the Buffer Zone, and best- and worst-case scenario building based on actual political contingencies; despite the success of this joint effort undertaken by Turkish and Greek Cypriot professionals in the capitol, political stalemate has left implementation dormant since 1985. Lost Opportunities The myth of intractability propped up with loosely-conceived notions of primordialism and cultural essentialism is complemented by the myth of the integral city and these together have long provided a stable professional alibi in the face of the ominous implications of the divided city condition partially outlined above. This paper argues that divided cities are the emblems of a large and growing urban class of cities in tension. Patterns generated by systematic comparative analysis strongly suggest that concerted professional responses are both possible and necessary. The key step in this analysis is to utilize divided cities as case studies that expose relationships between space, security, and violence. These linkages can then be projected onto cities approaching but not yet exceeding their internal breaking points, pointing the way towards new forms of professional mitigation in the context of ethnic conflict. If the patterns revealed by this research are valid, then built environment professionals must awake to a clear and pressing ethical obligation. With violence between cultural identities increasingly throughout the world, our professional must find fresh ways to contribute to the defense of civilian populations imperiled by urban segregation.

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NOTES

[1]

War statistics taken from the Initiative on Conflict Resolution and Ethnicity s Conflict Data Service and the conflict dataset from Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University, extended to cover the entire period 1946-2001 constructed in collaboration with the International Peace Research Institute, Oslo. See http://www.prio.no/cwp/armedconflict.
[2]

Peter Hocknell in his Boundaries of Cooperation: Cyprus, de facto Partition, and the Delimitation of Transboudary Resource Management (Kluwer Law International, 2001) describes the late night handwork of British Major-General Peter Young in the process of drawing the partition line through Nicosia and Cyprus with a green chinagraph pencil in December 1963. His line was intended to be a temporary cease-fire pending permanent settlement and it still line remains today. Belfast provides an unusually good opportunity to quantify these expenses, since the peacelines are built by government contract as a result of a formal allocation process. According to Murtaugh, figures supplied by the Belfast Development Office show that the cost of construction of the 13 peace fences was £1,927,000. In terrns of overall public cxpenditure in Belfast this figure is not high. Costs for individual peace lines range from £16,000 in Bryson Street to £335,000 in Manor Street. When opportunity costs are estimated, however, the impact on the economic return from public sector housing is highlighted. For example, if all the 130 void roperties identified in a physical survey conducted by the author of peace line interfaces were let, it would realise an annual rental income of £190,000 at current prices. Moreover, if all the surplus land was available for housing development this could realise an annual public sector rent of £400,000 on interface zones. Therefore, the government incurs a potential revenue cost from the peace lines of over £0.5 million per year. Benvenisti outlines the complexity of overlapping Israeli identities: Jewish: religious; Jewish: national; Zionist: pioneer immigrant; Zionist: passive supporter of Israel; Israeli: citizen; Israeli: synonym for Jewish Competing nationalist claims trumped traditional social divisions between Christian/Muslim and landed/laborer Palestinians, as well as between secular/orthodox and Ashkenazi/Sephardic Jews Beverly Crawford from The Causes of Cultural Conflict: Assessing the Evidence in The Myth of Ethnic Conflict : Politics, Economics, and "Cultural" Violence, Beverly Crawford and Ronnie D. Lipschutz (eds.), UC Regents 1998.

[3]

[4]

[5]

[6]

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