We have spent the past few months analysing and reviewing our editorial concept with the aim of bringing it up to date and making improvements. Topos 99 is the result. Take a peek!
Healing the city: When it comes to landscapes and urban space, wounds, scars and even trauma are phenomena that may result from a variety of violent incidents, such as acts of crime, political upheaval, or terror attacks. The biggest conceivable and by far most destructive human-made intervention in the cityscape, however, is war. In icting vast and dramatic marks to the spatial fabric and confronting people with ultimate loss, war leaves the surviving generations with a crucial question: How to rebuild the city?
Defending Europe’s Urbanity – Katja Veil
Large European cities such as Berlin, London and Paris have become targets of international terrorism over the last few decades. The security and prevention policies practised by public urban planning departments are, however, as varied as the cities themselves. They must nevertheless ask themselves the same question: Does security in public open space also mean less freedom?
Dear Kabul – Ronja von Wurmb-Seibel
It is no exaggeration to say that the relationship Kabul’s inhabitants have with their city is a story of unconditional love. Even if its destruction during the war turned the lives of Kabulis upside down, that did not in the least change the deep affection they have for Afganistan’s capital. Ronja von Wurmb-Seibel lived here from 2013 to 2014 and takes us to a place where surrender is no option.
Time vs. Sustainability – Mark Kammerbauer
Disasters and conflicts lead to the destruction of the built environment and to the forced migration of its inhabitants. Resulting recovery efforts reflect a dilemma that arises in such situations: there is a need to return and rebuild housing quickly, but also to support the re-establishment of sustainable and resilient settlement patterns. Cases in Nepal and Ukraine show that improved shelter types such as Ikea’s “Better Shelter” play an important role in addressing these needs.
Ghost Ecologies – Pierre Belanger and Alexander Arroyo
The U.S. Department of Defense boasts an impressive 25-million-acre footprint of military facilities and installations around the world. However, it is the lesser- known inventory of more than 10,000 sites – remote dumps, barren test sites, abandoned infrastructures, and obsolete facilities – that represent the haunting territorial shadows of militarism. Yet this extraordinary legacy is not only underrepresented, it is systematically ignored in much American environmental history. Appearing as mere afterthoughts of military administration, or outsourced to the civilian world of remediation, this article traces the scales and significations of this spatial residuum in the military-logistical operations of the U.S. Department of Defense.
Old bullet holes and new high-rises – Ute Strimmer
Beyond Reconstruction – Jala Makhzoumi and Rabih Shibli
The Aesthetics of Danger – Erik Wegerhoff