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TitleCultural memory’ as a framework for urban reconstruction: the case of Nablus, Palestine
Author(s)Taher, Muath
Correia, Jorge
KeywordsCollective memory
Urban reconstruction
Issue dateSep-2015
Abstract(s)The reconstruction of historic cities after military destructions is a controversial subject. Political motivation comes always along reconstruction approaches. Some were willing to follow ´modernity´ and/or functional solutions, causing radical transformations in the urban fabric; others were more conservative, unable to respond to the dynamic nature of the city fabric. This paper investigates the reconstruction approach in Nablus old town after the military invasion of 2002. Both destruction and reconstruction processes can challenge people perception of the place, therefore, the relation with it. The collective perception of places can be considered familiar as long as it matches people`s mental map and memory. Reconstruction projects have shown some difficulties in balancing this with the physical needs of rebuilding, as architecture plays different levels of relation with the image of a place, whether collectively or individually. This paper aims to understand the transformation impact in the old town of Nablus in the frame of ‘cultural memory’. This concept carries two levels: the individual, related to the everyday experience; and the collective, regarding the urban fixed image. Field survey was conducted to understand the city structure, analysing it in the frame of ‘cultural memory’. As a result, Nablus’ old town shows that it consists of six quarters, each one structured around a public-to-private hierarchy of spaces, dealing with categories of collective life and memory, which has a strong impact on a place fixed image, and individual daily life. These ideas help to understand the dynamic nature of this old town and, therefore, may foster a balance between the immutable and variable issues of reconstruction projects in order to avoid disrupting the place’s identity and to suit individual’s requirements.
TypePanel presentation
AccessRestricted access (Author)
Appears in Collections:Lab2PT - Comunicações
Lab2PT - Comunicações

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