Life behind the walls

By Amruta Purohit

War has transformed the once beautiful city of Baghdad. Sebastian Schutz and Niran Banna spent six year understanding how two decades of conflict have permanently altered the social and physical fabric of the city.

One of the major impacts has been construction of high concrete walls built to temporarily hold off violence and attacks. The walls that were built for community safety have now created neighbourhoods that are imperishably separated from the city centre and from each other. The entire city is hidden behind concrete!

This disconnection has made the city network too complicated and encouraged residents to move outside. It has also made access to basic services like schools and hospital challenging.

Now Baghdad wants its’ streets back.


Image credit: truebluenz.com/2011/02/21/baghdad-wants-1-billion-from-us-for-blast-wall-removal/

Image credit: blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/damienmcelroy/100001492/americana-to-linger-in-baghdad/

Looks like the citizens have accepted the conditions and some Iraqi artist are using these walls to tell a story of Baghdad. The walls are painted to reflect their history and give the citizen a canvas to share their proud and painful history.

Image credit: http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB121822549891625185

Image credit: hollypickett.blogspot.com.au/2010/06/baghdads-blast-walls.html
The walls are recently being demolished and being replaced with trees, bushes and fences. However, use of various landscape elements to maintain the separation reflects the reluctance in integrating the city as a whole. While some walls are replaced others have opened up great opportunities for the citizens to create public places like markets and park.

To read complete story of impact of war and terrorism on Baghdad check: http://globalurbanist.com/2015/01/22/planning-in-baghdad

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