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BEJEDI SOLENE - 22105950
This text deals with urban resilience and the way in which cities have overcome urban
disasters (natural disaster or due to human activity). It shows us that the essence of a
city is something very strong, that in the history of mankind cities have often been
destroyed and then rebuilt. As the author says, “cities are among humankind’s most
durable artifacts ».
The resilience of a city participates in the management of its memory. There is no
question of forgetting what happened there and often the reconstruction of a city that
was once the victim of an urban disaster takes part in the work, in the duty of memory.
The capacity of cities to adapt is not infinite, many post-disaster cities have not been
able to escape the trauma of the disaster that struck them. The memory of the disaster
that took place in the city is not something politicians necessarily want to erase. in
these cities there is a very strong memory, even a very strong feeling that remains.
some cities have been able to capitalize on the trauma they have suffered before. The
city of Salem for example, known for its famous witch hunt in the 17th century,
capitalized on this sinister event and attracts many tourists. when we go to Salem, we
realize that the whole city is imbued with the memory of this human disaster. it is not
unusual to see houses uninhabited by the living as it has been built into the collective
imagination that these are inhabited by spirits. It is interesting to see how, despite the
trauma still present in the city, it has been able to rebuild itself without moving forward.
Other cities, however, although inhabited seem to be unable to be considered as
resilient city as the trauma they have experienced seems insurmountable and affects
the inhabitants and the dynamism of this one. The town of Oswiecim located next to
the Auschwitz camp remains very marked by the history of the Second World War.
Urban planning is eminently political. political authorities often use the traumas that
have marked a city to their advantage. Auschwitz was turned into a museum by the
Polish State as soon as 1946 but until the 1980's the concentration camp was
presented as a place where communists were exterminated, and not Jews. the
narrative change after the 1980's but today with the reemergence of nationalism in
Poland. But today with the re-emergence of nationalism in Poland and the willingness
on the part of politicians to impose a more patriotic re-reading of the facts the memory
of Auschwitz is again in danger. We see in this case above that the resilience of a city,
the fact that the latter can continue to exist despite a strong trauma is enormously
politicizing. Whether it is political manipulation or a duty to remember, politicians and
other executives often have their hands on the narrative of the city's urban disaster.
They decide what to highlight and the inhabitants who have not lived the trauma that
have struck the city integrate this narrative present all around them.