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By : Predrag Milosevic

The city and war are very different because the latter is a matter of civilization, and the former is not. Or it is really? I am still wondering about this, after all of my experiences as a Sarajevo inhabitant at the beginning, and as a Nis inhabitant at the end of the same war. In the last dawn of the old millennium, two controversies in particular have raised fundamental issues for those concerned with the preservation and development of cities, not just in Serbia, Yugoslavia but in many parts of the world. One was associated quite specifically with the threat and then the actual act of deliberate destruction, at first in Srpska, Bosnia-Herzegovina, at the end of civil war 1995, and then four years later in the NATO aggression on the country east of the Drina River. The other is the wider, continuing debate all around the globe over the damage and the benefits and costs of the globalization of societies. Popular concern has forced this onto the meeting agenda of the world’s political leaders, especially G7 (+1) and Earth Summits. These debates have profound implications both for an international, and for domestic organizations for the preservation and the development of cities. There are implications in the NATO demolitions all around Srpska/Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia/Yugoslavia for rethinking several premises on which the future of our cities is based, for instance the notion of a universal heritage value, or a universal recognition of cities as resources for human development.

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