Minisymposium: The Resilient City in World War II

The fate of towns and cities stands at the center of the environmental history of World War II. Broad swaths of cityscapes were destroyed by the bombing of targets such as transport hubs, electrical grids, and industrial districts. Across the world urban environments were transformed by the massive mobilization of human and natural resources to support the conflict. But at the same time, the war saw remarkable resilience among the human and non-human residents of cities. The mini-symposium uncovers the creative survival strategies that city-dwellers of all kinds turned to in the midst of environmental devastation.

The minisymposium is based on a new book, The Resilient City in World War Two: Urban Environmental Histories published by Palgrave Macmillan in summer 2019 and edited by Simo Laakkonen, J. R. McNeill, Richard P. Tucker, and Timo Vuorisalo.

Minisymposium Programme:

1. Shock Cities, Model Cities, and Resilient Cities: Urban environmental histories of WWII
Simo Laakkonen (University of Turku, University Consortium of Pori)

2. Urban Water Supply in Barcelona and Madrid during the Spanish Civil War
Santiago Gorostiza (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona):

3. Have All the Pigeons Gone? Urban Wildlife during World War II
Timo Vuorisalo (University of Turku)

4. Apocalyptic Urban Future: Atomic Cities and Cinema
Kimmo Ahonen (University of Tampere)

5. Discussion (Chair: Timo Vuorisalo)

Everyone interested in these topics is welcome to participate!

For more information, please contact simo.laakkonen@utu.fi and/or timo.vuorisalo@utu.fi
Simo Laakkonen