Thursday, October 28, 2010
As a fact, Mostar has been a divided city for the last decade and there are no indicators of change in the near future. The division was brought about by the 90’s war in Yugoslavia and, since then, a street in the centre of the city called the “Boulevard” has functioned as the borderline.
Today, this division is supported by:
(1) parallel education systems divided on the national basis
(2) parallel cultural institutions which glorify the nationalist attitudes with their programs
(3) ideologies which changed through the last century and reflected through architecture
infrastructure : the divided water supply system and waste management among other
We can argue that the Boulevard has always represented a border – in a form of a barrier to pedestrian movement or as a border between the old and new part of the city – which adapted its functions to different historical contexts, becoming eventually the partitioning line. Urban planning supported this de facto situation, implementing strategies which were sustaining the division.
It is important to mention that although the absence of a physical barrier, the city is clearly divided in terms of everyday life. Although there have been attempts to rehabilitate shared spaces, the two communities still live next to each other without interactions. Consensus has so far being reached only in matters regarding the strengthening of urban polarization, discarding any possibility of rehabilitating public spaces.