Developing ‘Urban Jungle’ as an Integrated Model of Survival: Learning from Nature in War Zones
El Masri, Yasser
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This paper explores the relationship between conflict in the urban environment and natural systems of resiliency found in forests and jungles. Studying the different accounts of inhabitants of cities under siege during the Syrian Civil war, indicates that various sustainable practices were implemented within the built environment that helped inhabitants survive the devastating process. The innovative, circular economy allowed the inhabitants to survive their plight and lessened the intended effects of the destructive sieges. Drawing parallels with how forests and jungles utilize different natural systems, such as mycorrhizal networks, to increase resiliency, many lessons are inferred about sustainable resource management and efficient allocation in the face of different threats. The “Urban Jungle” is thus synthesized as a model that attempts to augment and maximize the practices inhabitants had devised through mimicking the model found in the natural jungle. Applying this model to conflict zones allows the evolution of survival tactics into a form of insurgent resilience, with wider socio-political ramifications on the survivability of the inhabitants, their political will, the effectiveness of the conflict, and sieges as a political tool.