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The Department would like to congratulate MAUD student Joanna Leigh-Bedford on winning the 2020 RIBA President’s Dissertation Medal - Commendation for 'Peace in the Pipelines: Hydro-Social Infrastructure Development in Bosnia’s Urban Borderland'

last modified Dec 16, 2020 09:56 AM

On the 25th Anniversary of Bosnia’s peace agreement, this research investigates how Sarajevo’s water infrastructure contributes to efforts of long-term peacebuilding in the splintered state. As maintenance and development of the dilapidated water network has become a burgeoning sector for international investment, the inter-dependent grids spanning from the rural periphery to the civic centre of the recently divided territory become a lens to explore post-war development across the river-basin, city, neighbourhood and bodily scales. Focus falls upon the water network’s contribution to tripartisan ethno-national governance, yearning for pre-war normality, social customs of ethnic division and the psychological impact of inter-generational trauma, with an aim to empower the politically underrepresented domestic end users, whose voices often go unheard. Capitalising on the grid’s horizontal and vertical span across geographical, political, social and cultural spheres, this research investigates what a truly ‘sustainable’ water infrastructure development could contribute to the splintered city of Sarajevo. 

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Bosnia’s decentralised water infrastructure management. Author’s map

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In landlocked Bosnia, a recreational waterfall beach attracts many visitors, who recline on towels, and swim in the water. Author’s photo

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The splintered nature of Canton Sarajevo and East Sarajevo’s water infrastructure creates uneven urban development along ethnic and socio-economic lines. Author’s map