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Some precedents for post-earthquake reconstruction: A bibliography of the work of Adolf Ciborowski

James Lewis
February 2010

People's expectations as to the forms and patterns of the reconstructed city are most often very limited in their scope and in their insight to long-term gains. They are mostly based on the past experience only, and the yardstick for expectations is simply one step higher than what they personally have experienced... However, there was always one group of people with a much greater vision and with much broader ambitions and expectations. These are the school children, with whom the dialogue of planners is often the most fruitful...A city is the home of individual families and it is the basis of society as a whole. Therefore the consciousness and goodwill of all and everybody concerned must create the foundations on which the city will be erected. Adolf Ciborowski: quoted by Michael Fournier d'Albe from the 1981 New Zealand Conference on Large Earthquakes. Adolf Ciborowski El Asnam 1980 (Davis, Ian, Ed 1987). After the earthquake of January 2010 and as reconstruction is discussed in Port-au-Prince and Haitis other cities and towns, it may be timely to recall some reconstruction precedents. A requirement for large scale urban reconstruction after earthquakes, as distinct from reconstruction one after another of individual buildings, is sufficiently infrequent to span beyond living memories. Especially at a time when perceived urgency and speed of action typically predominate, that in these circumstances research might be precluded is made more likely by designers often apparent distaste for precedents. Where that could so easily recur is reason for a brief examination of a recent past. Not only are there recent precedents of urban destruction by earthquake but, so much experience and achievement of urban planning and reconstruction was once available in one man, energetically alive and involved up to his death little more than 20 years ago. In his moving obituary to Adolf Ciborowski, Ian Davis wrote: It is given to few architects or planners, in one lifetime, to plan the rebuilding of cities and to see their plans come to successful fruition. However, today Warsaw and Skopje both bear the recognizable marks of Adolf Ciborowski's genius: their harmonious blending of old and new architecture, their functional efficiency, their essentially human scale. One of these cities had been destroyed by war, the other by earthquake, but as Ciborowski said: Nature, when destroying a city, is far more humane than human beings. (Davis, Ian, Ed 1987). Ciborowski had survived the Nazi suppression of Poland and was perhaps best known for his reconstruction of the old city of Warsaw after its total destruction in World War 2. Subsequently, he became consultant for the post-war planning of Hanover; professor and Director of the Institute of Urban Design and Physical Planning at the Department of Architecture, Warsaw Technical University; an Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of

Architects; Deputy Director in charge of Research and Development of the United Nations Centre for Housing, Building and Planning in New York; Chief Scientific Adviser for the Reduction of Seismic Risk in Montenegro; and a United Nations adviser on innumerable other issues. In his later years, he became Deputy Mayor of Warsaw and chairman of a government-sponsored committee for national reconciliation. The replanning and reconstruction of Skopje after its destruction by earthquake in 1963 was, however, his major achievement. Michael Fournier d'Albe, formerly Director of UNESCO's Department of Natural Sciences, recalled a visit with Ciborowski to rebuilt Skopje where he learned from him how the planning decisions were made that gave rise to the dynamic and attractive city of today...(Had) the (Skopje) plan been carried through to its finality, no doubt it would have been a singular success, but as the process of implementation faltered on economic grounds the city began to look and feel truncated...Yet the informal parts of the city were very successful - especially those allowed to evolve organically. Perhaps the greatest achievement was the creation of one of the few cities in the world rebuilt in direct response to earthquake hazard criteria. Fournier dAlbe added his personal summation of Ciborowki: He was not one to rest upon his laurels, or to be content with his achievements. The future concerned him more than the past. He was an essentially modest man, who saw himself as fulfilling a social function rather than a personal destiny. Yet he was very tough and resilient. His enormous willpower and commanding presence, his powers of concentration, analysis and synthesis were such that equally bright but less powerful personalities all too quickly gave in; persuading him was possible but far from easy. In a certain sense, his own strength of will and personality were also his enemies. In later years, as the planning profession moved into a more dynamic mode, Adolfs methods began to look somewhat dated, doctrinaire and narrow. What always saved him, though, were his quick mind and imagination. If the much-needed appraisal of urban reconstruction after wars or disasters is ever written, Adolf Ciborowski will certainly be regarded as a classical town planner with a strong determinist philosophy. (in Davis, Ian, Ed 1987). Initiative, insight and integrity together with comprehension, compassion and co-operation would be a summary of Ciborowskis approach to reconstruction. Adolf Ciborowski died in 1987, aged 67, after having been unwell, though no less active, for some years. A conciliatory European offering broad and deeply analytical interpretations of reconstruction, the world is the poorer without him now. His work in urban reconstruction planning, as exemplified by references to publications by Ciborowski and others, is given in the Bibliography below. James Lewis worked with Adolf Ciborowski in El Asnam, Nairobi and London and once persuaded him.

Reference Davis, Ian: Ed (1987) Obituary to Adolf Ciborowski Disasters 11/3. Accessed 16 February 2010. Bibliography follows.......

Bibliography Ciborowski, Adolf (1982) Physical development planning and urban design in earthquakeprone areas Engineering Structures 4/3 July. Elsevier. pp153-160. Accessed 17 February 2010 &_docanchor=&view=c&_searchStrId=1211705544&_rerunOrigin=google&_acct=C0000502 21&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=350fcad546958eb92ca43fb428929953 Ciborowski, Adolf (1980) Notes on urban development in post-war Europe in Urban Design and Physical Planning Reader (Part I), Institute of Urban Design and Physical Planning, Department of Architecture, Warsaw Technical University. Warsaw. pp3-48. (in the authors possession). Ciborowski, Adolf (1980) Environmental and ecological consideration in physical development planning for metropolitan regions in Urban Design and Physical Planning Reader (Part II), Institute of Urban Design and Physical Planning, Department of Architecture, Warsaw Technical University. Warsaw. pp49-110. (in the authors possession). Ciborowski, Adolf (1976) Some aspects of physical development planning for human settlements in earthquake-prone regions Discussion paper for UNESCO Intergovernmental Conference on the Assessment and Mitigation of Earthquake Risk. Paris. 10-19 February. Accessed 16 February 2010. Ciborowski, Adolf (1970) Planning for urban renewal Theory into Practice 9/3 June. Routledge. pp 168-174. Poland and Warsaw Ciborowski, Adolf (1969) Warsaw, a city destroyed and rebuilt Warsaw. Interpress. Ciborowski, Adolf & Jankowski, Stanislaw (1963) Warszawa Odbudowana Warsaw. Polonia. Ciborowski, Adolf (1956) Town planning in Poland: [1945-1955]. Warsaw. Polania. Jankowski, Stanislaw & Ciborowski, Adolf (1978) Warsaw 1945, Today and Tomorrow. Interpress. Jankowski, Stanislaw & Ciborowski, Adolf (1971) Warszawa 1945 i dzis Warsaw. Wydawnictwo Interpress. (The Nazi Pabst Plan for Warsaw to become a German provincial city). Skopje Fisher, Jack C (1964) The Reconstruction of Skopje Journal of the American Planning Association 30/1 February pp46-48. Accessed 16 February 2010. Foell, Earl W (1968) Skopje The Pheonix City The Rotarian March. pp30-31. %22Adolf+Ciborowski%22&source=bl&ots=0D6kEHX7EZ&sig=EUpAe3IpVzq6EeHpDDFzDmSBf8&hl=en&ei=mMR6S72PGdfPjAeM_LCmCg&sa=X&oi=boo k_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CAoQ6AEwAjgo#v=onepage&q=%22Adolf %20Ciborowski%22&f=false Accessed 16 February 2010.

Home, Robert (c2007) Reconstructing Skopje, Macedonia, after the 1963 earthquake: The Master Plan forty years on Papers in Land Management No 7. Anglia Ruskin University. ontent.0014.file.tmp/No7-Skopje.pdf Accessed 17 February 2010. Ladinski, Vladimir (no date) Post 1963 Skopje earthquake reconstruction: Long term effects pp73-91 (an evaluation made 30 years later). Accessed 16 February 2010. Milutinovic, Zoran V (2007) Urbanistic aspects of post earthquake reconstruction and renewal; Experiences of Skopje following earthquake of July 26, 1963 Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Engineering Seismology, University St Cyril & Methodius, Skopje. International Earthquake Symposium, Kocaeli. Accessed 16 February 2010. Pantelic, Jelena (undated) Issues in Reconstruction Following Earthquakes: Opportunities for reducing risks of future disasters and enhancing the development process. National Centre for Earthquake Research. Accessed 17 February 2010. Petrovski, Jakim (undated) Damaging effects of the 26 July, 1963 Skopje earthquake Accessed 10 February 2010.