Epilogue: What Makes a City Resilient?
Environmental historians of industrial warfare often neglect the urban dimension, the environmental complexities of the traumatized cities. In World War II, many cities were nearly destroyed, but integrated analyses also reveal the less visible story: resilience. This book considers both war-damaged cities and cities far from direct involvement in the conflict. They cover massive socio-environmental stress including refugee movements, the disruption of basic urban services, and the ways urban administration and uprooted populations struggled to survive. Where necessary, people reverted to pre-industrial survival strategies: creative urban devolution. Flora and fauna played important roles, including urban agriculture, and animals both domestic and untamed. After peace returned, some urban environments in Europe and Asia were drastically changed by the war; others were restored along pre-war lines.