War in cities: Towards a holistic response

04 December 2017

On 28 November, in the framework of a two-day symposium on "War in Cities", the ICRC, the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) and the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) hosted an expert panel at the Humanitarium. The panelists discussed the major challenges posed by current military operations conducted in urban environments and reflected about measures that need to be taken to reduce the human cost. The discussion particularly focused on how urban warfare affects cities and society as a whole, as well as the role architecture plays in contributing to rebuild a sense of identity among affected populations.

Opening remarks

  • Peter Maurer, President of the ICRC
  • Pascale Baeriswyl, State Secretary of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, FDFA
  • Bastian Giegerich, Director, Defence and Military Analysis Programme, IISS


  • Vincent Bernard, Editor-in-Chief, International Review of the Red Cross, Head of Law and Policy Forum, ICRC


  • David Kilcullen, Senior fellow, Future of War program at the New America, Washington D.C.
  • Helen Durham, Director of International Law and Policy, ICRC
  • Marwa Al-Sabouni, Architect and author of "The battle for Home"