Over several dozen episodes, the Urban Warfare Project Podcast has explored many of the unique challenges of urban warfare. But what is urban warfare, exactly? The simple answer is that it’s simply combat that takes place in the man-made terrain in cities. But going deeper, what are the variety of urban patterns and urban functions, for example, and how to they influence the conduct of military operations? What about building types and construction materials? And how do all of these variables inform the way militaries conceptualize urban environments?

These questions and others form the foundation of our understanding of urban warfare and are addressed in this special episode—both a primer on urban warfare and a deep dive into some of its most important aspects. John Spencer highlights basic definitions and fundamental characteristics and traits of urban environments that are important when discussing—or conducting—urban warfare. As he explains, a shared understanding of these basics is key to understanding military operations in urban areas, which he argues is the present and future of warfare.

You can listen to the full episode below or find it on Apple PodcastsStitcherSpotifyTuneIn, or your favorite podcast app. Be sure to subscribe, and if you’re enjoying the Urban Warfare Project Podcast, please take a minute and leave the podcast a review or give it a rating!

Image credit: Sgt. Brain D. Jones, US Army