- Rapid Urbanization and the Challenge of Sustainable Urban Development in Palestinian Cities    click here to open paper content10 kb
by    Shaheen, Lubna | lshaheen@birzeit.edu   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
The paper will give an overview of the challenges facing urban development in Palestinian cities, including geopolitical constrains and their impacts upon development patterns. Furthermore it gives conceptual proposals to introduce a more sustainable urban development in Palestinian cities.
Palestinian cities face the combined challenges of land scarcity, high population growth rates, rapid urbanization, uneven development and territorial fragmentation (Areas A, B and C in the West Bank and the isolation of Gaza). Due to geopolitical constrains and the absence of an effective Palestinian planning institution, urban development and expansion in Palestinian cities has not followed any discernable planning scheme. This has led to a number of internal contradictions in the structure of cities, and adversely affected land use, the provision of urban services, and the quality of the living environment.
This paper explores these challenges, and the potential that exists for introducing a more sustainable urban development pattern in Palestinian cities. It assesses alternative development approaches with a particular focus on sustainable development, promoting eco-development imperatives, limiting random urbanization, and meeting present and future challenges, including fulfilling the needs of the people and conserving the scarce land and limited natural resources.
The notion of more sustainable urban development in Palestinian cities can be promoted through adopting new physical development patterns. This paper concludes by offering a series of conceptual proposals promoting compactness, mixed land use, efficient public transportation, and enhanced green structure as guidelines for sustainable physical development in Palestinian cities. Moreover, this study recommends general strategies, including the creation of a national sustainable development strategy, modifying planning policies, and adapting an integrated planning approach, as the basis for promoting and implementing more sustainable urban development in Palestine.
Geopolitical constrains, rapid urbanization, sustainable urban development, Palestinian cities
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