The third prize:
1. PALESTNE: ONE STATE
After several readings and research about the Palestinian case and the different proposals for solving such issue, (Vox, 2018) I saw that the most reasonable solution is the creation of one single state among the Palestinians and Israelis, which is to be reached peacefully. However, Palestinians would have the authority over the land. Giving the ‘Jews; the possibility to live in Palestine too.
2. THE DETROYED VILLAGES: LINKING ENTITIES
Reaching a proposal for the destroyed villages couldn’t be done without knowing the undergoing Israeli fragmenting strategy of the West Bank. One of the most critical strategies of the ‘Israelis’ is applying the Jewish settlements, aiming to fragment the west bank into different states, further causing each state to be ruled by its own, and thus leaving the current West Bank in a ragmented manner. This is issue is already increasing throughout the West Bank. Therefore, on the scale of the urban planning, it would be necessary to discuss the issue of fragmentation of the West Bank that has occurred during the Israeli occupation, and which will have its effect ongoing after the occupation. In terms of planning, I aim to relink the already fragmented enclaves of the West bank (e.g. Toulkarem, Nablus, Ramallah……. etc) among each other and with the ‘previously’ occupied part (Israel). (AlJazeera, 2018) Therefore, one solution is to confront such fragmentation through using the destroyed villages of Palestine. Rather than reclaiming them as being under the rule of their districts/enclaves (e.g. beit Jibrin related to the sub-district of Hebron), I aim to consider them as independent entities, as having
them under the rule of their past districts/enclaves will do nothing but enlarge the enclaves that are currently occurring.
When I note independent entities, I do not mean fragmented entitied, but, more of linking entities, that link each enclave from the ‘previous West Bank’ to a different city from the ‘previously occupied part of Palestine’. These independent entities will perform their linking
role in terms of infrastructure and activities. The village I chose, which is Beit Jibrin, has the ultimate potential to link Hebron with Askalan, as it is a pass-through entity between the East and West, and towards the North. Therefore, the village would act as a main transit stop in
Palestine. Moreover, as Hebron is a productive city that depends primarily on trade for its economic growth, as well as Askalan (as it falls on the west coast of Palestine), Beit Jibrin would be a major place to market the products of both cities, through the different expositions and daily markets and warehouses in the village.
In addition, and referring the term ‘linking entity’ to different matters, such expression is also applicable to sustainability, as the village would be able to trade the part of the solid waste as well as some organic waste from both Hebron and Askalan in order to partially
produce energy for the three states: Askalan, Hebron and Beit Jibrin. Energy production will be through a power plant in the village (taking into consideration the positive effect of having a green power plant in the urban context in terms of energy saving and hosting several activities) and the reuse of part of the solid waste (from wood and glass leftovers as an example) it would
be the generator of different workshops within the village, therefore, rather than importing or demolishing trees for craftsmanship, some leftovers from both states can be reused in Beit Jibrin. Therefore, such logistic relation among the three states is what could bond them
together rather than leave each city/district to act on its own.
3. AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT
Moreover, having the fact that all Palestinian villages where mainly depending on agriculture, I would consider it also as a main source for living, as most people have abandoned their lands as a main source of income (where the occupation has played an important role), I
aim to reintegrate the agriculture within the daily life of its people through integrating it within the village itself. More importantly, technologically developed agriculture techniques are to be integrated within the vocational education in the city itself, where the vocational and the elementary school is to be located within the agricultural fields themselves to integrate students with the land itself.
4. TOURISTIC DEVELOPMENT
However, the potentials of the village do not stop here; as tourism is to be considered a main source of economic growth, as explained in the following part: - Beit Jibrin is a multilayered village, where different eras have been there, from roman to Jewish to Arab to Israeli, and where each époque has left its trace. Such multi layering has given it a credit it to be a major touristic village. Therefore, in addition to trade and production, tourism would be a major source for economic growth.
Tourism is to be focused on by emphasizing such multi layering the city has, where the roman part is to be left as is in addition to roposing an enclosed pedestrian pathway throughout its ruins to keep the visitors in close connections to such layer. Moreover, regarding he past village of Beit Jibrin itself, it has been mostly destroyed, leaving some ruins of very few buildings. Moreover, the old composition of he village Is to be traced on its original location, having no additional structure to be built on the same level of the destroyed part of the illage, rather, the built up area at that location is to be underground, leaving the terrain level for the sketched trace of the village and some reused ruins. Such approach was chosen in order to emphasize the existence of the main village of Beit Jibrin, and its original configuration. Moreover, part of the Kibbutz of Beit Guvrin (falling on the land of Beit Jibrin) is to be used as a touristic area that shows the era where Palestine was under occupation, while most of the Kibbutz is to remain for the Jews if they prefer to stay.
*Note: the proposed tracing of the village as shown in the master plan is a supposed representation, as I wasn’t able to find the original masterplan of Beit Jibrin along with the exact locations of the built up areas).
Based on such thought, the configuration of the village was thought of first by reclaiming the civic/public space in the midst of the ruins of the village, where the highway (35) that links between the East and West of Palestine is to be transformed as an underground tunnel, leaving the terrain as a shared street for slow pace car flow, tram flow and pedestrian flow, such street meets in the middle an urban plaza where the different ruins revolve around, in addition to the different workshops mentioned before, as well as parts of the agricultural fields that are exposed to the public. The different pedestrian and shared streets are distributed from the public plaza, each to a specific station, form the Beit Jibrin ruins memorial to the Kibbutz of Beit Guvrin exposition to the roman ruins. The other stations are the workshops themselves each configured in a cluster composition, where each part opens to a small plaza for product exposition. Such stations are not sites for touristic visits only, rather, they are also the main pedestrian passages to the dwellings of the residents of Beit Jibrin, where they are configuredin a clustered composition too, as each group of houses are clustered together around courtyards in addition to the private backyards of each house. This plaza hosts the transit station for the tram.