Ahmad El-Atrash


The urban development and rapid urbanization that the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip have recently encountered have adversely affected the quality and availability of open spaces inside the Palestinian urban and rural areas. Public spaces are fundamental in the lives of any community striving to achieve a sustainable and inclusive environment and improve the quality of life of its inhabitants. In that respect, the prevailing planning practices fall short in terms of adequately addressing the provision of public spaces. Laws and regulations are designed to focus on limited physical properties of buildings (e.g. building design, elevation, heights, setbacks, parking, etc.,) with little or no attention to the residual space, inevitably, created between those blocks. Lands are chiefly privately owned, and considered of a very high value due to the artificial land scarcity phenomenon resulted from the geo-political classification of the West Bank Existing public spaces are not welcoming to the general public. Spaces are misplaced and scattered, they offer pre-defined activities and an inflexible environment. Many parts of the society feel alienated to such public spaces, created by a top-down process with minimal integration of their needs and aspirations.


How to Cite
El-Atrash, A. (2020) “Placemaking Interventions in Palestine as Demonstration Effects on the Ground”, The Journal of Public Space, 5(1), pp. 167–176. doi: 10.32891/jps.v5i1.1256.
Author Biography

Ahmad El-Atrash, Al-Quds Bard College for Arts and Sciences

Ahmad El-Atrash is a Palestinian spatial planner and urban development specialist. He has extensive experience working with think-tanks, academic institutions, NGOs, and UN agencies in issues related to geo-political and strategic planning, governance reform, resilience, and sustainable development. Ahmad is currently leading spatial planning, land management, and development programme at UN-Habitat in the West Bank. Ahmad holds a BSc in Civil Engineering, MSc in Urban Planning and Landscape Architecture, and a PhD in Spatial Planning from TU-Dortmund University in Germany.


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