Saturday, March 22, 2008

Bid to forge 'New Jerusalem'

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23 Mar 2008, Reuters

Boston: Can academia step in to resolve a raging conflict in places where diplomacy lags?

That's just what a team of urban planners and sociologists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has set out to discover, using the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a laboratory for a unique experiment.

On Friday, MIT, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, announced the winners of a global contest aimed at choosing the most innovative proposals for developing Jerusalem, a city at the heart of this Middle Eastern conflict.

They chose four teams of students and professors in architecture and international affairs from among some 1,100 entries to the contest dubbed 'Just Jerusalem' set in motion last year.

The winning proposals include a plan to collect rainwater runoff as a potential solution to water shortages in the arid region, and ideas for creating a network of services for Palestinian areas isolated from much of the city by a barrier Israel has built in the last decade due to security concerns.

A third project envisages construction of a joint Israeli-Palestinian orphanage in Jerusalem, while a fourth calls for making the city a part of a Mediterranean belt that would include most key cities in Arab countries in the region. (The Times of India)

Announcing the Just Jerusalem Competition Winners

Top Prize Winners:
"Children’s Village for Jerusalem." Wai Lai Chan (University of Technology, Malaysia) Skudai, Malaysia

"Look Up: Rainwater Harvesting." Michael Lin (Miami University of Ohio, Program in International Studies) Fairfield, US. Ann Davis (MUO, International Studies) Oxford, US. James Orwig (MUO, International Studies) Oxford, US. Amanda Zazycki (MUO, International Studies) Oxford, US.

"HUMMUS: East Mediterranean City Belt 2050." Siegfried Atteneder (University of Art & Industrial Design) Vienna, Austria; Lorenz Potocnik, Vienna, Austria

"Envisioning Jerusalem through Media Barrios and Performance Spaces: Proposing Pilot Media Barrios in Kafr Aqab and Shuafat RC." Nitin Sawhney, Cambridge, US; Julie Norman (American University) DC, US; Raed Yacoub (Youth Media Initiative) Ramallah, West Bank.

Honorable Mentions:
"The Landwalker." Ming Tang (Savannah College of Art & Design) – Savannah, Georgia, US; Dihua Yang (Savannah College of Art & Design) Savannah, Georgia, US

"The New Zidonians." Christos Papastergiou (Architect, The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL) London, UK; Christiana Ioannou (Architect, The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL)

"Jerusalem Olympics: An International City, An International Event." Caitlin Hill (Savannah College of Art & Design) Savannah, US; Gordon Marshall (SCAD) Savannah, US

"Mosaic Project: Jerusalem Crafts & Communities Fair: An Inter-Community Empowerment Plan." Nurit-Hilia Tsedaka (Hilia), Kibbutz Kyriat Anavim, Israel.

"Pilgrimage on the Seam." Jay Isenberg (Architect, Isenberg & Assoc.) Minneapolis, US; Ronald Haselius (Designer, Avian Craig, Inc) Minneapolis, US

"Station." Yair Wallach (Birkbeck College) - UK

"Resource Recovery in Jerusalem: From Waste-land to Nourishing Terrain." Kirsten Miller (Architect, University of Melbourne) Melbourne, Australia

Director’s Award:
"West Bank Barrier Crossing" Matthew Rajcok and Alex Zimmer, Cambridge MA (King Open School).

Learn more on "Just Jerusalem"

As the culmination of the many activities of the Jerusalem 2050 Project at MIT, we are pleased to announce the launch of the Just Jerusalem Competition. The goal of this competition is to generate new approaches to, and potential solutions for, the many complex, seemingly intractable problems that the residents of Jerusalem face on a daily basis. By looking at future possibilities for a pluralist, just, and sustainable city shared by Palestinians and Israelis, we hope to encourage new ways of thinking about the many difficult issues and hardships faced by Jerusalemites, regardless of their faith or ethnicity. (Just Jerusalem)


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