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Politics and Conflict in a Contested City

Keywords: Jerusalem , Urban Planning , Contested Cities , Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

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This paper asserts that urban planning is a critical tool in designing an effective, attractive, functioning city. A strong urban planning system provides a way of balancing the interests of various groups (public and private) and communities within the city – under an umbrella that protects the public interest, and allows the city to flourish. In Jerusalem, where planning and ethno-national politics merge, the system of urban planning has been used over the last few decades to achieve Israeli national political goals, bolstering the Israeli population and its control of the land in the city, and limiting the urban development of, and control of land by, the Palestinian community. The paper starts with a brief review of contested cities literature, continues with an analysis of Jerusalem’s urban planning history and concludes with a more contemporary analysis of planning and politics in the contested city of Jerusalem.


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