The Urban Challenge of Dividing Jerusalem – The Atlantic

Diagram of the borders of the states of Israel and Palestine. From

I can’t say no to a good diagram. This article from Karen Lee Bar-Sinai, Yehuda Greenfield-Gilat, and Chen Farkas of SAYA/Design for Change, discusses their proposal for how to divide Jerusalem to serve both the states of Israel and Palestine.

The borders of the city of Jerusalem. From

Although the majority of Israelis live on the west of the city, and Palestinians on the east, there are overlaps, mostly from smaller Israeli communities that are on the east side of the city. So, if there is to be a two-state solution, how do you connect these communities?

Infrastructure can be a part of the solution. From

These communities could be connected via bridges and tunnels. This is certainly an elegant proposal, but there are a lot of questions for implementation. Since land ownership usually includes air and underground rights, would the state building the infrastructure have to buy or lease it from the other? That would be a precarious situation if hostilities renewed between the states. How would they be maintained? Would there have to be some sort of complex treaty agreement between the states? It’s an interesting proposal, with a lot of complicated questions to answer.


About Dave Munson
This blog is about architecture, cities, and myself.

One Response to The Urban Challenge of Dividing Jerusalem – The Atlantic

  1. Michael says:

    It is an interesting proposal, from an academical point of view. However, there’s a history of disconnected Israeli communities in Jerusalem. Between 1948 and 1967 there existed several Israeli enclaves in the Jordanian-controlled part of the city. They did not fare well to say the least. Also, the track record of divided capitals is unfortunately not very positive – Berlin and Nicosia as well as Jerusalem itself have suffered when split by borders. The idea lends itself for lovely diagrams though.

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