Langstrasse to Jerusalem - Contested Motherland
March 17 - 24
In Search of Public Space in the Private Domain and Vice Versa A case study of HaNevi’im Street, Jerusalem
The phenomena of hybrid public-private urban spaces exists in most cities across the globe, albeit expressing varying social, spatial and statutory conditions in each locale. Indeed, the unique Jerusalem context of territoriality, conflict and contradictory ownerships extends this phenomenon to a wide and rich spectrum of intricately compounded conditions.
The Learning from Jerusalem Lab focuses on a different urban design challenge pertinent to Jerusalem in particular, and to urban design as a practice at large. The Spring 2018 Learning from Jerusalem Lab will map hybrid conditions of publicness in the private domain and vice versa, such as privately-owned public spaces (often referred to as POPS). Through field work, data mining and spatial analysis, the workshop will attempt to unravel the sources, expressions, and consequences of the variety of such hybrid and often contradictory conditions in a designated segment of the city, and will suggest strategies for exploiting their potential contribution to the city’s development and to future urban design.
The chosen venue for the 2018 Lab is Ha’Nevi’im St.— ‘Street of the Prophets’— a central
Jerusalem Street stretching between the Mahane Yehuda Market (Hadavidka Square) in the West and the Old City’s Damascus Gate on the East. This street presents a fascinating combination of urban situations, a heterogeneous mix of different populations (Jewish, Arab, secular and religious residents), and hybrid forms of spaces and statutory conditions. Today, the street still serves as a major traffic artery, indeed, the recent introduction of a light rail along the parallel Jaffa Street has deviated even more vehicles to Ha’neviim Street. This, together with the constricted road width, the historic frontages, and the at times steep topography, present a challenge in attempts to exploit the potential of the street as conciliatory, pedestrian-friendly east-west axis.
Through the ‘Jerusalem Transfer’ seminar and workshop we interchange thoughts and transfer knowledge from Langstrasse in Zurich to Ha’Nevi’im Street in Jerusalem generating a catalog of ideas for the transformation of public spaces in cities with varied backgrounds. Some ideas might be specific to the culture and place, and others might be universal and transferable.