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Rapid Urbanization and the Challenge of SustainableUrban Development in Palestinian Cities

Authors: Lubna Shaheen


Palestinian cities face the challenges of land scarcity, high population growth rates, rapid urbanization, uneven development and territorial fragmentation. Due to geopolitical constrains and the absence of an effective Palestinian planning institution, urban development in Palestinian cities has not followed any discernable planning scheme. This has led to a number of internal contradictions in the structure of cities, and adversely affected land use, the provision of urban services, and the quality of the living environment. This paper explores these challenges, and the potential that exists for introducing a more sustainable urban development pattern in Palestinian cities. It assesses alternative development approaches with a particular focus on sustainable development, promoting ecodevelopment imperatives, limiting random urbanization, and meeting present and future challenges, including fulfilling the needs of the people and conserving the scarce land and limited natural resources. This paper concludes by offering conceptual proposals and guidelines for promoting sustainable physical development in Palestinian cities.

Keywords: Rapid Urbanization, Palestinian Cities, Sustainableurban development

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