Can Architecture Play a Role in Creating Middle East Peace?

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is bound up in intersecting issues of place, history and geography, among other things. Two Israeli architects believe architecture and urban design can help lead to an agreeable solution.
August 27, 2013, 9am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"Yehuda Greenfield-Gilat and Karen Lee Bar-Sinai, both 36, have spent years working on highly specific ideas for how policymakers could divide Jerusalem between Israel and Palestine without doing permanent damage to the delicate urban fabric of the city," writes Yochi Dreazen.

"Greenfield-Gilat and Bar-Sinai have mapped out where the border between East and West Jerusalem would go and made detailed architectural renderings of what it would look like. They’ve even designed some of the individual border crossings that would allow citizens of one nation to pass into the other for business or tourism," he explains. "They are trying to take big-picture questions about the future of the city and ground them in the nitty-gritty details of what a peace deal would actually look and feel like."

“'We’re trying to fill the gap between the broad stroke of policymaking and the reality of life on the ground,' says Bar-Sinai, who recently returned to Israel after a yearlong fellowship at Harvard University. 'Only thinking about these questions from the 30,000 foot high perspective isn’t enough.'"

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Published on Tuesday, August 20, 2013 in Smithsonian
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