Tuesday, November 20, 2007

how to build a better jerusalem...

This was our mid-semester presentation.
We have been chugging away and have been a little tardy in posting this but since our new progress is ideal for this situation, it is time we caught up.

As architects/students, we are exposed to the influx of competitions that have occurred in the recent past. Typical answers and program elements tend to come out of these sort of idea adventures. Put an urban beach, an urban garden there, theater here, free bicycles there.
Sometimes these are appropriate and placed in the most cohesive area.

On site research and exposure help to lead to pinpoint where and how these designs evolve and exist. Bjork and myself currently do not have the means to travel to Jerusalem to formulate a bias. With that in mind, we have set out to create the infrastructure that the people of Jerusalem can use to start to implement elements that they need and want in their parts of town.

The Competition

The Just Jerusalem Competition seeks to inspire and enable the production of visionary ideas for the city, in the form of competition entries submitted from around the world. The goal is to generate new ideas and discussions about Jerusalem as it might be in the future—a just city shared in peace by all residents, whether they be Muslims, Christians or Jews, Palestinians or Israelis. It seeks visions of Jerusalem that transcend nationalist discourses and instead focus on questions of daily life and the “right to the city.”

The City: Jerusalem

The Green Line and the Old City

The fight is about land. So lets look beyond the physical and incorporate the digital.

Israel and West Bank

Proposed and Existing Boundaries

Israeli Settlements

Palestinian Settlements

Existing Check Points

The Players

A wall recently has been the means of establishing a safer city. Political and religious agendas still divide the city. A new participant needs to be added to this contortion of desires.

Our plan is to introduce a new agent to the city: THE SOCIAL FIRM

The city has new parts and partners. Originally, we saw the wall as a scare on the city. At our Mid semester crit, we were informed that the wall was not so much a cut through the city that led to a scar, but a effective barrier that cut down significantly the amount of bombings.

The Wall

Israeli West Bank barrier is a separation barrier being constructed by Israel consisting of a network of fences with vehicle-barrier trenches surrounded by an on average 60 meters wide exclusion area (90%) and up to 8 meters high concrete walls (10%).


Demographics separate people by religion versus just economic status or educational accomplishment. In the city of Jerusalem, 65.6% are Jewish, 3.2% are Christian and/or other, and 42.3% are Muslim.

The Social Firm

The Social Firm is the infrastructure/interface for people to start to shape Jerusalem to the city they want it to be.

Into the Social Firm is access or contact information to political agents, a Rolodex professionals and the services they provide, and a collection bank of the collective needs of the people of Jerusalem. From there, hosted intelligent ( anonymous if wished ) debates about the needs and their possibility of realization.
The physical output will be infrastructural changes and future competitions as needs and technology grow and change. The virtual output are increased awareness and projections of infrastructural forecasts.

The Characters

The button is the main icon and instrument for collecting data through out the city. It is the vernacular interaction to the interface, allowing the interface to be accessible by all.

At the bulletin board, people can post ideas and needs anonymously and physically.

The checkpoint is an interjection into the wall. This is a waiting space, a scanning space.

All of the Pieces

These are just some examples of the programatic elements that can be deployed through out the city.

Potential Locations

The Face of the Interface

The interface is an interactive simulation where the people of Jerusalem can start to formulate their own version of the city. Through their needs and desires expressed in open discussion and voting pulls offered by the social firm, new projects and competitions will arise.

As projects accumulate, there will be a gallery of where different elements have been implemented and the progress of them.

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