Cities of Dispersal

After the ‘What can we learn from China?‘-lecture at ZeZeZe Architecture Gallery, Tel Aviv, February 29, 2008, we briefly met with Els Verbakel. Along with Rafi Segal, Els Verbakel edited the March 2008 issue of Architectural Design, entitled ‘Cities of Dispersal‘. Questioning the traditional boundaries between cities, suburbs, countryside and wilderness, Cities of Dispersal explores emergent types of public space in low-density environments. While functionally and programmatically, dispersed settlements operate as a form of urbanism, the place of collective spaces within them has yet to be defined and articulated.

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Be’er Sheva field trip

The Quarter Kilometer Block | arch. Avraham Yasky and Amnon Alexandroni (1962)

On Thursday March 6 [after our weeklong City State Workshop (2008) ], MovingCities went on a field trip to Be’er Sheva [Beersheba], the largest city in the Negev Desert. In preparation for our research on desert cities we couldn’t miss this one, ‘the Capital of the Negev’. Be’er Sheva is the sixth largest city in Israel and has a population of approximately 200,000. The field trip was organized by architect Yuval Yasky, from the City/State Unit [http://www.citystateunit.com/] at Bezalel. On the program: Israel longest housing block, the quarter kilometer block, a model neighborhood and the Ben Gurion University. It was hot, intense, architectural and spoke of a belief in a future that never really happened. It seems.

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Mea Shearim | Jerusalem snapshots

Mea Shearim | Jerusalem, February 28, 2008

Today, Meah Shearim remains an Old World enclave in the heart of Jerusalem. With its overwhelmingly Haredi population, the streets retain the flavor of an East European shtetl. Life revolves around strict adherence to Jewish law, prayer and the study of Jewish texts. (source; wikipedia) Continue reading “Mea Shearim | Jerusalem snapshots”

The Wailing Wall | Jerusalem snapshots

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Bethlehem | The Wall

The West Bank Wall separating Bethlehem from Jerusalem | Bethlehem, March 4, 2008

Moving from Bethlehem to Jerusalem, we crossed the ‘concrete chainsaw’ as the French-Israeli director Simone Bitton calls the West Bank Wall in her documentary film Mur. Experiencing this separation and division in space, time and of people through walls and checkpoints, it is impossible to remain uncritical. A last post on Bethlehem.

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Beit Sahour | Bethlehem snapshots

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Bethlehem Palestine | West Bank field-trip

Bethlehem, March 3, 2008
Bethlehem Palestine | West Bank field-trip | MovingCities 2008

MovingCities spend two days in Bethlehem, Palestine, in the residency studio of Alessandro Petti and Sandi Helal. Both have been working in the past on Stateless Nation and are now curating together with Eyal Weizman a project entitled Decolonizing Architecture. More news on this project in the coming days. For now, a first series of pictures from behind the West Bank Wall.

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