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Thread: Residential Density vs. Sprawl: a step toward peace in Israel?

  1. #1

    Residential Density vs. Sprawl: a step toward peace in Israel?

    This is an idea I've been throwing around as I've been working through The Death and Life of Great American Cities : considering that new Israeli settlements (encroaching on Palestinian territory and occupied territory) are one of the significant factors in provoking Palestinian ire, does anyone feel (as I do) that raising the residential density of existing Israeli city blocks -- thereby cutting down on Israeli "sprawl" -- might be a useful step toward a functional peace process?

    This is something I've strongly considered writing my master's thesis on, although I've obviously got a lot of research to do as far as available building technology, development finance, and zoning structure in Israel, not to mention public sentiment.

    I'm just looking for people to weigh in on the idea.

  2. #2
    I think it's worth looking at, but you're still talking about existing settlements, right?

  3. #3
    I'm talking about existing and planned settlements. Moving Israelis away from Palestinian territory and into more dense housing within Israel could be the first step toward solidifying the two-state plan... which I imagine is the only reasonable strategy for defusing violence on either side.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    My understanding is that the settlements are a deliberate strategy of the Israeli government, and not a case of unintended sprawl. The aim is to settle the territories with Israelis to establish cultural dominance over these areas, thereby giving Israel a better 'claim' to the territory.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Originally posted by Michael Stumpf
    My understanding is that the settlements are a deliberate strategy of the Israeli government, and not a case of unintended sprawl. The aim is to settle the territories with Israelis to establish cultural dominance over these areas, thereby giving Israel a better 'claim' to the territory.
    I agree with Mike. The Isreali govt is establishing claims and intentionally pushing settlements out into the occupied territories. They accept the short term (in decades+) conflict to promote their long term interests. Also, they have no desire to densify (thinking along the lines that more density = more bodies when the car bomb goes off).

  6. #6
    seems like a worthy study to take on.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    I could be very wrong, but all of the pictures I have seen of Israeli development are rather dense.(ie apartment buildings/row houses/duplexes) Don't forget that every inch of plantable soil is hard won through good farming techniques and land management.

    For population density some quick figuring (using the CIA website) give population densities of approximately

    300 people/sq/km - pop growth rate = 1.5% / year Israel
    336 people/ sq km - pop growth rate = .15% / year Japan
    191 people/ sq km pop growth rate .05% - Italy
    340 people / sq km Belgium
    30 people / sq km USA
    92 people / sq km - 2.5% pop growth rate -Syria
    353 people / sq km - Lebanon 1.36% pop growth rate
    57 people/sq km - Jordan - 2.89 pop growth rate
    3 people / sq km - Canada

    Seems that Israel is not too sprawling and is growing "normally" compared to its neighbours and other countries.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  8. #8
    I'm willing to bet that country-by-country density figures are misleading, at least in this case. The more important argument was made that this sprawl may have more to do with an ideological imperative, which is something that can't be ignored in the region.

    But then, I was just feeling the question out a bit, and I'm sure I'll return to it when I've got more data sifted through.

  9. #9
    Update: there is much talk of a massive "security wall" (or "apartheid wall," depending on where you stand) going up on the border between Israel and the West Bank. This is clearly one plan that would restrict settlements (and, from what I've seen, isolate a few of them inside Palestinian territory).

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/2781115.stm

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Greenescapist's avatar
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    I think that wall proposal is a terrible idea. It will only make people think that they are being corralled. I wish they would abandon those f***ing settlements that they shouldn't have built in the occupied territory and make a Palestinian state, mostly out of the West Bank.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian
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    I think that wall proposal is a terrible idea. It will only make people think that they are being corralled. I wish they would abandon those f***ing settlements that they shouldn't have built in the occupied territory and make a Palestinian state, mostly out of the West Bank.
    I second this proposal Israel should stop invading palestinian territories and all the violence should calm down a bit and mabye it'll be posible to create finally (after more than 50 years) a Palestinian State.

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