Launching a Book on Sustainable mobility and urban transformation in Palestine
The Faculty of Engineering and IT at An-Najah National University as well as the VUB University and the University of Antwerp in Belgium have recently launched a book titled: “Transforming Mobility: Collective Transport and Spaces in Nablus and Ramallah in Brussels”.
The book documents the universities students’ works as part of the joint project between Nablus and Brussels, which was inaugurated in the academic year 2016/2017.
Mr. Pascal Smet, Brussels’ Minister of Mobility and Public Works commended the students’ performance and emphasized his continues support to the Belgium-Palestinian cooperation in different fields.
This publication presents the results of the two International Workshops “Mobility and Urban Livability in Palestine” held from September 19th to 24th and from November 28th to December 3rd, 2016, at Al Qasam Palace – Centre for Urban and Regional Planning of An-Najah and organized by Cosmopolis – STeR* (Stedenbouw and Ruimtelijke Planning, Vrije Universiteit Brussel – Brussels University Alliance) with the participation of the University of Antwerp and with the support of the Cabinet of the Minister in charge of Mobility and Public Works.
Under guidance of a team of European and Palestinian tutors, Belgian and Palestinian students in architecture, urbanism, planning and engineering explored how to cope with complex mobility issues by improving public and private transport and enhancing the quality of public space in the two cities of Nablus and Ramallah.
The research by design was organized around two study areas and study themes. In Nablus, the team worked on the urban east-west axis, with the aim of organizing public transport more efficiently, at the same time reducing traffic related burdens for residents and enhancing the quality of public space along the central spine. In Ramallah, they worked around the central market area, where pedestrians are at the core of the urban dynamics, but where cars actually dominate the streets. Public space, traffic circulation and pedestrianization appeared to become key issues for the future design of this area.
The studies also included preparing plans and designs of bus lanes between Nablus centre and the suggested east and west complexes and reforming the centre’s design. In Ramallah and Al-Bireh, the study focused on redesigning the cities centres in a way that gives pedestrians the priority and limits cars mobility.
It is worth mentioning that An-Najah will be holding meetings with municipal councils in Nablus, Ramallah and Al-Bireh to present the research results and discuss the plan application to enhance collective transport and offer better planning of public spaces in these cities centres.
The launching ceremony took place at the Brussels’ Ministry of Mobility and Public Works room and was attended by Mr. Smet; Dr. Kobe Boussauw, Assistant Professor of Spatial Planning and Mobility at the VUB Brussels University and Dr. Sameer Abu Eisheh, Project Coordinator and representative of An-Najah National University and Palestine as well as other notable guests and attendees.