Strategic Planning Towards Sustainable Palestinian Neighbourhoods

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Salameh, Deemah Rida Ahmed
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An-Najah National University
In Palestine, as in other parts of the world, there is a growing trend for preserving the environment, and towards consideration of sustainability in the various sectors. One of these sectors with growing interest in sustainability is that related to the communities, including neighbourhoods. Relevant community aspects in this regard, such as energy, water, land, waste water, solid waste and transportation, are gaining much attention. At the same time, housing and community development efforts must address a complex system for the individual, as well as social, economic, and environmental factors in order to promote the sustainability of buildings and infrastructure systems, neighbourhoods, communities, cities and regions. The neighbourhood level lies at a key and basic level in this development, and this was considered the major factor in this research. This research aims to understand the sustainable neighbourhood development experience regionally and internationally, in order to formulate the sustainable neighbourhoods strategic development framework in Palestine. The importance of developing a strategic planning framework for sustainable neighbourhoods in Palestine is of a special value, due to the lack of energy resources, shortage of water, neighbourhood limited land, in addition to the transportation challenges and the environmental pollution. The neighbourhood level is the basis for developing sustainable communities. This had motivated conducting this research. This study has identified and suggested a framework for sustainable neighbourhoods in Palestine, by studying, analyzing and understanding the sustainable neighbourhood related issues through review of relevant experiences internationally, and through analysis of interviews and focus group meetings conducted for a selected case study in Palestine, Al Reehan neighbourhood. The formulated framework for strategic planning for sustainable neighbourhoods in Palestine highlights the key issues and the main elements of the strategic plan, which have been conducted based on assessing the positive aspects (strengths and opportunities) and negative aspects (weaknesses and threats) facing the sustainable neighbourhoods, and then defining the vision, mission, goals, strategies, and actions for sustainable Palestinian neighbourhoods. It is recommended that the policy makers, stakeholders and developers be more aware of the importance of sustainability of the neighbourhoods, and to adopt such framework that would guide the efforts to realize sustainable neighbourhoods in Palestine, and then implement the recommended actions. In addition, the Government and related stakeholders have to determine the relevant planning and design guidelines for in the domains of sustainable neighbourhoods. Moreover, the findings of this research give suggestions for future research in the field of sustainable neighbourhoods.