Planning Basics for High School Students

More than a third of Jerusalem’s residents are East Jerusalem Palestinians, but the number of Palestinians working as urban planners with the city can be counted on one hand. The Urban Clinic is working to change that: thanks to generous donors, we offer  tuition scholarships and mentoring to East Jerusalemites who learn Hebrew and enroll in the MA in Urban Planning. The first three scholarship recipients are on track to complete the two-year program in summer 2018. The job market is wide open - two were hired within their first year as Community Planners in East Jerusalem, and one has been awarded departmental scholarships for cutting-edge research.

These students use the Urban Clinic as a platform and a network for social initiatives. Architect Islam Idaes, for example, dreamed of  helping East Jerusalem high school students improve their neighborhoods. She recruited sixteen  tenth graders for Sunday sessions at the University --the first time most had ever been on campus. The students  identified under-used spaces in their neighborhoods, and developed visions for transformation. About fifty city officials, urban planners, teachers  and neighborhood leaders participated in the final competition. Nothing planned has yet been built - but the groundwork is there. Most importantly, these students were given the opportunity to see university as a potential part of their future, and got to explore the ways they can have an impact on the space around them through thoughtful planning and design.

High school students working on plans

Planning classroom of high school students

The whole group