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Emerging trends in urbanizing Palestine: neglected city-builders beyond the occupation

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In this article, we draw attention to trends in land transformation in the West Bank since the Second Intifada, after which a surge of investment from Gulf countries entered Palestine, almost exclusively in the West Bank. The occupied Palestinian territories have attracted a great deal of attention from media and academics, yet the vast majority of scholarship focuses on the conflict and the variety of social, economic, and political repercussions of the on-going Israeli occupation. While the occupation has undeniably serious impacts on every aspect of life for Palestinians, the near-exclusive focus on the conflict means that significant new trends, such as urban mega-developments and emerging market-based urbanisation processes, have been largely overlooked. We outline three directions for future research: the assemblage of “neglected city-builders” shaping current urbanization processes in Palestine; the ideas, policies, and norms circulating in the West Bank; and the social, spatial, economic, and other impacts of these new urban developments.
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Keywords: Palestine; Urban development; West Bank; globalisation; mega-development; policy circulation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Faculté de l’aménagement, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada 2: Department of Geography, McGill University, Montréal, Québec, Canada

Publication date: August 9, 2019

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