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Planning under deep political conflict: the relationship between Afforestation planning and the struggle over space in the Palestinian Territories

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Title: Planning under deep political conflict: the relationship between Afforestation planning and the struggle over space in the Palestinian Territories
Author(s): Araj, Fidaa I.
Director of Research: Miraftab, Faranak
Doctoral Committee Chair(s): Miraftab, Faranak
Doctoral Committee Member(s): Harwood, Stacy A.; Ruggles, D. Fairchild; Flint, Colin
Department / Program: Urban & Regional Planning
Discipline: Regional Planning
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: Ph.D.
Genre: Dissertation
Subject(s): politics of spatial planning resistance planning spatial struggle
Abstract: Struggle over space is at the core of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. Different actors are involved in this struggle. The Israeli occupation with its planning system, and the Israeli settlers, since the beginning of the occupation, has been enforcing different policies of using space to achieve control over the Palestinians. The Palestinian authority with its planning system under the Israeli policies of control does not have enough power to deal with the different spatial problems that face planning endeavor. Palestinian planners find their autonomy challenged and abilities limited under Israeli policies of control. Among different actors in the spatial struggle in the Palestinian Territories (PT) are Palestinian people who despite their deep suffering from the Israeli policies of control continue making claim to their rights to use space through their spatial practices. Within this complexity of struggle over space in the context of occupation, between actors seeking control and those who resist that control and groups claiming their conflicting rights to the same space, I aim to understand whether and how spatial planning could play a role by understanding the relationship between space, power, and planning. Existing literature is limited in its ability to explain this role. For example, post colonial planning literature, theoretically, addresses the problem of planning as becoming a tool to achieve control. Additionally, radical planning and insurgent planning approaches discuss how in authoritarian political contexts, transformation can be achieved by the engagement of populace in a kind of covert radical or insurgent planning. However, existing literature is mostly focused on conflict between authoritarian state and its citizens, not a state of occupation that involves an occupation of indigenous state and citizens. In order to achieve its goal, the research asks this main question: what is the role of spatial planning in the struggle over space (control and resistance) in the complex context of occupation, and what are the probabilities and the constraints of professional planners’ intervention in such complex context? Since Palestine has a long history of occupation and domination and the phenomenon of the use of planning in the struggle over space in the Palestinian areas is historically rooted, the research takes an historical approach and examines this relationship in two distinct historical colonial periods: the British Mandate in Palestine and the current Israeli occupation. The study hopes to result into conceptual contributions for spatial planning in the PT. The conceptualization of this research will provide an understanding for future studies about planning in cities under deep political conflict such as occupation. It will develop the idea of planning as a form of resistance. The significance of this research lies in its addressing lack of knowledge about planning within the complex context of colonial/occupational areas. It has practical and conceptual contributions. Practically, it documents processes and decisions of planning under occupation. Conceptually, the study contributes to scholarship in planning and political geography by illuminating the spatial practices of different actors in their spatial struggle. To planning scholarship it adds voice to those who have called for an expanded definition of planning. That is planning is not limited to practices of trained professionals. Rather it includes everyday spatial practices of people that are powerful in shaping the space and its territorial control.
Issue Date: 2010-08-31
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/16959
Rights Information: Copyright 2010 Fidaa I. Araj
Date Available in IDEALS: 2010-08-31
2012-09-07
Date Deposited: 2010-08
 

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