Rural areas in occupied Palestinian territories are under substantial pressure due to the urgency of environmental issues. Two of the most important reasons for emerging environmental problems are firstly, rapid population growth, and secondly, a lack of spatial planning tools. Rural Palestine requires an evaluation, profile definition and identification of hazards resulting from environmental destruction and the establishment of development strategies. Project partners are the Department of Architectural Engineering at Birzeit University (BZU) in Palestine, as coordinator, and the Institute of Urbanism at TU Graz as partner institution, with the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU) and TU Wien (TUW, Vienna) as associate partners. The project pursues the implementation of expert knowledge in urban planning and the promotion of knowledge transfer between BZU and communities, as well as fostering BZU’s international network. It also involves developing a curriculum for spatial planning at BZU, post-graduate courses for experts from the profession and public institutions, intensive programmes with students and an international conference. All activities are supported by Austrian universities with their expertise on natural resources, environment and spatial planning. The two-year project started in September 2012.
2012 — 2014
OeAD - Austrian agency for international mobility and cooperation in education, science and research
Grigor Doytchinov, Johann Zancanella, Institute of Urbanism, TU Graz