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M.Urb.Des: About

This integrative, multi-disciplinary programme builds on the knowledge-based design project, with the objective of enriching the quality of the environment in cities through innovative design that relates to the theoretical study of the spatial structure of the form of the city. Situated in the city of Jerusalem, its multifaceted environment provides a living laboratory for diversified urban subjects, from world-level conservation elements, through the rehabilitation of the inner city to restoration, renewal and new development on the outskirts of the city. These uniquely-Jerusalem phenomena weave together an unusual, seemingly unequaled diversity of ethnic, religious and cultural populations. The studio classes will analyse and address other urban environments that possess noteworthy complexity.
The concept of the programme maintains that any creative activity in the context of one curricular unit constitutes a source of inspiration for another. Throughout the studies, we aspire to provide the students with the ability to assimilate a theoretical and analytical discourse into their planning-design thinking, thereby obtaining results provided in an open ended discussion and study.
The rationale lies in the integrative base of the studies, and more precisely in the integrative dimension of the studio, which is the primary component of the curriculum. The academic validity of the studio will evolve, not only, out of its own reflection, but also from the debate and interpretation of the theoretical discussion in the courses and seminars and the essence of the issues discussed.
The studies, at both the theoretical and applied levels, relate to issues that are currently on the public agenda through multidisciplinary research. With faculty from a wide range of disciplines it establishes a linkage between the studio classes and the seminar studies, and, among other things, considers such issues as:
• New cities and urban renewal.
• Metropolis and megalopolis, the form and image of various size cities and settlements.
• Polarized communities
• Densification and rehabilitation.
• Urban conservation and heritage: past and present contexts.
• Open areas and urban leisure; environmental and social qualities of open space.
• The urban periphery and the rural settlement.
• New patterns in municipal organization.
• Changes in the characteristics and patterns of the commercial activities and the shifting of city centres.
• Changes in scale and its management.
The programme will also examine the ideological state of political, social and economic issues that stem from the creation and accumulation of additional urban layers inside the existing cities. This state is radically different from the situation in growing peripheral areas.  In addition, the ethical questions of the utilization of land resources or the preserving of those resources for the coming generations will be addressed with the application of 'sustainable development'. Case studies relating to the fields outlined above will be developed with a link to interested and involved institutions and organizations.