|M.Sc Student||Shira Wilkof|
|Subject||"An Historical Opportunity": The Creation and Planning of|
the Walls of Jerusalem National Park; 1967-1970
|Department||Department of Architecture and Town Planning||Supervisor||Professor Nitzan-Shiftan Alona|
|Full Thesis text - in Hebrew|
At the end of July, 1967, six weeks after Israel won control of the Old City of Jerusalem, a special government decision approved the creation of a national park on the newly acquired territory surrounding the walls of the Old City - The Walls of Jerusalem National Park. This unprecedented decision, both because of the speed at which it was reached and the lofty official level at which the decision was made, eventually lead to the establishment of the present-day 1100 square meter (270 acre ) 'belt' national park.
Being the only national park in Israel to include multiplicity of uses (such as residential areas and commerce) alongside its historical and religious sites, this unusual national park stands at the heart of this research; its creation raises fundamental questions concerning the imagination and production of national symbolic landscape as negotiated between the various actors involved in the formation of the park.
This paper focuses on the encounter between the political-national sphere, on the one hand, and architecture and planning professional sphere, on the other, as a reciprocal process by which the landscape was charged with specific national meaning. Set against the backdrop of rapid demographic "Israelization" processes carried out across the newly acquired territory in greater Jerusalem, I am particularly interested in shedding light on the crucial role of disciplinary knowledge in producing an Israeli national symbolic landscape in one the most complex and sensitive sites in the world.
Based on an analysis of varied primary sources, archival material, field work and interviews with key actors, I seek to expose the interrelations between these simultaneous urban processes within the broader historical and social framework in which they took place.