|M.Sc Student||Dalya Arussy|
|Subject||A Mixed Space as a Space for Social Encounter: The Case of|
the German Colony in Haifa
|Department||Department of Architecture and Town Planning||Supervisor||Professor Eizenberg Efrat|
|Full Thesis text|
In recent decades, we have witnessed the rise in globalization with population migrations crossing country lines. Concurrently, urban environments are being favored over rural settings in a process of urbanization, further bringing people of varying backgrounds together. Cities in Europe have attempted to plan for the various groups, but many cities are left with ethnically divided neighborhoods. Part of the challenge now is how to serve, manage and plan these cities to include the diverse inhabitants, most prominently by forming spaces for encounter between them. This research examines the German Colony in the mixed city of Haifa as a case study of a place shared by a diverse residential population and a range of visitors. On the German Colony’s main axis, Ben Gurion Boulevard, we conducted a survey with 162 participants of various background (Arabs, Jews and tourists), interviewed frequent users and held a focus group to investigate what draws people to the space in order to identify urban design and planning elements that play a dominant role in creating a positive experience of shared space. We developed a tripartite explanation for the inclusive experience at Ben Gurion Boulevard that refers to the image of the Boulevard, the mix of cultures and the feeling of being welcomed and belonging. These concepts show that the Boulevard opens opportunities for encounters and bring to light design and planning considerations for other shared space. Using these concepts while considering their case-specificity, cities can become more than merely physical containers of varying populations, but rather urban spaces that socially bring populations together.