|M.Sc Student||Manor Ofer|
|Subject||Charting the Domain of Urban Design - Jerusalem as a Case|
|Department||Department of Architecture and Town Planning||Supervisors||Professor Iris Aravot|
|Mr. Alex Krieger|
|Full Thesis text|
Urban design as a recognized field of practice and research has galvanized only since the middle of the twentieth century. Its development and substantiation in the decades since occurred on the backdrop of transformations in the realms of design and the Life Sciences, on both of which urban design rests. Unsurprisingly, a scrutiny of the literature reveals difficulties in arriving at an acceptable or consensual definition of the field, due to conflicting normative definitions on the one hand and the inconclusiveness of substantive definitions on the other.
Out of this apparent impasse, this research seeks to inquire how the practice of urban design can contribute to forwarding its comprehension, through the adoption of the technique of mapping and the application of two ardent research tools - the case study and categorization.
The city of Jerusalem was chosen as the case study venue not only due to the author’s professional acquaintance and involvement with the shaping of the city, but also in light of significant recent investments in its public realm and infrastructure, to which urban design attends.
The subsequent research emerges from the framing of the research question - How can recent urban design practice in Jerusalem inform the categorization of the domain of urban design? (Can it enrich the existing categories? Can it modify the limits of the domain?).
The inquiry commences with a scrutiny of categorization and case studies in urban design, from which two aspects of urban design practice - process and outcome - are distilled and aligned as two coordinates which create a chart, or matrix. Appropriate categories are devised for each of the two coordinates through an iterative process involving a critical review of previous attempts at their categorization in the literature, together with a study of nine multiple cases, or exemplars, of local urban design endeavors.
The resulting Jerusalem urban design matrix is suggested as a diagrammatic representation of urban design practice in Jerusalem, inviting validation, extension or modification through additional research in Jerusalem as well as in other locales.