The City/State Unit is an independent research unit within the framework of the Architecture Department in the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem.
Since its early stages as an emergent and thinly inhabited territory, Israel has grown to become one of the most densely populated and rapidly developing countries in the world. However, in recent years, changing land use and lifestyles, together with political shifts have contributed to the formation of multi-centered, dispersed, and amorphous habitation pattern throughout the Israeli landscape.This condition could be roughly characterized by an overall confused and opportunistic placement of infrastructure and facilities. Contradicting programs and extreme changes in scale a confined area.
Consequently, since the distinction between urban and rural has become irrelevant to t he planning discourse, we would like to expose the Israeli condition as a single, seamless low density metropolitan area. Designing wi1hin the city/state condition does not deal with defining the borders of the cities but rather controlling the dilution of the parts, moving from
“imposing restrictions” to “promotion of developments”, creating an effect and defining the tools capable or achieving it.
The ex-urban condition is evident everywhere in the post-war sprawl of American cities like Houston and Los Angeles, in the accelerated hyper-development of the Pacific Rim, in India and in China. However, since its manageable size, fast politics and quasi-planning schemes, Israel creates a unique case study where regional planning has the potential to create a direct and intentional effect on the landscape. The study of current trends and the relationships between the parts could incite the development of prototype land uses applicable universally.
The City/State Studio Project is aimed at establishing a think tank for exploring the possibilities of large-scale regional planning for Israel. The Project will also build a body of knowledge through the work of students, guest lecturers and masters classes. The Protect will connect with official planning authorities and private organizations and will enable them to conduct an in-depth research phase as an integral part of the decision-making process, bridging policy making and local implication, aims and visual effects.