CAMBRIDGE, MA—Jerusalem 2050 project, which will propose concrete plans to redesign the city by mid-century, is commencing with a major initiative to build the vision of a "city of peace" in this most symbolically important place. Headed by a group of MIT faculty from its renowned School of Architecture and Planning, and joining with others from Israel and Palestine, Jerusalem 2050 will hold an international design competition in 2007 to achieve these goals. The conference at MIT April 8-9, 2005 will bring together leading thinkers from the region, Europe, and the U.S. to create the "visions" that will guide the design competition, inform an ambitious set of educational activities in Jerusalem, and build cooperative links between Israelis and Palestinians on this most contentious issue-the long-term status of Jerusalem. "What would it take to make Jerusalem-a city claimed by two nations and central to three religions-'merely' a city, a place of difference and diversity in which contending ideas and citizenries can co-exist in benign yet creative ways?" asks the project director, Diane E. Davis, an associate dean in the School of Architecture and Planning. "Today there is fresh hope about a peace agreement. The issues of Jerusalem are not only political, however, because we must reconsider how people can live together in the built environment, how the city's infrastructure supports peace, how designers and others of good will can make a peace agreement work as a matter of daily life, social interaction, and longstanding stability."
On April 8-9, more than 30 scholars, activists, and practitioners will convene at MIT to address the hard questions and to offer visions of a peaceful, democratic, harmonious, and prosperous Jersusalem in the year 2050. Participants include Sari Nusseibeh, president of Al-Quds University; Naomi Chazan, former deputy speaker of the Knesset; Meron Benvenisti, former deputy mayor of Jerusalem; Salim Tamari, Director of the Institute of Jerusalem Studies; Ariella Azoulay, filmmaker and writer; and Arie Arnon, economist from Ben Gurion University, among others.
Jerusalem 2050 is sponsored by the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning in the School of Architecture and Planning, and the MIT Center for International Studies.
Attendance is by invitation.