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Student Opportunities > Jerusalem 2050

Jerusalem 2050 or Just Jerusalem: Vision for a Place of Peace is a project sponsored by the Department of Urban Studies and Planning and the Center for International Studies.

Are “Jerusalem 2050” and “Just Jerusalem” being used interchangeably?

It is often said that the future of Jerusalem depends in large part on the future of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. While this is undoubtedly true, change and improvement in Jerusalem can also be achieved independently of any final peace agreement. In fact, transformation in Jerusalem may actually aid the resolution of the larger conflict. Therefore, Just Jerusalem: Vision for a Place of Peace is a project determined to generate new ideas and discussions about Jerusalem as a just city shared in peace by all its residents, whether they be Muslims, Christians or Jews, Palestinians or Israelis. As an international competition it calls for visions of Jerusalem that transcend nationalist discourses and instead focus on the questions of daily life and the “right to the city” for all its inhabitants [1].

The project is not grounded in any national political project or diplomatic initiative. While the competition is couched in physical terms, the goal of the organizers is to allow entrants to re-imagine Jerusalem, real and symbolic, as a just, urban, humanist, and livable city. All entries to the competition must describe what it would take to create such an urban arena by the year 2050.

The year 2050 is not an arbitrary point in time, but was chosen because it represents a balance between a point in time far enough from the present conflict to allow some freedom to imagine a different situation, but also near enough to generate serious deliberation. Entries are not limited to architects and urbanists as the project strives for a plurality of voices and encourages multi-disciplinary teams. The winning entries will be assembled and disseminated both in print and through a series of exhibitions that will promote policy discussions and public debate. Students may volunteer to work on the Vision competition preparation, evaluation, and dissemination -- or build their own research interests around this initiative. IDG students can also submit entries in the open competition call, competing with others globally (not something especially reserved for IDG students).

To find out more about this project, visit http://web.mit.edu/CIS/jerusalem2050/.

 

[1] We use the term resident and/or inhabitant here to mean those who live in any area defined as Jerusalem. It is important to clarify this definition because the category of citizenship is a contested issue with regards to Jerusalem.

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