SIGUS: Special Interest Group in Urban Settlement
A Workshop Supporting the World Bank Gaza Program
Gaza, Palestine, Spring 1996

This SIGUS workshop explored innovations in the development and design of a superblock for new housing initiatives for a developer-lead housing program. Participants were drawn from throughout MIT and formed into four design teams. Each team prepared their vision of a 'superblock', combining their architecture, planning and engineering skills in preparing a development scenario. The scenarios included interior street design, schematic design of housing units, and the process of development, bringing together housing, land development, infrastructure, and financing concepts. The 'winning' team was invited to the World Bank, Washington, D.C., to present their proposals. The concepts provided direct inputs into the formulation of the detailed Gaza strategies by the World Bank.
The workshop included presentations by professionals from throughout the Boston area, who acted as advisors to the teams and offered focused presentations on key topic areas.

Prof. Ed Marchant; Harvard Business School
Bruce Creager; Hoskins, Scott and Partners, Architect
Hubert Murray; Wallace Floyd Associates


The superblock - large circulation frameworks which structure developer inputs - was the focus of the workshop. A physical grid ranging from 50-220 meters on a side provided the overall frame, which was to be developed by private enterprise according to their market assessment. Typically, this has meant construction of 5-story units on 1 dunam plots (1,000sq.m., approximately 30m x 33m), with 4 units per floor, each of 120-140sq.m. The ground floor was reserved for commercial use.