The Rehabilitation of the Historic Area of Birzeit: Architectural Heritage for Development

Farhat Y. Muhawi

Esempi de Architettura



The town of Birzeit is located 10 km north of Ramallah. It hosts the oldest university in Palestine (Birzeit University), as well as a vast amount of Heritage sites and features. The town's multicultural environment along with its intrinsic qualities makes it a suitable site for a pilot project that aims at using rehabilitation as a tool for development.

The rehabilitation project aims at improving the physical, social, economic and cultural environment of the local population living in the historic center of Birzeit, while at the same time ensuring the protection of the historical landscape and values. It also aims at re-using abandoned buildings through public-private initiatives, improving services, infrastructure, and public spaces, encouraging economic, cultural and touristic activities, and solving the complex problem of ownership.

The initial approach towards rehabilitation is a multi-functional use of the historic center. The main philosophy of this project is to involve local community throughout the process of rehabilitation.