Jordan River Peace Park
Late in 2007, the Yale Urban Design Workshop (YUDW), a community design center affiliated with the Yale School of Architecture, was invited by Friends of the Earth Middle East (FoEME) to conduct an international design charrette to develop a master plan for a proposed 1200-acre Peace Park, on a historic site at the confluence of the Yarmouk and Jordan Rivers, just south of the Sea of Galilee. The site straddles the border between Jordan and Israel, and is partly occupied by the ruins of the former Palestine Electric Company, an early example of regional cooperation, and well a collection of bridges crossing the Jordan – at a former crossroads of regional trade – the earliest of which dates to Roman times.
In May 2008, the YUDW, with a team of Yale faculty and students, traveled to the site in Jordan, where they led an unprecedented team of Jordanian, Palestinian and Israeli architects, professionals and students in a five-day workshop that prepared an ambitious concept plan for the future development of the site as destination for heritage and eco-tourism, economic development, and peaceful encounter for all the people of the region.
The plan was presented at press conferences in both Amman and Jerusalem, and has been the subject of press coverage around the world, as well as a documentary film produced by Yale undergraduates. The collaboration between EcoPeace Middle East and the YUDW continues, with efforts to advance the project with local and national leaders in the region and supporters abroad.
For more information, including press coverage of the project, please see the project page on Friends of the Earth Middle East’s website at http://ecopeaceme.org/projects/lower-jordan-river/jordan-river-peace-park/
For the documentary on the design charrette, please see http://www.vimeo.com/7106523
Additional Press Coverage: