Post-traumatic urbanism: Repressing Manshiya and Wadi Salib

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Abstract

Trauma is defined as a wound or an injury caused by an act of violence on one's body, or as a severe anxiety caused by an unpleasant experience. The victims of traumatic events may develop psychological stress disorder, which is manifested in several symptoms: post-traumatic stress disorder. The 1948 Arab-Israeli had caused both physical and psychological trauma. The symptoms of this trauma are still visible today in various Israeli cities. As a result of the war, Israeli cities had annexed formerly owned Palestinian villages and neighborhoods. Along the years, these vacated Palestinian houses were settled by Jewish immigrants, turned to slums and became the target of several urban renewal projects. These renewal projects mainly asked to erase all traces of the neighborhood's Arab past, and to introduce a new urban order. This research focuses on Al Manshiya in Tel Aviv-Jaffa and Wadi Salib in Haifa, two former Palestinian neighborhoods, which were vacated from their original inhabitants. This research surveys the re-planning process of both neighborhoods, its implementation and its current status. Asking whether one can depict symptoms of post-trauma in the urban scheme and in the buildings' architecture. Al Manshiya was torn down completely in the 1970's, in order to make place for Tel Aviv's new central business district. This project was never fully completed, as the symptoms of the post-trauma are manifested in the disconnected grand office buildings, the urban void and the parking lots surrounding them. The majority of Wadi Salib was torn down as well, as several decaying buildings are still standing in the cleared and empty neighborhood. The emptiness, neglect and oblivion emphasize the post-traumatic experience. In the recent years however, several projects asked to deal with the neighborhoods' past and heritage. Even then, the references remained superficial leaving the trauma unattended and not curing the neighborhoods' from their post-trauma symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-58
JournalCities: the international journal of urban policy and planning
Volume75
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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