Shepherds’ Field Street Rehabilitation Project

Ongo­ing Projects

Since the begin­ning of the Covid-19 pan­dem­ic, pub­lic spaces, includ­ing streets, squares and parks, have become a cen­tral pri­or­i­ty for local author­i­ties try­ing to reassess how the users inter­act with these spaces.

A year lat­er, the way we look at and deal with pub­lic spaces has shift­ed. These places, which once act­ed as a stage for local author­i­ties, are now being repur­posed to serve the com­mu­ni­ty in a way that res­onates with the “new nor­mal”. The ways in which the users pre­vi­ous­ly inter­act­ed with these spaces, and their sub­se­quent impact on the adja­cent places, brings to ques­tion how they will be used mov­ing forward.

As peo­ple were locked down, they soon real­ized the impor­tance of being able to be mobile by engag­ing in reg­u­lar exer­cise, walk­ing and par­tic­i­pat­ing in out­door recre­ation. Now, more than ever, we see the need to pro­vide the com­mu­ni­ty with a clean, safe and free envi­ron­ment through­out the gov­er­norate of Bethlehem.

In response to this need, and in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Beit Sahour munic­i­pal­i­ty, BDF put for­ward a design pro­pos­al to ame­lio­rate the envi­ron­ment of the pub­lic Toward Sus­tain­able Streets For All-spaces by cre­at­ing the first sus­tain­able road­way. Based on inter­na­tion­al stan­dards of design, Shep­herds Street will be the main link to the his­toric and touris­tic area that takes into con­sid­er­a­tion pedes­tri­ans, cyclists and motorists safe­ty and comfort.

This urban inter­ven­tion, the first phase of the street reha­bil­i­ta­tion pro­gram in Beit Sahour, will pro­vide a safe and smooth link to the his­tor­i­cal sites in the city and will encour­age vis­i­tors to spend more time to expe­ri­ence the city. This will also cre­ate new oppor­tu­ni­ties for the com­mu­ni­ties and vis­i­tors to inter­act in a new way. It will also encour­age and sup­port both the urban and eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment of the city.

In order to mate­ri­al­ize this vision, the urban prac­ti­tion­ers at the Beth­le­hem Devel­op­ment Foun­da­tion (BDF), have stud­ied glob­al guide­lines in order to put for­ward a local­ly viable pro­pos­al that cre­ates a mul­ti-use and sus­tain­able prod­ucts that meets the needs of the com­mu­ni­ty. The street also includes the use of pro­gres­sive street fur­ni­ture such as smart bench­es, which offer impor­tant tourist infor­ma­tion and the instal­la­tion of green solar canopies that pro­vide pow­er for streets lights and oth­er pub­lic spaces.

By Ahmad Hif­nawi — BDF Devel­op­ment Coordinator

A 3D conceptual design of the street