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Closing economic gaps and addressing housing shortages in Israel’s Arab society, 20% of the population, has become a major priority for Israel’s overall strength. Yet many government efforts to fast-track economic and housing development in Arab communities stall when faced with the mismatch between Israel’s planning procedures and the crowded, under-planned realities on the ground. Why are urban planning needs so different in Israel’s Arab society? How do planning barriers affect economic development initiatives and state-minority relations overall? What solutions are underway or proposed to mitigate these challenges?
Join JFN and the Inter-Agency Task Force on Israeli Arab Issues for a breakfast discussion with urban planning experts Dr. Enaya Banna and Dr. Emily Silverman, who will shed light on one of the most important and most complex issues facing Israel’s Arab society today.
Dr. Enaya Banna is currently the lead district planner for Wadi Ara, a region of all Arab communities. She has served as consultant to the head of the government Planning Administration on housing and planning in Arab towns in Israel. She worked for ten years as urban planner for the Arab Center for Alternative Planning (AC-AP), representing Arab-Palestinian interests in planning, territory, housing and development. A landscape architect and urban planner by training, she who holds a Ph.D. in Urban Planning from the Technion. Her research work focuses on participatory planning in Arab communities.
Dr. Emily Silverman is the Founding Director of the Urban Clinic at The Hebrew University and a faculty member of the University’s Geography Department, where she teaches courses in housing policy and urban regeneration, social aspects of planning, and community development. Emily holds a Ph.D. in Social Policy from the London School of Economics, a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Tel Aviv University, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Swarthmore College in the United States. Her work in academia builds on her previous practice in non-profit management and community development, including working with and for numerous international and Israeli philanthropic foundations, Israeli governmental ministries and municipalities, NGOs and civil society organizations. She is a founding member of both the Coalition for Affordable Housing in Israel, was the first director of the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel’s Tel Aviv Community Action Center, and has been a founder and board member of Transport Today and Tomorrow and the Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel, among others.
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