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Building Destruction: The Consequences of Rising Urbanization on Cultural Heritage in the Ramallah Province

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 April 2009

Salah H. al-Houdalieh
Institute of Archaeology, Al-Quds University, Palestine. Email:
Robert R. Sauders
Department of Geography & Anthropology, Department of History, Eastern Washington University. Email:


Urbanization, particularly in terms of private housing construction, constitutes a mounting threat to cultural heritage sites in Palestine. At risk are not only archaeological sites, but traditional architecture and other locations of cultural heritage. The Ramallah province serves as a practical case study by which to examine how this process of urbanization affects the cultural heritage of the region, because of the increased rate of development the province has experienced over the past decade. This urbanization has proceeded with relatively little governmental oversight and administration by the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) and is typified by an absence of planning, which often places sites of cultural, historical, and archaeological significance in severe jeopardy. This article considers both the internal and external factors affecting the urbanization of Ramallah and proposes solutions to mitigate the dangers to cultural heritage posed by unchecked urban growth.

Research Article
Copyright © International Cultural Property Society 2009

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