Peace Park

WaterCrisis

Role: Designer/Researcher  -  Location: Jordan-Israel Border


Fence

image by balmori associates

The Yale School of Architecture was invited to launch the design of a Peace Park along the contested border of Jordan and Israel by Friends of the Earth middle East (foEME). Peace Parks are lands crossing borders where the two sides of the border are in conflict.  They create an area where people, with agendas beyond those of war, can meet and work together to find common grounds. The area was set up as a Trans-Boundary Protected Area in the Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty of 1994, and a memorandum of understanding was drafted between local government authorities for a new Park to be created on this 750 acre site.

The site is on the Jordan River in the Great Rift Valley which is where the continental plates of Asia and Africa meet.  It is also where the Jordan and the Yarmouk rivers meet to make the famed Gates to the Garden of Eden written about in ancient texts.  It is on the largest migratory course for birds flying from the tip of Africa to northern Europe and the wetlands which were on this site served them as a respite on their journey.

These areas also have agendas of conservation, and have become a kind of sanctuary for local flora and fauna that are being decimated by the continued wars. Therefore ‘peace parks’, whatever else they can programatically become, stress an ecological role as peaceful intermediary.

Yale students and a few Balmori staff were asked to begin to brainstorm design solutions for the introduction of peace park on this site. Included in our proposal was the suggestion of  tapping into the existing geothermal source in the valley for energy production. We also suggested collecting the sewage from four surrounding towns and cleaning it anaerobically via a low-tech Eco-machine system. The sewage water would be transformed into grey water, forming a lake in the Peace park where plants could finish cleaning it, and migratory birds passing by could be supported.

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image by balmori associates

Balmori Associates team includes- Project Designers: Angela Soong, Alice Feng  /  with Yale University School of Architecture

PrintBalmori Associates team includes- Project Manager: Kira Appelhans, Designers:Alice Feng, Angela Soong, Marta Rabazo, Annie Phaosawasdi, Monica Hernandez  /  in collaboration with WorkAC Architects

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