ARCHITECTURE DETERS VIOLENCE
| Among Arab Communities in Israel |
by Jana Omary
In recent years, the issue of violence has become a major part of the Arabs daily life in Israel. Increasing number of murders, and the use of weapons has surged to become a daily news. Although Arab citizens consist only 20% of the country's population, In the past three years, 62% of victims in cases of violence or crime were Arab citizens. And the number is on the rise every year, only to peak last year with 91 Arab victims, including women and children.
In this project, I study the relationship between violence and crime in Arab society in Israel and the issue of construction and planning within the Arab communities. Where I look for answers on how architecture can maintain spaces of security in response to violence among Arab communities in Israel?
My intervention in the project divides Umm al-Fahem into three layers, where each layer serves as a monitoring tool for the layer below it. The first layer is the layer of minarets, the highest part of the mosque, which overlooks the whole city and adds a sense of supervision and serves as an agent that looks after the surrounding from above and guards the residents. However, because of the density of houses in Umm al-Fahem, the minarets will mainly be used as a surveillance tool for all roofs, which consist the second layer of supervision in my project.
Utilizing the roof layer, I added to the urban space another level of supervision of the city's alleys, which is the third and main layer of my intervention. The alleys in Umm al-Fahem are considered dangerous areas with high potential to witness development of violent incidents.
I believe that due to the complex dynamics between the police and the residents of Umm al-Fahem, it is very important to intensify social control in the city. It is a major tool based on the existing social contract between the neighbours, which can be utilized to increase the security level of the residents and fight the phenomenon of violence.
In the execution of the Idea, taking into consideration the urgency of the problem, I used modular light-weight materials to support instant and flexible building on the roofs. I used scaffolding as my primary construction tool, both for floor lifting and for building modular cubes to contain the activities on the roofs.