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Winner: Future Project of the Year

World Architecture Festival 2010

Winner: Future project, Masterplanning category

World Architecture Festival, 2010

Honor Award for Urban Design - California Council

American Institute of Architects (AIA), 2010-11

An exploration of options for strengthening the physical infrastructure for a new Palestinian state, this study builds on analyses that RAND conducted between 2002 and 2004 to identify the requirements for a successful Palestinian state. That work, Building a Successful Palestinian State, surveyed a broad array of political, economic, social, resource, and environmental challenges that a new Palestinian state would face. This study, The Arc: A Formal Structure for a Palestinian State, examined a range of approaches to siting and constructing the backbone of infrastructure that all states need, in the context of a large and rapidly growing Palestinian population. The research team develop a detailed vision for a modern, high-speed transportation infrastructure, referred to as the Arc. This transportation backbone accommodates substantial population growth in Palestine by linking current urban centers to new neighborhoods via new linear transportation arteries that support both commercial and residential development. The Arc avoids the environmental costs and economic inefficiencies of unplanned, unregulated urban development that might otherwise accompany Palestine's rapid population growth. Constructing the key elements of the Arc will require very substantial investment of economic resources. It will also employ substantial numbers of Palestinian construction workers. It seems plausible that key aspects of the Arc design can be pursued, with great benefit, even before an independent Palestinian state is established.

"Clear, functional logic… a great project."

- Architecture, January 2006

"Clear and compelling framework plan… conveyed with extraordinary sensitivity… a visionary plan built on logical approach to infrastructure creating immeasurable hope for a displaced people and nation."

- American Institute of Architects, January 2006

"The excitement, enthusiasm, and self-belief of the research team are tangible, and the production values are of the highest quality; superb color graphics bring the Arc vividly to life. The concept is also put forth in high-quality DVD presentation that accompanies the book: for anyone engaged in teaching Palestinian politics, it can provide an unusually uplifting resource. Importantly, it has also been translated into Arabic, presumably with a view to gaining traction within Palestinian planning circles. Happily, the authors remain sensitive, and repeatedly underline the importance of Palestinian choice, local input, and design."

- Middle East Journal, Summer 2007

"'The Arc: A Formal Structure for a Palestinian State', presents plans for improving housing and strengthening the transportation infrastructure in an independent state… 'The Arc' grapples with a solution to the conundrum of returning Palestinians [with] a transportation system that would link the West Bank and Gaza with ports in major towns such as Jenin, Gaza, Ramallah, Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Hebron… While they fully acknowledge the scope of the challenges at hand, 'Building a Palestinian State' and 'The Arc' spotlight potential success rather than focusing on setbacks and conflict."


"… A reimagining not only of the landscape… but also of the Palestinian experience."

- The New York Times, May 15, The New York Times, May 15, 2005

"The RAND Corporation has done itself proud with these publications on how to set up a Palestinian state…'The Arc' offers a model of the most efficient settlement and transportation configuration for this small and densely populated land. It is one of those rare planning documents, enriched with comparative data and meaningful illustrations, that both instructs and persuades."

- Foreign Affairs, Sept/Oct 2005

"What is especially elegant about the plan is that it focuses not on some eventual peace agreement on a state's boundaries, but on how life might be lived the day after peace—on 'the patterns of human life as shaped by its setting.'"

- Urban Land, July 2005

"Winner: 2008 EDRA/Places Awards in cooperation with Metropolis Magazine: Place Planning"


"Winner: Architecture's 53rd Annual P/A Award 2006"

- Architecture Magazine

"Winner: 2006 Institute Honor Award for Regional and Urban Design"

- American Institute of Architects

"Winner: 2005 Next LA Honor Award"

- American Institute of Architects/Los Angeles

Research conducted by

The research described in this report was initiated by Guilford Glazer and funded by his generous gift. This research in the public interest was also supported by RAND, using discretionary funds made possible by RAND's donors and fees earned on client-funded research. This research was conducted under the direction of the RAND Center for Middle East Public Policy (CMEPP), a unit of the RAND Corporation.

This report is part of the RAND monograph series. RAND monographs present major research findings that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND monographs undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.

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