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Gray Space & Creeping Urban Apartheid: Learning from Israel-Palestine


Thursday, February 16, 12:30 p.m.

The Hagop Kevorkian Center, 255 Sullivan Street

Oren Yiftachel, Geography and Urban Studies, Ben-Gurion University

The lecture will analyze the impact of structural economic, identity and governance tensions on urban regimes and the gradation of contemporary citizenship. Using a (neo)colonial perspective, It draws attention to the pervasive emergence of 'gray spaces'; that is, informal, temporary or illegal developments, transactions and populations. 'Gray-spacing' has become a central feature of urbanism in the global SouthEast. It has developed as a strategy to manage the 'unwanted/irremovable', and the 'wanted/uncontrollable'. Gray spacing enables the partial mobility of marginalized groups onto privileged spaces and resources, often under the guise of liberalizing economies. At the same time it puts in train a process of 'creeping urban apartheid' under which these regions are governed through the principle of 'separate and unequal'.  These tensions and trends will be illustrated by highlighting research findings on the planning of cities around the global SouthEast, with special focus on urban Israel/Palestine --  Beersheba, Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem.

Co-sponsored by the Taub Center for Israel Studies