Urburbia

Harish, Israel

June 2019

Academic Project

BSc. Architecture

Technion, Israel

Guidance

Oren Ben-Avraham

Built almost instantaneously, the city of Harish might be the most explicit representation of post-urban cities, a controversial phenomenon that is gradually becoming common and prominent in Israel. The city is a hybrid: it embodies a clear neo-liberal, suburban set of values, but these are spatially manifested in ways that are reminiscent of urban patterns. This hybridization underlies a struggle between the forces that dictate life in Harish: aspirations for private ownership contrasting with the increasing demand for public spaces; infrastructure built for vehicular circulation opposing ideal child safety practices; architecture that is marketed as if for the individual, but is practically duplicated for thousands of consumers. These gaps and contradictions are at the core of life in Harish, and are the main reason for its perception as a failure, excluding it from architectural professional discourse.


The reluctance to consider a way of life that does not conform to the definitions of either a city or a suburb narrows our ability to observe the phenomenon of urban sprawl in Israel, to identify its origins and to contemplate its future. Global and local trends expand the demographic and physical borders, and the underlying set of values of the suburb, allowing us to imagine alternatives for the coherent perception of urban life. This project explores the contradictory, yet simultaneous actions implemented in the Urburbia as an opportunity to imagine a city that stems from a suburban set of values.