Global Palestine, Connected Gaza

Responsible Party and Year Completed: Portland and the Palestinian Private Sector, 2016

Link: https://portlandtrust.org/global-palestine-connected-gaza/

Status: Completed

Contact: Hugo Tay – hugo.tay@portlandtrust.org

Executive Summary:

Global Palestine, Connected Gaza, led by the Palestinian private sector, is an ambitious initiative to revitalise the Gaza governorates. Central to its strategy is a comprehensive spatial vision that addresses Gaza’s immediate challenges, such as extensive infrastructure damage and high youth unemployment, while laying the groundwork for sustainable, long-term development.

 

The initiative outlines 70 investable projects, categorised by type and region, each integral to the plan’s success. These projects, guided by fundamental design principles of focused urban growth, historic preservation, and natural system recovery, aim to significantly boost Gaza’s GDP and employment. Global Palestine, Connected Gaza, is poised to transform Gaza into a liveable, economically vibrant, and sustainable region by concentrating on strategic urban development, transportation, energy, water infrastructure, and environmental sustainability.

 

This plan targets immediate reconstruction needs and envisions a future where Gaza is a model for sustainable urban development, contributing positively to the broader Palestinian and regional landscape.

Short term priorities:

  • Develop interim housing solutions across four central neighbourhoods to address the displacement crisis; reconstruction of schools and hospitals is a priority to meet the community’s basic needs.
  • Construct a port and ensuring land access to accelerate logistics and reconstruction material flow into Gaza, develop crucial transportation nodes like the Gaza Gateway for regional connectivity.
  • Ensure the immediate repair of essential infrastructure to ensure a steady supply of energy and water, upgrade power infrastructure, pursuing alternative electricity sources, balance water extraction, launch desalination facilities, and improve water and energy networks.
  • Restore agricultural land and green spaces surrounding urban centres to support farmers in resuming production and providing post-harvest services, focus on boosting employment in the agricultural sector.

Long term priorities:

  • Expand beyond current urban areas, focus on permanent residential, commercial, and community facilities, invest in industrial development in specific northern and eastern zones, enhance central urban areas, and implement environmental protection zones.
  • Aim for a significant shift to renewable energy sources for electricity, integrate utility networks regionally, and expand wastewater treatment facilities.
  • Complete strategic infrastructure projects such as the operationalisation of the port, develop of a heavy rail connecting Gaza Gateway with Gaza City and establishment of the Gaza Transit Spine for light rail services.
  • Expand the Gaza Gateway into a significant regional rail interchange is also planned.
  • Support ecological remediation efforts, consolidating green infrastructure, open space networks, and agricultural areas as part of a green ecosystem.

Immediate Priorities / Proposed Next Steps:

  • Complete comprehensive damage assessments before initiating reconstruction efforts.
  • Implement a phased approach to housing, starting with immediate, emergency housing needs, transitioning to short-term interim housing solutions, and ultimately increasing long-term, affordable housing options.