Planning in the Face of Power. Experiencing Power Dimensions in a Visioning Process in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-7635

Planning in the Face of Power. Experiencing Power Dimensions in a Visioning Process in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip


  • Katharina Gugerell Department of Spatial Planning and Environment, Faculty of Spatial Sciences, University of Groningen, The Netherlands
  • Stefan Netsch Department Smart Building and Smart Cities, Salzburg University of Applied Sciences, Austria


Abstract  This article reflects on dimensions of power that occurred in visioning workshops with different stakeholder in the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip. The overall argument developed in the article is that the visioning process—especially signs of spatial and institutional dimensions of power—occurred in both cases in a rather similar way, even though the conditions for planning and visioning are significantly different in the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip. The visioning process illustrated that planning indeed shows signs of mediating space and power. Those power struggles are deeply rooted in the Palestinian planning history, the long-standing separation between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank and the protracted conflict between Israel and Palestine. Experiencing oneself the ‘dark side of planning’ makes clear that planning is not benign and that planning can be a powerful tool for either progressive, pluralistic practices or oppressive ones, as means of regulation and control.


Keywords  conflict; dark side of planning; mobility; Palestine; power; spatial planning


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17645/up.v2i1.862