The Impact of Urban Sprawl in the City of Jenin on Agricultural Lands

Discussion Committee: 
Dr. Ali Abdelhamid /supervisor
Dr. Samer Raddad/external examiner
Dr. Ahmad Ra'fat/internal examiner
Dr. Ali Abdelhamid /supervisor
Mustafa Jamil Mustafa Qabha
This study aimed to identify the impact of urban sprawl on agricultural land in the city of Jenin, set out the reasons for this sprawl, political, economic, and social factors have played a key role in this sprawl. The city of Jenin have received in the first half of the twentieth century, the migration of large numbers of Palestinians from the territories occupied in 1948, besides migration from the neighboring villages for work, in addition to the natural population growth of the city. The result of these factors was, the increase in the population and the expansion of the city over time and urban sprawl in the north and west directions, including fertile agricultural land. This remains a constant sprawl, where the city lost during the last ten years, from 2002 to 2012 approximately 1469 dunums of its high fertility agricultural land. The study followed the historical method in the study of the stages of urban development and planning for the city of Jenin, the descriptive method in the study and diagnosis of current urban structure in the city, and the analytical method in the analysis and evaluation of the change in land use, the influencing factors and the impact of urban sprawl on agricultural land in the city, based on available quantitative and qualitative information and data from various sources.Also, the study benefited from the aerial photographs, maps and plans of the city in different years, and the use of the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in the analysis process . The study results indicated that the lack of planning and the absence of the role of civil and governmental institutions in the reduction of urban sprawl in the city, and the issuing oflicenses by the municipality to build on agricultural land, resulting in the loss of large tracts of these lands, where the total area of agricultural land loss in favor of urbanization between 2002 and 2012 was about 1469.4 dunums, representing %12.25 of the total area of agricultural land. The study came out a set of recommendations, most notably, the city institutions such as JeninMunicipality and the Directorate of Agriculture should take a significant role in the reduction of urban sprawl, by not issuing building permits in high-value agricultural land and develop laws to prevent construction there. The study also recommended encouraging vertical expansion instead of horizontal, and directing the building processtowards the southern side of the city (Jabriat Area), instead of building in the north-western direction to keep the land from this sprawl.
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