The neighbourhood unit adequacy: An analysis of the case of Gaza, Palestine

Omar S. Asfour*, Nermin Zourob

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Urban planning in the Gaza Strip faces several challenges as a result of rapid population growth and limited available resources. Planning for housing development in Gaza is based on the neighbourhood unit concept. However, it is not clear to what extent this trend is responsive to local housing needs, and what should be done to improve it. This paper presents the results of a survey of local housing specialists followed by a real-time case study of neighbourhood planning. The study concludes that the use of neighbourhood unit concept as a planning base is appropriate for the Gaza Strip, considering the social context and the limited size of the local housing projects, which requires an incremental development policy. However, several challenges remain, including the absence of a national housing policy and unified legislation, fund shortages, and land limitations. The study recommends to policy makers that adequacy of this social-oriented planning model should be investigated considering the principle of localisation instead of standardisation. This is essential in avoiding the absolute rejection or adoption of this model on the one hand, and in ensuring a subjective process of reinventing rather than mere borrowing on the other one.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
StatePublished - Sep 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Ltd


  • Housing
  • Neighbourhood unit
  • The Gaza Strip
  • Urban planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Urban Studies
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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