Towards an effective strategy to cope with housing land scarcity in the Gaza Strip as a sustainable development priority

Omar S. Asfour*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Consistent with the global trends towards the adoption and implementation of sustainable urban planning strategies, this study discusses the problem of housing land shortage, considering the ever rapidly growing human population. Urban land is one of the most precious resources that need to be consumed and developed wisely. In this context, housing density is a widely used tool to control housing land consumption and ensure acceptable housing environments. With reference to the Gaza Strip (Palestinian Territories), the main aim of this study is to highlight the role of increasing housing density in order to face the problem of housing land scarcity. Within this scope, building legislation implemented in Gaza has been reviewed with reference to housing density. A questionnaire and a case study have been analyzed to propose recommendations related to housing planning and design. It has been concluded that rationalising urban land consumption in Gaza can be achieved by a dual strategy approach that increases housing density above the currently specified limit, and reduces the area of the typical Palestinian housing unit. This has to be done without sacrificing the limited open spaces available in the local housing environment. Thus, solutions that strike a balance between dense housing patterns and adequate urban environment, are essentially required here.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-303
Number of pages9
JournalHabitat International
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Density
  • Gaza
  • Housing
  • Planning
  • Sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urban Studies


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