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Volume :35 Issue : 4 2007      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

Historical Development and Analysis of the Internal Structure of Ramallah and Al-Bireh, Palestine: A Study in Urban Geography

Auther : Hussein Al-Rimmawi

The study tackles the historical development and internal structure of twin cities Ramallah and Al-Bireh which are located to the north of Jerusalem by 15 kilometers. These two cities have been converted from two small neighboring villages at the beginning of twentieth century into a twin city at the launch of twenty first century. Through its development this twin city witnessed several ruling states such as the Ottomans, British mandate, Jordan, Israeli occupation, and Palestinian Authority. Each of these ruling states had its imprint on the spatial growth of Ramallah and Al-Bireh.

Several variables related to levels of education and occupations are included in this study and analyzed by means of factor analysis technique. 1997 Census tract data were obtained from the Central Palestinian Bureau of Statistics. Four significant factors were extracted and these factors are 1- low education and low occupation 2- high education and high occupation 3- technicians and clerics 4- labors and farmers. Factor score loadings of census tract on each factor were also extracted mapped and spatially analyzed.

In the study, it has been found that the spatial residential structure of the two cities did not match with classical theories of western cities. But it may be suggested that they are in transitional period of matching western cities as well as many urban centers of third world.

It has been found that Israeli settlements around Ramallah and Al-Bireh have damaged their normal growth. Furthermore, the two cities are in need to a comprehensive master plan which may include the surrounding rural areas in order to put them in shape for the next twenty five years.

Keywords: Internal structure, Factor analysis, Historical development, Residential structure, Census tracts, Israeli settlements, Educational levels, Types of occupations

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