Old City of Jerusalem Revitalization Program

Our Programs

Old City of Jerusalem Revitalization Program

Cultural heritage in Palestine, like all aspects of Palestinian existence, has been and still is under the threat of erasure by the occupation. This is exacerbated in the Old City of Jerusalem, where the existence of  Palestinians and their deep rooted cultural practices and manifestations are threated daily (listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in danger- 1982) . We believe that we have a responsibility to counter that.

We established the Old City of Jerusalem Revitalization Program (OCJRP) in 1994 to support Jerusalem’s much-neglected Old City. In 2006, we expanded OCJRP’s scope to include Nablus.

OCJRP aims to:

  • Protect the historic architectural heritage and historic fabric of Palestinian cities
  • Contribute to the social and economic advancement of our communities and the protection of their environment through the protection and betterment of the built cultural heritage
  • Build the capacity of professionals and workers in the field of conservation
  • Provide reliable data for researchers on the cultural heritage of Palestinian Cities
  • Encourage community participation in the revitalization process.

OCJRP consists of and is supported by an interdisciplinary team of urban planners, architects, engineers and historians. Its main work components include:

  • Preserving and rehabilitating historic buildings in the old cities of Jerusalem and Nablus;
  • Documenting architectural attributes of historic buildings;
  • Training architects, craftsmen, and contractors on traditional architecture preservation techniques ; and
  • Conducting community awareness activities on the importance of preserving the architectural heritage.

OCJRP’s main components achieve a comprehensive and integrated revitalization process that goes beyond the restoration and rehabilitation of historic buildings and monuments.

Through the rehabilitation of historic buildings for institutional and residential use, OCJRP creates jobs and enhances the livelihoods of these buildings’ users. It also engages community members around the preservation of their city’s heritage, strengthening their identity in the process.

Achievements:

  • 44,000,000 USD invested
  • 72 historic buildings renovated and transformed into social, commercial, educational, and institutional facilities
  • 275 historic houses restored and rehabilitated  
  • 59 residential courtyards restored and rehabilitated  
  • 39 publications and research documents prepared about the  Old Cities’ cultural and architectural heritage
  • Two comprehensive GIS database for the old cities of Jerusalem and Nablus that are continuously updated
  • 486 specialists trained on traditional restoration techniques
  • 275,000 working days created
  • 1,381 young people engaged in awareness activities

To learn more about OCJRP, please visit our website.

Testimonies

"I grew up here. This has been the Abu Qutaish family house for more than 160 years. The house’s condition deteriorated over the years and we had no way of baring its renovation costs. With your help three families now live in it. You saved the house, and more importantly, reunited me with my children and grandchildren under one roof.” 
The Head of the Abu Qutaish Family, Jerusalem