Architect, conservationist and director of Old City of Jerusalem Revitalisation Programme, Shadia Touqan graduated with a Baccalaureate degree in
Architecture in 1969 from Cairo University. She obtained a Masters in Urban Design
from Manchester University in 1981, and
attained a PhD in Urban Development and Planning from Development Planning Unit/ Bartlett School of Architecture
from the University of London in 1995. She worked as an architect on a number
of projects in the UK, Jordan, UAE, other Arab countries and is an expert on
urban development of Palestinian towns.
Shadia is the Chief Technical Advisor for USESCO in Yemen,
Director of the Old City of Jerusalem Revitalization plan since November 1997,
and is an expert on cultural heritage preservation and revitalization of
historic cities with a number of international
organizations such as the World Bank and UNESCO. She has not only published a
number of papers and articles on the subject of preservation of cultural heritage. She won the prestigious Aga Khan
Award for Architecture for her work in Jerusalem in 2004.
A restoration by the Technical Office of the Old City of Jerusalem Revitalisation Programme (OCJRP) that restored a stone, courtyard house in the Old City and fitted it with modern utilities and connected it to water, sewage, and electric infrastructure.
OCJRP projects have included the restoration of some of the most famous landmarks in Jerusalem that had fallen into disrepair and neglect through poor infrastructure, pollution and damage from nature and man. Efforts have concentrated on buildings in the environs of al-Haram al-Sharif and in areas such as Aqabat al-Khalidiyya and Bab Hutta that have been identified as among the most threatened and neediest. Projects have included buildings housing educational, cultural, social, commercial, and health services of various Jerusalem institutions. The restoration work has provided more than 71,000 working days for Jerusalem workers.
The aim of conservation is the daily utilization of historic buildings since this integrates the structures into the community and is one of the best methods to protect it against physical damage. Some creative solutions have been found for adaptive reuse of neglected buildings by restoring the structure to use through providing modern facilities while protecting the historic and architectural features.
Source: Old City of Jerusalem Revitalisation Programme