Ayala Israel, Bezalel

Building extensions as an alternative path for local municipal renewal in the Jesse Cohen neighborhood. The Jesse Cohen neighborhood is characterized by heterogonous population coupled with homogenous and anonymous planning of public housing projects. Within this space, building-code violations have emerged – spontaneous spaces that appropriate the projects’ common areas and claim them as a home.

The project offers an alternative to the municipal renewal paths by using the common practice of building extensions in the neighborhood. The proposed path, which is based on local intelligence, turns the housing project to a generator of renewal, with the residents becoming a part of the solution, and local problems becoming valuable. Examination of the phenomenon reveals a collage of formations, solutions and utilizations which provide the neighborhood with a unique identity, challenging its original forced political order by injecting local wisdom.

The neighborhood, which suffers from a reputation of crime and economic hardship, is currently undergoing a process of municipal renewal, holding a potential for change as well as concern for the elimination of its unique character. The project proposes a way to formalize the current chaotic system by using game theory to design dynamic scenarios for expansion and extension which take into account the desires and needs of expanders and their neighbors alike.
By transforming the current set of extensions into an overall long term planning strategy, the project offers an alternative path for municipal renewal, using the housing project as a trigger for regeneration that will encourage residents to actively impact their surroundings, this time as resident-entrepreneurs.