National Urban Policy for Palestine
The NUP constitutes a framework and reference for the implementation of public interventions in urban areas in Palestine by the ministries and service-providing institutions of the State of Palestine, in addition to being an awareness tool focusing on the promotion of sustainable urban development.
In Palestine, urbanization exceeds the global average given the particularity of its complex geopolitical situation, standing at 77 per cent (71 per cent in the West Bank and 87 per cent in Gaza Strip) with an additional 8 per cent of the population living in refugee camps, which are characterized by high levels of informality and considered of urban nature, thus making the de facto urban population in Palestine about 85 per cent, with the remaining 15 per cent living in rural settings. With a 2.8 per cent urban population growth rate in 2021, Palestine is classified among the top 25 per cent of urbanizing countries.
In 2022, the Ministry of Local Government (MoLG) and partners led a consultative process in identifying the main priorities and pillars of the NUP. The consultation process was administered by a task team including the Association of Palestinian Local Authorities, the consultant team from An-Najah National University, with technical support from UN-Habitat at the bequest of the European Union. The consultations included stakeholders from the Gaza Strip and West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Refugee camps were not excluded but were not directly involved in the NUP process. The main pillars identified are housing, transportation, natural and cultural heritage, sustainable urban-rural development, disaster risk management, urban governance, and urban economy. Climate change was a cross-cutting issue in the discussions between stakeholders and was considered when formulating policies related to all the pillars mentioned above, especially, the fifth pillar related to disaster risk management.