RAND and Suisman Urban Design sign agreement with Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Planning.
Ramallah, February 2009–The longstanding relationship between the RAND Palestine team and PA Ministry of Planning, which began with a briefing in Ramallah in 2005, was recently cemented in a Letter of Intent signed by the Planning Minister, Dr. Samir Abdullah. The letter calls on the PA and RAND to collaborate in developing detailed technical plans for infrastructure, transportation, land use, housing, and economic development – the core features of the Arc project. Dr. Ross Anthony and Mary Vaiana of RAND, and Doug Suisman of Suisman Urban Design, participated in the meeting at the Ministry’s offices in Ramallah. The signing culminated several months of preparation with senior ministry official Cairo Arafat and urban planner Bashar Juma’a, who is the PA’s Coordinator for the Palestinian Reform and Development Plan (PDRP), the underlying blueprint for development in the West Bank and Gaza. The meeting included discussions of the connector route from the West Bank to Gaza, ideas for demonstration transit projects in the West Bank, and strategies for moving the project forward.