The Arc, Suisman Urban Design’s award-winning infrastructure proposal for a Palestinian state developed in partnership with the RAND corporation, continues to inspire interest both internationally and in the region. The election of Hamas last January to lead the government has led to a series of political repercussions that have stymied peace initiatives, damaged the Palestinian economy, and created growing tension and unrest both with Israelis and within Palestinian society. The war in Iraq and last summer’s short war in Lebanon have only exacerbated the situation in the region. Despite the bleak climate of the moment, many groups continue to press forward with initiatives aimed at improving the situation, including individuals and companies in the private sector, private foundations, and NGO’s. Suisman Urban Design and RAND presented their proposal last summer in Washington D.C. to the Aspen Institute’s Middle East Strategy Group, and to a reception at the residence of the Egyptian Ambassador. This led to planning for a two-day conference on the Arc, to be held in the region in early 2007. Meanwhile, the press continues to report on the project. The project had already been covered in more than 250 media outlets worldwide, including an extensive 3-page story in the New York Times in May 2005.
Recently, there have been feature articles or reviews in: The Andover Bulletin “Building the Arc”, Architectural Record, Bloomberg “A blueprint for the day after peace”, Business Week “Design Meets Diplomacy”, BBC World Service interview with Doug Suisman on the program “One Planet”, as part of a special program on “Supercities”.