Jerusalem and Its Environs: Quarters, Neighborhoods, Villages, 1800-1948
KARK, R & OREN-NORDHEIM, M. (1948) Jerusalem and Its Environs: Quarters, Neighborhoods, Villages, 1800-1948. Jerusalem: The Hebrew University Magnes Press.
Ruth Kark is an Israeli Professor of Geography at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her works focused mainly on the historical geography of Israel cities since the modern era, especially the influence brought by the British rule. Her research provides great details to not only the historical events and establishments in urban Israel, but also other aspects of urban and rural geography that has shaped the present day Israeli cities, such as coverage on the development of new cities and accounts on the history of villages located in the urban fringe.
Urban research on modern Jerusalem are usually focused on the old city and its environs, its related urban and preservation strategy, impacts of Israel’s partition, as well as the master plans that are produced since the British mandate. Research on the city’s other areas, such as the new city and suburbs that developed since the British arrival, or the villages and municipalities in the vicinity, have never quite been the focus of urban research. Kark, with her in-depth knowledge about Jerusalem as both a long-time researcher on the topic and a native of the city, wrote this book with equal attention to the different parts of Jerusalem that collectively create the complete urban fabric of city, providing readers with a complete picture of how Jerusalem’s old city, new city, suburbs, villages, etc., have developed and transformed from the start of modernity till the end of the British rule. She looked at the city from a lens that is predominantly urban, rather than from solely the typical religious and political perspectives. That said, religion and politics are always the agendas in shaping Jerusalem, and are always involved in the urban study of the city; yet they are not the only ways to theorize the development of the city.