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A city of many neighborhoods

by ben June 30 2008
City planningMunicipal news

Welcome to Givat Ram

Jerusalem is marked by so many overlapping neighborhoods that apartment listings come with checklists and categories rather than single choices. By the time your cabbie or tour guide finishes telling you you're in the German Colony, you're actually in the Greek Colony, and then, a block later, Pierre Koenig St, which is what, Talpiot?

And don't even try to create a database of these neighborhoods that's even somewhat practical, as we've attempted here at Jerusalemite. Want to see a lits of landmarks on Mt. Scopus? Restaurants in Malcha? Jazz concerts downtown? Hey, we're trying.

Each neighborhood of Jerusalem has its own historical narrative, colorful ethnic population segments and issues. Some more than others. Many have their own neighborhood association organizations that help work with City Hall and other governmental bodies to foster neighborhood identity through community-specific events. And the Municipality's website even has a section dedicated to the various neighborhoods and their relevant institutions.

Now Jerusalem's neighborhood pride is getting a bit of an upgrade, with the goal of making the locales more distinct and welcoming. Over the past week or so, the city government has been installing a series of signs at the entrances to various neighborhoods.

Welcome to Katamon

Sometimes the results are confusing (within three blocks of each other, signs welcome us to Givat Ram at the bottom of Rabin Blvd., to the Federal District at the Foreign Ministry and to National Parking at the Supreme Court, for example), but in a land where signage lags sorely behind the development of infrastructure described by signage, it's good to know someone's working on it.

Photos by Ben Jacobson for Jerusalemite.

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