Jordan River Peace Park

A sketch with green, orange, blue and red sections highlighting different parts of the landscape across the border between Jordan and Israel.

The transboundary peace park is located on two sides of the Lower Jordan River that will be accessible to visitors from both Israel and Jordan. With no requirement for passports and visas people will be able to peacefully meet and interact. Protected areas on both river banks will provide opportunities for ensuring biodiversity, cooperative management, joint research programs, education, and ecotourism cooperation. The proposed park will encompass 800 hectares (2000 acres) of Israeli and Jordanian land.


Rich in sites of shared cultural and natural heritage, the Jordan River offers a wealth of ecotourism opportunities for regional and international visitors. Most of the tributartes of the Lower Jordan River have been diverted by Israel, Syria, and Jordan with sewage flowing in its place. The establishment of the park will support efforts to rehabilitate the river.


The largest tributary of the Lower Jordan River, once supplying nearly forty percent of the historic flow of the Lower Jordan River. However, upstream diversions and damming have left the Yarmouk with a small fraction of its historic flows.


A small island formed at the meeting point of the Jordan and Yarmouk Rivers and the spillway of the former hydroelectric power station which supplied electricity to both sides of the Jordan River. The 1994 Jordanian-Israeli Peace Treaty allowed visitors from both sides to access the island.


The northwest entrance to the park from Israel via Naharayim will highlight the flora and fauna of the wetland area. One of four entrance gates that will lead visitors into the park, two from Israel and two from Jordan, each is designed to highlight a unique ecology featured within the park.


The southwest entrance to the park from Israel via Old Gesher will highlight the river crossings. One of four entrance gates that will lead visitors into the park.


The northeast entrance to the park from Jordan via Bakoura will highlight the agricultural land use patterns linked to the communities. One of four entrance gates that will lead visitors into the park.


The southeast entrance to the park from Jordan via North Shunah representing the typical landscape of the east bank of the Lower Jordan River. One of four entrance gates that will lead visitors into the park.


The turbine building of the former hydroelectric power plant will be adapted for reuse as a cultural and visitor’s center. The center will include a museum, exhibition space, and an environmental education space.


The former reservoir, whose collected waters once powered the hydroelectric power station, will be partially reflooded to create a wetland and bird sanctuary for the 500 million migratory birds that traverse the Jordan Valley flyway twice annually.


A system of boardwalks, bird hides, and viewing positions in the landscape will allow visitors to observe the river ecology and the birds that come to rest in the wetland.


A historic train station along the Haifa to D’era line of the former Ottoman-built Hejaz Railway. Built in the Bauhaus style, this train station will be restored and used as an orientation center.


The former homes of workers that built the hydroelectric plant between 1926 and 1933 will be adapted into ecolodges to accommodate overnight visitors to the Park.


Testimony to the location’s important role as a crossing point over the Lower Jordan River for thousands of years, the site features three bridges including a 2,000 year old Roman bridge, an Ottoman Empire railway bridge and a British Mandate road bridge which still span the River today.


Existing pathways throughout the park area will allow visitors access to the Jordan River to interact with its unique ecologies. The centerline of the river is the political border between Jordan and Israel.


Master Plan Sketch for the Jordan River Peace Park

2008; Drawing by Yale Urban Design Workshop and Charrette Design Team; Updated for digital exhibition 2023; Marker and ink on paper over digital plot; Designers: EcoPeace Middle East (Jordan, Israel, Palestine), Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design (Israel), Yale University (United States) with students and professionals (Jordan, Palestine, Israel) and community participants (Jordan, Israel)

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