MGSDII Receives Gift to Establish an Israeli-San Diego Urban Planning Research and Teaching Hub Between UC San Diego (UCSD) and the Technion Institute of Technology in Haifa

​​​​​With the goal of advancing social and environmental justice in present-day cities, Joan and Irwin Jacobs generously added to their gift to the MGSDII to establish the UP-Hub. The new gift will build upon the current exchange program between UCSD and the Technion University, Haifa, Israel, led by formed MGSDII Visiting Professor, Mor Shilon. The distinctive exchange program aims to foster a knowledge exchange between two case studies of Community Engaged Learning with underserved communities: the Palestinian community of Jisr Azzarqa in Israel and the Black and Latinx communities of Logan Heights in San Diego. Utilizing an innovative approach that integrates high and situated technology, student collaborate with residents to undertake community-driven projects aimed at overcoming conceptual and geographical barriers.

The first exchange brought 22 UCSD students and two faculty members to Israel to meet and work together with their peers at the Technion. Shilon will continue to lead the classroom collaboration as she directs the new UP-Hub.

“This gift is especially timely as I see the UP-Hub serving the goal of advancing democratic and inclusive initiatives in Israel, and emphasizing its care for diverse communities. As an Israeli citizen, I consider this endeavor not only my right but also my obligation,” said Shilon.

The UP-Hub will facilitate the first joint faculty workshop in San Diego, planned for April 2024.

Mor Shilon is an Assistant Project Scientist and Lecturer in UCSD USP Department. She is a sociologist and an urban planner specialized in community-engaged work, and urban planning theories and methodologies.