Accessibility Measures to Public Services in Palestinian Cities: The Case of Nablus City

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Ghrood Ghaleb Subhee Awadeh

The distribution and planning of public services is considered one of the major objectives of city planning due to its direct relation with serving residents, meeting their needs, and their accessibility to these services. The Palestinian cities in general and Nablus city in particular are suffering from the random distribution of public services without referring to the planning regulations that are based on population density and range of these services. In addition, there is a difficulty for the inhabitants of some residential districts, especially the outer ones and the suburbs, in accessibility to basic services like education and health. The major aim of this thesis is to study and analyze the current situation of public services in Nablus City as a case study through the application of certain accessibility measures to these services. The methodology of the study was based mainly on the descriptive and analytical methods using the available data and the field survey of public services as well as the results of the questionnaire distributed to a random sample in the city to measure the accessibility and determine the difficulties in access to these services. The results of the study indicated that there is a medium degree of accessibility to public services for most districts in Nablus City except some suburbs like Kufr Qallil, Zawata, and Roujeeb, which face difficulty in access to these services. Also, the results showed that there is a medium degree of difficulty in most districts and a high degree of difficulty in the suburbs to access to public hospitals. For other services like public libraries, banks, and post office, the results indicated that there is a medium degree of difficulty in access to such services from most of districts in the city. The results of the study have referred the difficulty in access to public services in Nablus City to certain factors, the most important being the long distance from public services, traffic congestion, and the absence of public transportation. The study suggested providing certain public services in specified locations in the city of Nablus so that to cover the shortage in distribution of these services throughout the city; and to provide better accessibility for these services to the surrounding neighborhoods. The study recommended the necessity of using the accessibility measures as a basic factor in the planning and distribution of public services in the city. In addition, it recommended the necessity of undertaking a traffic plan for arranging the transportation network, and the provision of public transportation service in Nablus City. Finally, the study recommended the importance of preparing similar studies in other Palestinian cities on the regional scale including the city and its surroundings.
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