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Shadia Touqan

Distinguished Architect and Heritage Preservationist

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Date of Birth:



Place of Birth:

Why Featured?

Pioneering work in cultural heritage preservation and architecture in Palestine.

Brief bio

Shadia Touqan is renowned for her significant contributions to the preservation of Palestinian cultural heritage and architecture. Her work emphasizes the restoration and revitalization of historic sites, blending traditional architectural methods with contemporary needs, thereby safeguarding Palestine's cultural identity while promoting sustainable urban development.

Major Milestones


  • Educational Foundation:

  • Graduated with a Baccalaureate degree in Architecture from Cairo University in 1969.

  • Obtained a Masters in Urban Design from Manchester University in 1981.

  • Attained a PhD in Urban Development and Planning from the Development Planning Unit/Bartlett School of Architecture, University of London, in 1995.

  • Professional Practice:

  • Worked as an architect and participated in projects across the UK, Jordan, UAE, and other Arab countries, highlighting her extensive experience in urban development.

  • Leadership in Cultural Heritage Preservation:

  • Appointed as the Chief Technical Advisor for UNESCO in Yemen and Director of the Old City of Jerusalem Revitalization plan since November 1997.

  • Award Recognition:

  • Won the prestigious Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2004 for her work in Jerusalem, underscoring her significant impact on architectural preservation...See More

  • Directorship at ARC-WH:

  • Became the Director of ARC-WH (UNESCO Category 2 Centre) since January 2017, further establishing her role as a leader in the field of architectural conservation.

  • Revitalization of Historic Cities:

  • Specialized in the revitalization and preservation of historic cities, particularly in the context of post-trauma and post-conflict reconstruction, contributing to the sustainable development of these areas.

  • Jerusalem Revitalization Programme:

  • Led the Welfare Association’s comprehensive Old City of Jerusalem Revitalization Programme from 1997-2014, demonstrating an integrated approach to preserving cultural heritage while addressing social and economic conditions.

  • Expert Contributions to World Heritage Cities Programme:

  • Contributed expert think pieces to the World Heritage Cities Programme Urban Notebooks, sharing insights on the role of historic centers in contemporary cities and strategies for their preservation and development.

  • Nablus City Development Plan:

  • Co-managed a planning team contributing to the development of the old town of Nablus, showcasing her expertise in urban planning and heritage preservation within a collaborative, multidisciplinary framework.

  • International Expertise and Advocacy:

  • Served as an independent international expert on architectural preservation and revitalization of historic cities, engaging with UNESCO and other cultural organizations on issues of cultural heritage preservation post-conflict...See More 

  • Read Shadia’s article on Revitalizing the Old City...See More

Date of Last Update: 
April 6, 2024

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