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The Metropolitan Jerusalem Master Plan

The Metropolitan Jerusalem Master Plan


seventies did people begin to discuss

preserving those areas. Even then, it was

seen as a hindrance to development and

not as a means For potential revitalization

and as an opportunity.

Ignoring the cultural significance of

neighborhoods, focusing only on the Old

City’s attractiveness for tourism disregards the

enormous potential benefit to tourism from

the first neighborhoods, the attractive streets,

the concentration of exceptional architecture,

and such. Since the sixties, many extraordinary

architectural treasures have been destroyed,

usually to build in their stead new buildings

with little architectural uniqueness. This

happened with Talitha Kumi, Beit HaDegel,

and the “Kiach” (Klal) building – frommost

of which no remnant

Only in recent years were a few plans

promoted and implemented. These plans

were aimed at making certain streets more

attractive for residents and commerce. They

focused on the environmental development

and removal of traffic from these streets.

This is what was done on parts of Bezalel,

Agripas, Shatz, and Shimon ben Shatach

streets. Another particularly successful

example of the process of preservation and

development is Mamilla Street, where old

houses were preserved while making the

street a prospering focal point for tourism.

The purpose of the change in these cases was

not – and rightly so – preservation in and of

itself, rather, development for the residents’

benefit. Preserving legacy buildings was the

anchor, the pull – and ultimately, the thing

which made these places attractive.

Reconstruction of the

Stern House in the

commercial center of the

Mamilla neighborhood.

The stones were

numbered for dismantling

and reconstruction in the

new compound. 2010

Site preservation as a

tourism resource

Those who deal today with planning and

development of the city do not adequately

consider the cultural significance of some

of the historical neighborhoods, whose

importance is no less than that of the

first towns such as Petach Tikva, Zichron

Yaakov, and Gedera. The pioneers who

established these towns were mostly city

people of the old Yishuv (Jews living

in Israel before the Zionist movement),

and their work contributed greatly to the

development of Jerusalem. When visiting

the city, only seldom do people come just

to see one building; Jerusalem’s importance

and attractiveness are derived from its

nature as a system of homes, buildings,

and neighborhoods. The development

of Jerusalem’s historical neighborhoods

– which would be integrated with the

development of historical sites in the

Old City and its surroundings – could

boost the tourism potential of the entire

city, and enrich the broader experience

of visiting the city. In order to achieve

this, the development of the historical

neighborhoods and early sites in the city

must be perceived as a means of improving

the quality of life for the city’s residents,

and by extension for making the entire city

attractive to tourists.

Historically, the different urban plans

for Jerusalem, since the time of the British

Mandate, have ignored the preservation of

urban historical sites.

Most of them even condemned

historical neighborhoods, like Nachalat

HaShiv’ah, for destruction. Only beginning

in the sixties and the increasingly in the

The development of Jerusalem’s

historical neighborhoods – which

would be integrated with the

development of historical sites in

the Old City and its surroundings

– could boost Jerusalem’s

tourism potential and enrich the

experience of visiting.

From a marginal,

neglected street to

an attractive center

for shopping and

entertainment – Shatz


Jerusalem Rebuilt

Jerusalem Rebuilt