Previous Page  34-35 / 108 Next Page
Show Menu
Previous Page 34-35 / 108 Next Page
Page Background


The Metropolitan Jerusalem Master Plan

The Metropolitan Jerusalem Master Plan


Open areas outside

the city are imperative

for the existence of

the values of nature

and biodiversity, and

vital for preserving

the quality of air and

moderating the effects

of global climate

change on Jerusalem.

areas for national security needs and a

culture of wasteful land development.

Thus, the average population density

from Be’er Sheva northwards is some 880

people per kilometer. Such density is likely

to become greater – rising to over 1000

people per square kilometer – towards

the middle of the 21st century, with an

expected population of some 15 million

people in the developed areas between the

Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.

The amount of built-up areas is expected

to grow and double from today’s 400

million meters to 800 million meters. It is

important to bear in mind that only 2.5%

of the Mediterranean region in Israel is

protected by nature reserves and thus,

ecological corridors, creating a continuum

of open areas which is vital to preserving

biodiversity, have great importance.

It seems that over the past few years, the

distress in regards to open areas has been

internalized, and thus the values dictating

planning on a national level in Israel today

have focused on this concern. Major

development projects target existing urban

Deer Valley, in the heart

of Jerusalem, is an

example of an open area

which was preserved

in the center of the city

and serves as a unique

habitat for animals which

disappeared from other

parts of the city. Two of the

deer living in the valley.

The Layout of Open Areas

With the rise of modern urbanization,

industrialization, and the establishment

of advanced transportation networks, the

need has arisen for the active preservation

of open areas surrounding cities. In

the past, there were vast open areas

surrounding cities, both agricultural and

expanses untouched by man – yet over

recent centuries man has taken over these

open areas bit by bit.

The open areas can be divided into two

groups: open areas outside cities, including

nature reserves, national parks, forests, and

agricultural areas, and open areas within

cities, including urban parks and gardens

– and each has great importance. Open

areas outside the city are imperative for

the existence of the values of appreciating

nature and biodiversity, and vital to carbon

assimilation processes and moderating

climate change and pollution. They

also regulate the amount and quality of

water found naturally. Open areas help

preserve values of legacy and culture,

boost agriculture as a means of nutrition

for humans, grant us a place for leisure

and relaxation, and ensure the future

of the land for generations. At the same

time, open areas in the city have great

importance as places of recreation, for the

creation of ecological balance, and more.


Open areas play a critical role in preserving

biodiversity. Biodiversity includes all the

variety to be found in nature: genetic,

species, ecosystems, and biological


In Israel, there are large areas which

enjoy a Mediterranean climate. In total,

these areas comprise some 2.5% of the

land on earth but contain 16% of the

world’s species of plants.

The Land of Israel bridges the gap

between continents and climate regions,

and thus, is especially rich with the

multitude of animal and plant species to be

found here. Despite its small size, in Israel,

some 2300 species of wild plants, 530

species of birds, 100 species of mammals,

and 100 species of reptiles can all be found

– and more. In total, in Israel, some 47,000

biological species are known – viruses,

bacteria, algae, fungi, plants to mammals.

In light of this, the Jerusalem 5800 Plan

sees the preservation of open areas and

natural habitats as a central means for the

preservation of the biodiversity of animals

and plants with which Israel has been

blessed. Preserving the scope, continuity,

and quality of these areas is imperative for

the preservation of biodiversity. The loss

or cutting off of these habitats and open

areas would be a central cause of damage

to this biodiversity.

The Lack of Land Resources

Israel is characterized by a relatively

large population growth rate, and most of

the population is concentrated on about

half the country’s land- starting from Be’er

Sheva and moving northward. This is due

to the difficult climate conditions of the

south. Similarly, Israel is characterized by

the appropriation of many of the open

The Layout of Open Areas