The master plan for urban renewal in the Kiryat Eliezer-Kiryat Eliyahu neighborhood in Haifa was unveiled yesterday at a public participation meeting. The Haifa municipality and the government Urban Renewal Authority initiated the plans. At the end of the month, the plan will be presented to the full Local Planning and Building Commission, which is expected to approve it next year.
The Kiryat Eliezer neighborhood is located between the southern approaches to Haifa and the lower city in the vicinity of the old Egged Central Bus Station and Rambam Medical Center. For many years it housed the city's soccer stadium - now replaced by Sammy Ofer stadium at the southern entrance to the city.
Typically for the hasty construction in the 1950s, the neighborhood features low apartment blocs with a poor construction standard. There are also, however, residential and public buildings built to a higher architectural standard. The neighborhood is named after senior Labor Party politician Eliezer Kaplan, who died when occupancy of the neighborhood began in 1952.
The urban renewal plan for the neighborhood, prepared by a team led by BLK Barely Levitzky Kassif Architects & Town Planners, proposes demolishing buildings and building new ones, strengthening and adding to buildings, and a combination of fairly low-level construction and high-rises with towers of up to 22 storeys. The proposed density is 60 housing units per dunam (240 housing units per acre). The ratio for demolishing and construction is 3.5 housing units built for each unit demolished. The unique buildings in the neighborhood will be preserved as they are, for example the tower designed by late architect Alfred Mansfeld in Meirhof Square.
The proposed design includes dividing the neighborhood into two areas, each of which will be developed as a separate urban bloc, based on a combination of different uses. Part of the idea in dividing the neighborhood into separate areas is to carry out urban renewal gradually.
The central boulevard will be reinforced as artery for activity and leisure connecting neighborhood public and commercial centers, starting from Meirhof Square through the Reut and Yavnieli schools and the National Maritime Museum. The plan's designers emphasize development and preservation of the neighborhood's landscape values, including pocket gardens hidden between the residential buildings. Emphasis will also be placed on connecting the neighborhood to the beach and the adjacent neighborhoods.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on November 13, 2019
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