The Givatayim City Council has approved a new outline plan for the city. The plan, prepared by a team of planners led by architect Naama Melis, proposes preparing for an increase in the city's population from 60,000 to 100,000 by 2040. The plan aims to create guidelines that will ensure that the city's quality of life is preserved while its population is growing.
Among other things, the plan provides for additional business space, strengthening commercial streets, reducing asphalt-covered space and parking lanes, adding bicycle paths, and preserving and adding trees. The plan will shortly be sent to the District Planning and Building Commission, and objections to it can be filed when it is deposited.
The planners' point of departure is that the city's population density (18,308 residents per square kilometer) is a source of its strength. The assumption is that density is a threshold condition for having a full range of services close to people's homes, and that it facilitates good public transport, encourages walking and cycling, and reduces car use. The challenge facing the planning team was preparing for the city's population growth while preserving its character.
40 storeys on Aliyat Hanoar Street
The plan states that the main planning response to population growth will be in urban renewal areas in the city's outskirts. This solution will provide for the needs of the additional population in these areas and partially supply those of additional residents in the city center. Needs not provided for in the urban renewal areas in the city's outskirts will be solved through urban renewal in the city center.
The plan sets the minimum area for urban renewal projects at four dunam (one acre), half of which will be set aside for public buildings and open public spaces. In order to ensure that the area allocated for public needs will provide a response for both the existing population and the additional population under the new plan, a maximum density of 60 housing units per dunam (240 housing units per acre) was set.
A plan for a project of 50 or more housing units will require the allocation of built-up space zoned for public use on the ground floor. The plan also states that all new parking space ill be underground, and that commercial space will consist solely of stores at street level, not shopping centers or malls.
The plan sets various maximum heights around the city for urban renewal plans, depending on the character of the area: 40 storeys on Ben Gurion Road, 40 storeys on Aliyat Hanoar Street, 40 storeys on Hashalom Road, 32 storeys on Katzenelson Street, and 16 storeys in the rest of the city. In area west of Mitzpor Hameri, bordered by Berdyczewski Street on the north, Sde Boker Street on the south, up to Weizmann Street, including the eastern and western facades, height restrictions were set in order to preserve the view from Mitzpor Hameri on Givat Kozlovsky.
The plan lists three areas for preservation of the local setting: Shikun Lavi, Shikun Hamorim, and Shikun Kupat Holim. Heritage sites are also listed, including buildings and gardens. Any plan on a heritage site will be discussed by the municipal preservation committee.
"The pedestrian is a top priority"
Givatayim Mayor Ran Kunik said, "Givatayim is already the second most densely populated city in Israel - a city with no land reserves or open spaces. I realize that urban renewal requires more crowding in the future, because of natural population increase and positive migration of young people to the city. In our outline plan, the planners therefore especially concentrated on our most important challenge - how to add housing units without detracting from the living space of each resident, while at the same time creating more public space. We made sure that the amount of green space would increase in proportion to the increase in population. We did this by approving high-rise construction only on the arteries bypassing the city and in places where it will not have a negative impact on our unique view and topography, while consolidating parks to create green strips. In this way, we have utilized more space."
Kunik emphasizes that special attention was devoted to pedestrians. "In the plan, we have widened the sidewalks, so that the streets will be open and protected for pedestrians. The car has been the queen of the road in recent years in the greater Tel Aviv area. In Givatayim in particular, we now realize that the pedestrian is the top priority," Kunik says.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on February 20, 2020
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