The Haifa District Planning and Building Committee has decided to approve a new outline plan for the city of Haifa. The plan's target for 2025 is 330,000 residents, 55,000 more than the city has at present. Among other things, the plan includes a new main downtown business center, an employment center in Haifa Bay, building and renovation of public buildings, hubs of higher education, tourism, culture, commerce, leisure and homes, and also relates to the city's seafront.
In terms of residential construction, several large plans are currently being promoted in Haifa. Some of them are undergoing a statutory process, like the plan for 4,500 homes in Haifa's southern entrance, which will be discussed before being deposited for objections in November and Gurel Hill, a plan for 2,000 homes which has already been deposited and transferred to the handling of objections' investigator. There are also several plans being promoted in the Local Committee which connect Haifa's southern entrance, on the plain, with the Gurel Hill, above it.
In terms of green areas, the plan validates the Lower Kishon Park, an area currently zoned for industry and leased to the Israel Ports Company. In a deposited plan 586 dunams (about 145 acres) were designated for the park. It is included in the outline plan following the decision of the Subcommittee on Principle Planning Matters, although a large area was taken out of the plan and will be handled in a National Outline Plan. Maintaining the park area is vital, since the remaining area between Haifa and the Haifa Bay will be used for port needs in the future, following the development of Haifa Port.
Another plan promoted in the city is the Haifa-Barcelona plan, in which old port areas will be renovated and opened to the general public, including a broad and continuous seafront promenade, squares and concourses which connect it to adjacent urban areas - the German Colony and \ downtown; the promenade will also be extended to the west, where it will connect with the Bat Galim neighborhood.
The outline plan also states the need to focus on connecting the city to the waterfront, which is currently separated by a wide highway, "while keeping Haifa's beaches as municipal beaches which answer the residents' sport and recreational needs."
Haifa's Regional Planner Liat Peled said, "The approval of the outline plan will help the local committee to approve important, large-scale scale, plans in the city. The district committee considers it vital to promote a plan that answers the needs of the future and balances national, municipal and local needs. The plan provides tools for bolstering the city's employment areas and connecting Haifa and the Bay area into a unified metropolitan center."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on November 8, 2016
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