Huge new housing developments planned for Jerusalem

By Richard High11 July 2008

Jerusalem, Israel's Regional Construction and Planning Board has approved the construction of 910 housing units in Har Homa in the south of the city, and 900 in western Pisgat Ze'ev, according to local news reports.

The new neighbourhood, called Homat Shmuel C in memory of the city's late deputy mayor Shmuel Meir, will cover about 300 dunams (30.35 ha). It will be flanked on two sides by woodland.

The new Har Homa hilltop project will be unique in that its buildings, between five and nine stories high, will reach the same absolute height, forming a flat skyline. Space has also been planned for communal buildings and public parks.

The Regional Planning Board also approved 900 units in the north-Jerusalem neighbourhood of Pisgat Ze'ev, which already has a population of about 50000. The project will occupy 140 dunams (14.16 ha), and will be situated close to the route of the city's not-yet-completed light railway.

The new plan changes the zoning plans of the area from "industry and stores" to residential, in keeping with the goal of concentrating industrial areas in just a few locations.

Jerusalem is Israel's largest city both in terms of both population and physical size. Almost 750000 people live in the city, a third of whom are Arabs, and the municipality controls 126300 dunams (129.5 km2).

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