Planning Department

The mission of SPNI's Planning Department is to protect and preserve open spaces in Israel, biodiversity and natural habitats through work with the national, regional, and local planning committees. We are committed to working with the public and for the public good, ensuring that Israel's quality of life will continue to grow and improve for generations to come.

Envrionmental Representation on official Planning Committees
The Planning and Building Law allows for the representation of environmental organizations on the national and regional planning committees. 

National: The national planning committee is responsible for National Master Plans (Outline Plans). The most comprehensive plan is TAMA 35, which combines preservation and development and affects city planning and urban sprawl. In addition, and there are an 40 other specific plans dealing with topics ranging from power plants, gas lines, water resevoirs, airports, roads, sea ports, communications infrastructure, and more. There are other plans that deal specifically with preservation of nature reserves and national parks, coasts, rivers, and forests.

Regional: Under the national planning committee are regional councils which deal with more localized planning projects that affect the surrounding area. Sometimes, regionally approved projects are in defiance of National Master Plans and must be brought before the national planning committee for approval. 

SPNI has five regional coordinators that sit on the regional committees. Since there are six regional committees, Tel Aviv Community's city planner serves as our sixth representative. Our professionals are both in the field and are connected with local groups, mayors and urban administration. They serve as environmental watchdogs and respresentatives of local environmental organizations and work to ensure that decisions of the regional planning councils are in accordance with the values of sustainable development, preservation of open spaces, and public health.  

SPNI Regional Representatives:

North Region (exluding Haifa)- Yohanan Darom

Haifa Region- Yael Lavie Efrat

Central Region (excluding Tel Aviv)- Moshe Perelmuter

Tel Aviv Region- Yael Zilbershtein

Jerusalem Region- Avraham Shaked

South Region- Shay Tachnay

Local: SPNI has an interdisciplinary task force which focuses on cities and works on issues pertaining to the built environment, urban nature, and ecosystems located in urban settings. Our planning team is made up of city planners, architechts, geographers, and a landscape architect.

SPNI Local Representatives: 

Haifa- Inbal Koren- Reisner

Modi'in- Shira Banari Cohen

Jerusalem- Danna Margaliot

Tel Aviv- Yael Zilbershtein

Beer Sheva- Nufar Avni

Compiling the Annual Threats Report
In the last six years, the Planning Department has released the Annual Threats Report. This is the only report in Israel that provides an all emcompassing study of the environmental challenges and conflicts of spacial planning in Israel. 

Influence on Land Policy
Approximately 93% of the land in Israel is public land, managed by the Israel Lands Administration (ILA). The ILA has a council with representation of Environmental NGO's and SPNI is proud to monitor and accompany the council as the official environmental representative. This position is filled by Yoav Sagi from our Open Landscape Institute. It is important for SPNI  to promote a land policy that strengthens the national planning policy, protects open spaces, and that advances smart urban growth in an age when urban sprawl has begun to trump environmental concerns in so many other countries.