Reprieve for country's green and open spaces
The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel is celebrating the decision by the National Planning and Building Council to preserve the green areas and open spaces around Israel's cities.
The Ministry of the Interior had proposed a plan to expand area approved for new housing construction (up to 2%) outside city limits. Approving this plan would have threatened up to 8% of Israel's open spaces with potential construction.
As part of the decision the council also designated new protected areas "ecological corridors" and expanded designated "scenic areas" in the National Master Plan (TAMA 35) for new construction, development and infrastructure. It will be harder to approve new construction in these areas, as they will be preserved for people to enjoy and nature to flourish in and around Israel's cities.
The National Council decision has many implications for the State of Israel besides protecting open spaces around Israel's cities and preserving natural habitats rich with biodiversity. It also reaffirms Israel's continued focus on and investment in existing urban centers across Israel, improving quality of life for all Israel's citizens.