West Jerusalem Closer to a Greener Construction Plan
i24 News – A dispute over a new neighborhood on the western edge of Jerusalem may soon come to an end.
Jerusalem’s Mayor Moshe Leon, previously facing criticism that the plan would damage the environment in the open area on the Lavan Ridge of Jerusalem, presented a new and greener plan.
According to Haaretz, the mayor said that the new plan will be less costly and reduce the environmental damage in the mountainous area by uprooting only 400 trees instead of 10,000. It will include 6,000 housing units, instead of 1,000, built on 75 acres of land which is a third of the land compared to the initial plan.
Furthermore, it will encourage foot traffic, and does not require the construction of a new light rail line.
The new proposal was met with mixed reactions from different environmental groups, including the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel that suggested that a national park should be confirmed before the construction of the new neighborhood starts.
From the very beginning, the plan of expanding parts of the capital was contentious, regarding areas of the city in the east and the west.
The White Range plan, as it is named officially, is the largest expansion of the western part of the city ever undertaken, which created a great public debate on the issue.
Among its supporters, the new neighborhood would “enable urban renewal,” as Haaretz wrote, in neighborhoods nearby, and it would ease the housing shortage in the city.
On the other hand, environmental groups argued that it would cause permanent damage to the landscape in the area. Trees, animal species and the underground system would be affected by the construction work. Additionally, it would increase the amount of cars which also would harm the environment.
Also in the east of the city there have been disputes over the construction of new housing units.