The Innocent Door
Today, Jerusalem is constantly forced to grapple with issues surrounding its ancient history and future growth. This is not a new phenomenon, however, as demonstrated by this short documentary from 1973.
In it, the viewer is given a first-hand look at the very beginning of the transformation of the city’s architectural character through the eyes of its residents and planners, including Moshe Safdie.
This short documentary affords us an unusual and privileged view of the old city of Jerusalem, before and after the redevelopment of certain key sectors took place in the early 1970s. The man appointed to try to reconcile the need for change with traditional values is Montreal architect Moshe Safdie. His plans, shown in scale models, are in harmony with ancient architecture and encompass the “innocent doorways” that lead from walled streets to pleasant courtyards. [with Moshe Safde, Amos Elon, Meron Benvennisti, Teddy Kollek]
Nir Barkat Is No Moshe Safde
People from Tel Aviv will commute to Jerusalem - only 30 minutes by train.
In the coming weeks, the Israel Land Authority (ILA) and the Jerusalem municipality will begin issuing tenders for the purchase of land on which a new business district near the entrance to Jerusalem will be built. 24 buildings will be constructed on 300 dunam (75 acres): nine 36-storey buildings and 15 buildings of up to 10 storeys. In all, there will be 1.6 million square meters of business space for a city with a 44% poverty rate, compared with a 22% nationwide rate.
You planned a business district with no connections to residences. All over the world, people have already realized that it is important to mix residences within largely business zones.
|Situated next door to the nearly-completed |
HaUma Railway Station, the building’s visage
will loom above the circular opening of the transportation hub,
commanding the gaze of commuters
arriving from Tel Aviv via the high-speed rail.
"In my nine years as mayor, I've been thinking like a market maker. My main job was to see where Jerusalem was strong, generate demand, and then facilitate supply capacity to meet that demand. The first area was a combination of tourism and culture, which generates an economic dynamic - to generate an enormous mass of demand, following which the supply would awaken. We had 9,500 hotel rooms then, and now we have 12,000 hotel rooms, with 5,000 more rooms in the pipeline. This happens only in Jerusalem. Businesspeople already realize that we're determined to develop culture and tourism in Jerusalem, and generating the demand will also bring the supply.
"The second area is High Tech, Medicine, the life sciences, and high tech are spheres in which Jerusalem is growing faster than the rest of the country. Over the past two years, we have added 4,000 more employees: we have gone from 14,000 to 18,000 employees in these fields. It's not only because of Mobileye, which now has a total of 700 employees in Jerusalem. It's very likely that we'll be among the 20 leading countries in the high-tech world in the 2017, and we're regarded as one of the world's fastest-growing cities in high tech. This drama, and this is the infrastructure for the new business district, is infrastructure that we created nine years ago. We don't have an available square meter in the city now. We're starting to develop the business district at the entrance to the city at a time when high tech, hotels, and night life are flying high.
Jerusalem has grabbed a position it didn't have before, and with this demand, we're starting to generate the supply. The business district is planned to provide a real solution to demand for jobs. It's located on the most highly developed transportation hub in Israel, at the exit from the regular railway, with two light railway lines, 1,400 parking spaces and a central bus station. It's a little like the Azrieli Center in Tel Aviv, but seven times as big. The business sector and real estate companies will obviously rise to the challenge.”
Interview with Nir Barkat, Mayor of Jerusalem 2017.
Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on July 19, 2017