By the end of 2024, Israel’s population may pass the 10 million people, according to a new study by the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS). By the year 2065, the population will stand on more than 20 million.
Real estate experts say that if the government fails to implement a series of fundamental changes in its approach, the country will find itself heading for a severe housing crisis.
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City planner Professor Rachel Alterman sees that the current number of buildings is on the decline and the high-rise towers are not on the on the up.
In an interview with Ynet Alterman said.“The high-rise buildings towers are not the correct answer for Israeli citizens. There are better solutions to take advantage of the land,’ She said.
“For example,” Alterman continue, “building smaller buildings next to one another will allow for an even smarter exploitation of the land.”
Also, she says, “We need to remember that there is also need to dedicate resources to other uses such education commerce, and recreational activities.”
While conversations with other officials in the in the field reveal disagreements in the correct approach, they also paint a clear picture. To meet the demands to supply roofs over people’s heads, a significant change required in the way we used to, and character of buildings
“The numbers that are presented by the CBS create the necessity for construction of at least 500,000 apartments in the next seven years and 1.5 million apartments within the next two decades,” says Chaim Feiglin, the CEO of a real estate company.
“We are talking about unrealistic numbers if you work according to the existing schedule.” Feiglin added that the government needed to immediately establish three metropolitan cities containing high-rise buildings that would satisfactorily cater for the demand for residential, commercial areas, public housing and “the high quality of life required today and for the foreseeable future.”
“In practice, it is possible to build three cities on just one percent of the open space in Israel. Unless this immediately implemented the housing crisis will only get worse,” he warned. “The building of new metropolitan cities…will contribute about a third of the demand for accommodation in the future.”
But unlike Professor Alterman, architect Guy Miloslevski posits that the first step to making the change is putting a complete stop to the construction of detached housing. “You have to stop or at least significantly limit the building of detached houses, including in the periphery. There we are facing a phenomenon of the disappearance of open space,” Miloslevski said. “also, high-rise construction needs to go to the next level.”
Miloslevski emphasized that high-rise construction is necessary mainly due to the shortage of land in the major cities and predicted that it would reach its peak over the next decades, both in the scope of construction of the towers and in the height of the towers themselves.
“There is no need to rule out building high-rises in the periphery—also buildings that are 10-15 stories high will increase building density. It has remembered that the costs of development in the periphery are high and the building and high-rise construction reduces the total cost of the project,” Miloslevski said.
The main change that many expert officials agree needs take place is increasing the number of stories in a high-rise from 20 to 40.
Last December Israel’s parliament gave final approval to the 2017-2018 state budget that the Finance Ministry says will reduce the cost of living, tackle a housing crisis, and boost economic growth and productivity.
By Anit Alfassa and Alexandra Lukash, Ynet News