New Urbanists Green Israel's Periphery
Conceptual drawings created by the community.
Kiryat Shmona, a small and war-weary town of about 20,000 people along Israel’s northern border, is planning to transform its city hall into a green building. With natural lighting through sun-filtering windows, rainwater collection, solar ventilation chimneys and on-site water purification, the building will be the first green city hall in Israel.Out of commission since being hit by a missile in 1999, the new green municipality is meant to be a catalyst for the renewal of the town, which suffered heavy bombardment and was almost totally abandoned during the war of 2006. The town sits in a pristine natural area, near a large nature preserve, and contains a small regional college and even a few green businesses.
Last month, a group called Merhav – Movement for Israeli Urbanism organized a five day charrette in the town. Attended by around a hundred residents and thirty professionals, the charrette was the first of its kind in Israel. Greening the town’s city hall was just one idea generated by the process, which dealt with a range of environmental, social and economic issues.