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Built-up areas and open areas

An indicator of the loss of open areas to development

By 2030, over 80% of the population increase will reside in densely populated urban areas , with the expansion of development of approximately 84,000 dunam (tramsfer to footnote 1 dunam = ¼ acre approximately), while approximately 12% of the population increase will reside in rural areas at relatively low densities of development entailing the loss of open areas on a scale comparable to that for urban areas (approximately 78,000 dunam).

In 2007 the built-up area of Israel covered 1.3 million dunam, approximately 6% of the total area of the country, and it is expected to reach 1.5 dunam in 2030 (6.9%).

In 2007 housing density in urban areas was 10.9 persons per dunam, more than double the national average, compared to the relatively low housing density of 2.7 persons per dunam in the rural regional councils. According to current trends, in 2030 the housing density in cities will reach 17.7 persons per dunam in the built-up municipal areas and 3.9 persons in the rural regional council areas. The local municipal councils (small urban centres) are experiencing the opposite effect, and the density in these areas is expected to decrease from 6.5 persons per dunam today to 6 persons per dunam in 2030.

Efficiency of land use is significant not only in terms of the loss of open space but also with respect to modes of transportation given that low housing density does not enable the operation of efficient public transportation.

Although on a national scale the loss of additional open space to development through 2030 will be relatively low (1.1%), the change will be strongly felt in the districts of Tel Aviv (11.2%) and the Center (6.8%)

In 2009 approximately 43% of the country’s population resided in the districts of Tel Aviv and the Center and, according to this trend, even when the size of the population increases, the division between the center and the periphery will remain the same in 2030. The country will be more crowded, with 450 persons per square kilometer, compared to 329 in 2009, but the geographical distribution by districts is more significant than the national population density: in 2030 the density in the Tel Aviv district will reach 8,488 persons per square kilometer, and in the Central district this figure will reach 2,452.

An examination of housing density by built up surface (sealing) reveals that Jerusalem is experiencing increasing density, from 10.6 persons per dunam in 2007 to 14.8 persons per dunam in 2030; the Tel Aviv district will reach 13.1 persons per dunam, and the Center will reach 10.6 persons per dunam. The density in other districts in 2030 will reach 7-8 persons per dunam in built-up areas.

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