Jerusalem Town Planning Moving in “right Direction”

The Jerusalem Committee which was highly critical of town planning efforts in Jerusalem when it last met here three years ago, now believes the planners are moving in the right direction. The foreign experts who comprise the committee ended their three-day meeting by declaring that they were greatly impressed by the “change of mood” since Dec. 1970.

In a final resolution the committee stated: “In 1970 we were shown a plan. Our reception was critical throughout and occasionally unnecessarily hostile. Now we see that our recommendations have largely been implemented.” Planning material which the members were shown was “clearly of a high quality and demands seriously study and reflection,” the resolution said.

Committee members were still divided over whether high rise buildings were an asset or a disaster for Jerusalem. They expressed unqualified condemnation, however, for skyscrapers which impinge on the visual area of the Old City. In a recommendation that has direct bearing on current developments in Jerusalem, the committee called for banning the construction of high rise buildings which already have building permits if they affect the Old City. They said compensation should be paid to the developers.

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