The proposed plan sprawls over a vast area of approximately 647 dunam, encompassing the Rechavya neighborhood and parts of the adjacent neighborhoods Kiryat Shmuel, Talbiyeh and Sha’arey-Chesed.
Rechavya is historically significant being the neighborhood housing national institutions, the Gymnasia Rechavya- Jerusalem’s first modern Jewish high school, and in which many of the Zionist Movement’s leaders such as David Ben-Guryon, Arthur Rupin, Menachem Ussishkin, Yitzhak Ben-Tzvi as well as many intellectuals such as Martin Buber, Shmuel Hugo Bergman and others.
Moreover, the neighborhood is architecturally significant in that within it lies the largest assemblage of Bauhaus and International Style buildings in Jerusalem. The neighborhood originated in the 1920’s as a garden-city, planned by architect Richard Kaufmann. As the years went by, the neighborhood grew and expanded beyond the original plan.
Jerusalem’s municipality head out to planning the neighborhood with two main goals in mind: the preservation of the special character of the neighborhood and its’ unique buildings, and addressing the need for condensing the building-mass as part of Jerusalem’s master-plan. As part of the planning process, a survey was conducted and approximately 150 buildings in the neighborhood were marked worthy of preservation to different degrees, and each category was given specific preservation principles. As well as the preservation of the buildings, much thought was put in to the preservation of the neighborhood’s character as this comes to light much thanks to the streets, fences, the space between buildings, vegetation and the scale of building masses.
The master-plan defines 3 zones within its’ boundary, and based on the specific character and quality of the buildings in each zone, grants building permissions for new buildings and additional building rights to existing ones.
The neighborhood suffers for a severe lack of parking spaces as well as the transformation of gardens between building into parking spots. Although it may not entirely solve the problem, the plan proposes the following: locating public parking lots, allowing underground parking below residential houses and regularizing parking spots in the street. In addition, the plan proposes parking solutions for new buildings, thus minimising the damage to the surroundings.
The plan was overseen by a team from the municipality, in cooperation with the district committee, the neighborhood council and residents representatives.