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Israel: Environmentally Friendly Urban Planning

(Dec. 24, 2008) On November 5, 2008, the Knesset (Israel's Parliament) passed an amendment to the Planning and Building Law, 5725-1965. The purpose of the amendment is to emphasize the significance of careful development of open areas and to both ensure preservation of existing open areas and allocate more such places in populated urban areas. According to the amendment, the following objectives of a local area plan are authorized: avoidance, to the extent possible, of harm to vegetation and to the values of science and heritage and allocation of open public areas, especially for parks and gardens that contribute to the residents' quality of life. Such allocation must be made in accordance with the needs of the population. (Planning and Building Law, 5725-1965, 19 LAWS OF THE STATE OF ISRAEL [authorized translation by the Ministry of Justice] 330 (5752-1964/65), as amended; Planning and Building Law (Amendment No. 88), the Knesset website,