Initiative to Increase Population Density in Residences
The National Committee for Planning and Construction has approved the Planning Administration’s initiative to amend the provisions of TAMA 35. The planned amendment will update the calculation method for the level of population density, from the number of residential units per square kilometer to the number of persons per square kilometer.
TAMA 35 stipulates, inter alia, that “a local plan for additional building area designated for residences shall be submitted only if the average (net) population density for residences in such area does not fall below that set in Schedule 1 and does not exceed double the population density set in Schedule 1.”
Schedule 1, attached as an appendix to TAMA 35, determines the minimum population density by net residential units per square kilometer.
According to the Planning Administration, a change in the calculation method is necessary because the existing method creates much lower population density than common in other Western countries. One reason for this is that many residential units are used for small households of one or two persons. Further, according to the Planning Administration, higher population density will spur social diversity, enable access to municipal services, justify establishing proper public transportation systems, and more.
For comparison, in Tel Aviv population density is 8,500 persons per square kilometer, while in Barcelona it stands at 16,000 per square kilometer, and in Paris 20,000 persons per square kilometer.
According to the Planning Administration’s proposal, the requested amendment to the TAMA 35 provisions will increase gross population density in central cities, such as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, to 30,000 persons per square kilometer in the city centers, almost doubling the number of residential units per square kilometer in such areas (from 16 to 30).
Naturally, this change will have dramatic impact on the Israeli real estate market. For example, many projects that thus far have not attracted entrepreneurs or that were not executed for lack of financial desirability will be reexamined.
In any event, the expected amendment to TAMA 35 is hopefully a significant turning point that will allow the country to approach the goals set by the Israeli government in 2017, in the framework of the Residential Strategic Plan.