|M.Sc Student||Solomon-Maman Vered|
|Subject||Historic Preservation According to the Israeli Planning and|
Building Law: International Comperative Analysis
|Department||Department of Architecture and Town Planning||Supervisor||Professor Emeritus Rachelle Alterman|
Historic preservation of architecture and urban form dates back many centuries, but only in recent years did it become a major area of planning policy. Successful preservation requires public recognition, legislation, adequate financing, and devoted professionals. International preservation conventions attempt to preserve the world's most valued sites. Beyond this, countries differ greatly in their preservation laws and practices.
This research had three objectives: to compare the experiences of selected countries (based on the literature), to analyze the Israeli laws and practices empirically, and to evaluate the Israeli law and practice from this international prism.
For our comparative literature research, we chose 8 countries: U.S., U.K., Germany, France, Belgium, Holland, Croatia and Hungary. We divided the findings of the survey into three principal subjects: 1.Ways of defining historical structures 2.Administrative and regulatory ways of action 3.Economic tools available to the institutions charged with preservation
Israel has special sections in its Planning and Building Law that make it mandatory on municipalities to draw up preservation lists, and powers to regulate preservation and prevent demolition. However, are these powers adequate? The research hypothesis was, that they are not. We assumed that there are only a few municipalities that practice preservation adequately, that the tools provided by this legislation are not adequate, and that even these minimal tools are not observed by many municipalities. Our field research aimed at looking at the relationship; between the law and on-the-ground practice.
In the course of this research we learned of the initiative of the Israel Planning Administration at the Ministry of the Interior, to conduct a national survey to examine the implementation of the law. Based on the national survey, we selected 28 local authorities “presumed to be preservers” and conducted in-depth interviews with key decision makers in each one. Our goal was to learn about the decision-making powers and contexts, and the manner by which the decision makers cope with preservation matters.
Even though we identified a number of positive examples of local authorities that enlisted preservation to their benefit, we found that most authorities are not geared for adequate historic preservation, do not maintain properties that should be preserved, and at times, do not prevent demolition. We hope that the publication of this study will encourage the legislators to institute the changes that we proposed in the legislation, the institutional structure, and financing. These are necessary to promote historic site preservation in Israel.