|M.Sc Student||Amit Mendelson|
|Subject||Urban Nature Sites in Israel - History, Theory and Practice|
|Department||Department of Architecture and Town Planning||Supervisor||Professor Alon-Mozes Tal|
|Full Thesis text - in Hebrew|
The term "Urban Nature Site" is commonly used to describe open spaces which retain their original character and natural features - flora, fauna and various geological features - that have become isolated in built-up areas or in the urban fringe by accelerated urbanization.
This research is an exploratory study whose purpose is to characterize the term "Urban Nature Site" and to evaluate the design tools for the establishment and management of these sites. The question, what are the required components for locating and planning of an Urban Nature Site so it will survive and function for a long time, is explored via three perspectives: History, Theory and Practice.
The history of preserving Urban Nature Sites in Israel was reviewed in order to check the origins of the awareness to Urban Nature, and to identify special problems that characterize its conservation.
The theory - Ecological and Social - was implied in order to set criteria for evaluation of the suitability of chosen Urban Nature Sites (Case studies). The criteria include, for example, information about the species' diversity in the site, size of the site, community activity and management of the site. The case studies represent various types of sites: single site versus network, and natural area versus reconstructed habitat. Four Case studies were explored, in Mexico City (Xochinilco Ecological park), Boston area, Ramat Gan and Nethanya (The Irises reserve).
The selected criteria represent a set of measurements for a successful Urban Nature Site. A successful site should receive high rankings on most of the criteria. The research helps to establish a model for preservation of Urban Nature Sites, which is applicable both for existing sites and for restored ones (as a part of ecological parks). In the historical field, the research points to an increasing growth over time in the awareness of the importance of nature sites, and consequently their greater integration into master plans and in establishment of strong regulations for their preservation.
This exploratory research will lead to a better overall understanding of this new area in urban planning. Currently, the planning of Urban Nature Sites arises from local initiatives and methodologies. This research will assist in standardizing these methodologies, and encourage creation of new sites.