|M.Sc Student||Ben-Yehuda Roey|
|Subject||The Construction of Light Rail Infrastructure and Commercial|
Land Uses in Jaffa Street, Jerusalem
|Department||Department of Architecture and Town Planning||Supervisor||Professor Pnina Plaut|
|Full Thesis text - in Hebrew|
Construction of transportation infrastructure directly impacts urban environments, especially commercial properties that are dependent upon accessibility and the customer experience. During periods of construction commercial areas are degraded by low accessibility, noise, air and visual pollution which reduce customer patronage in the business area.
Non-continuous construction work to transform Jaffa Street, a formerly noisy, polluted three- to four-lane thoroughfare into a quite, clean pedestrian-only street with a light rail line in the middle of it lasted nine years from 2002 to 2011. The first phase, removal and renewal of the underground infrastructure ─ sewerage, water, electricity and telephone cables took five years (2002 - 2007). The second phase, emplacement of infrastructure for a light rail line took three years (2008 - 2011). The line was finally opened on August 19, 2011.
This study examines how the construction along Jaffa St. affected businesses located in the target area in terms of survival rate, business mix, and spatial distribution. It also delineates the main time frames in the businesses' life: i.e., opening/closing dates so that the most significant time periods for these businesses could be identified. This research confirms the widely accepted conclusion that the greatest difficulties for businesses occurred during the second phase (2008-2011) when many commercial enterprises were forced to either close or relocate.
Differences were also found among the sections of Jaffa Street, with business in the main sections having both a higher survival rate and a lower exchange rate than businesses located in the peripheral sections. It is important to note that those rates could also have been affected by urban renewal projects that were executed during the period. It is expected that new projects will continue to be undertaken during the next few years - as is usually the case after installation of new transportation infrastructure.
Data collected by questioning existing business owners provides historical and current information that does not exist in any other data resource, although the numerical information was cross-checked with the Jerusalem Business Licensing Department. Consequently the data about the evolution of businesses in Jaffa St. from 2001 - 2014 is detailed and unique, enabling comparison of the pre-construction, construction, and post-construction periods.
The data on the impact of construction work on business in Jaffa St. significantly contributes to existing research and will probably be used in other research as well as by stakeholders interested in understanding and predicting changes resulting from construction of transit infrastructure. This in turn will benefit future planning processes.