M.Sc Thesis

M.Sc StudentAbramoviz-Kosen Tirtsa
SubjectBuffer Zones Between Pollution Sources and Residential Areas
According to "Zoning of Industries in Israel"
DepartmentDepartment of Architecture and Town Planning
Supervisors PROFESSOR EMERITUS Yaacov Mamane
PROF. Shaul Amir


This study deals with the buffer zones as recommended in the document "Zoning of Industries in Israel" (1985) with comparison to the extent of implementation of these buffer distances at different selected sites. In addition, it examines the suitability of these buffer zones for environmental protection in Israel by examining three stone quarries as case study.

The empirical part of this study is divided into two main stages which derive from the definition of the goals of the research. The first stage involved the collection of data from over 100 different sources of pollution. The information collected includes the actual distance of the pollution source from the residential area as compared with the recommended width of the buffer zone.

The second stage included a choice of three stone quarries as case studies. At this part of the research information was collected regarding the impact of these quarries on residential zones in order to reach a conclusion regarding the effectiveness and importance of buffer zones. The criteria for this examination being the level of particulates, noise and vibration as measured at neighboring residential areas.

The analysis of the findings indicates that where pollution sources are on a large or medium scale, the actual width of the buffer zone is almost equal, to the width recommended by "Zoning of Industries in Israel". Where pollution sources are on a small scale, the recommendations are not consistently followed: approximately one half of the plants in this category deviate significantly from the recommended distances, whilst the other half comply. The analysis of the data from the case study indicates that although the sites where they operate are in close proximity to residential zones, no adequate measures were taken for many years to reduce the levels of particulates, noise and vibration. It is only quite recently that some real progress has been made.

The conclusions of the research indicate mat although the document has not been used much, the recommended width of the buffer zones has been observed in most cases. A further conclusion is that the recommended width of the buffer zones between quarries and residential areas can be reduced considerably whilst observing the permitted standards of particulates, noise and vibrations in the residential area, as indicated by the case studies. Nevertheless, this research has not examined additional questions caused by the quarries activity such as property values, esthetics and landscape. Also, there exist a clear trend towards a tightening of the environmental standards over the years.