Mayor Unveils Jerusalem 'Master Plan'

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JERUSALEM, Israel - Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat unveiled the final draft of a master plan to develop Israel's capital over the next two decades, the first comprehensive municipal plan to emerge in half a decade.

"The master plan is an important component of a strategic plan for the city for years to come," Barkat announced on Tuesday.

"Since taking office, we have worked diligently to adjust the planning that was already in process to reflect our vision to stop the negative migration of residents from the city and to accelerate economic development in the coming years," he said.

Barkat presented the plan to an Interior Ministry committee for review.

The plan envisions affordable housing for city residents, including young families and university students, most of whom cannot afford to rent or buy apartments in today's real estate market.

The plan also addresses housing in the Arab sector, with plans for 13,550 apartments in east Jerusalem neighborhoods including A-Tur, Beit Hanina-Shuafat, Tel Adesa and Jabel Mukabar.

Before construction can begin, zoning, infrastructure and related development plans will have to be addressed, which will take considerable time.

The master plan also includes five new city parks and new complexes for the hi-tech and tourism sectors.

Preservation of historic buildings is addressed in the master plan.

Barkat and his staff envision four new industrial zones and the expansion of existing industrial areas, which will create an estimated 150,000 new jobs for Jerusalem residents.

The ambitious plan also includes colleges and training centers for the city's ultra-Orthodox community.

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