The area including Bikat HaNadiv (HaNadiv Valley), along with Ramat HaNadiv (HaNadiv Heights) and the foothills of Ramat Menashe (Menashe Heights) with the Taninim River and its tributaries flowing through its center has received much attention from the planning bodies in Israel due to its unique features and landscapes, which include a variety of landforms and multiple cultural and historical sites. The area is located adjacent to the heart of the country and between two main metropolitan entities. For these reasons, a large portion of the area was defined as a “scenic entity” in National Outline Plan 35, and as an area “preferred for preservation” requiring a specific plan encompassing this region.
The area is marked by impressive scenic and cultural features such as Bikat HaNadiv’s vineyard landscapes and historical sites representing a large variety of periods and styles. The area is located in proximity to rapidly developing towns such as Zichron Yaakov, Pardes HanaKarkur, Binyamina and Givat Ada, and to a number of dynamic communities that exist in equilibrium with their surroundings.
The planning bodies’ central challenge is to determine land uses for this region which will protect its unique features and still allow for controlled and balanced development. This is not a simple task. The area is not a nature reserve or a forest with rare natural qualities which must be protected by strict laws, but rather a developing region which must provide its residents with the means to support itself. The goal therefore, is to find the balance between developmental goals and protection of natural and cultural assets. Such are the principles of sustainable development, the guiding concept of this plan.
The plan’s responsibilities are two-fold:
The first is to create a master plan and a “classic” outline plan that regulates land use in the area, solves conflicts and takes advantage of planning opportunities. All of these components should be incorporated into an outline plan according the building and planning law in instructions and in an illustration of the determined land use.
The second undertaking of the plan relates to the fact that this is the first in a series of plans designed mainly for open spaces. Traditionally, the Israeli planning establishment has focused their efforts on building and development issues. As the first of its kind, this plan for open spaces bears a heavy responsibility characteristic of new beginnings. Through this plan, the concepts, directions and planning language dealing with open spaces will be set. The initiatives which this plan presents will be used by the plans to follow that deal with similar issues.
Therefore, the plan’s second task is to serve as the model for the planning language for open spaces and to propose ideas, approaches, and methods for organizing open areas, integrating them into every thread of life.