(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Ahead of Jerusalem Day, Mayor Nir Barkat vowed to continue to build in all parts
of the city at a special Knesset session regarding the housing shortage in the
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“We need 50,000 additional housing units in town to meet
anticipated population growth in the coming years and we will do this by
condensing and expanding into existing neighborhoods,” Barkat said at the
session. He said that two-thirds of the 50,000 units would be for Jewish
residents and one third would be for Arab residents, in keeping with current
Barkat added that one initiative the city is pursuing
is encouraging businesses located in apartments to move into commercial areas,
to free up residential areas for housing.
The biggest problem that the
mayor is facing in building more apartments is a lack of land. Last Wednesday,
Barkat and Interior Minister Eli Yishai announced that Jerusalem had bought 250
dunams (25 hectares) of land from Kibbutz Ramat Rahel in order to build 1,600
apartments in a new neighborhood to be call Morodot Arnona.
the Central Bureau of Statistics, construction was started on 2,090 apartments
in 2010, similar to the 2,120 started in 2009 and significantly higher than the
1,590 started in 2008.
Jerusalem is also the country’s poorest city,
according to statistics released by the CBS ahead of Jerusalem Day. A staggering
12.1 percent of households have no breadwinner, the highest rate in the country,
and more than double the figure in Tel Aviv, where 4.9% of households have no
breadwinner. The city also has an employment rate of 46% that was significantly
lower than the national employment rate of 57.3%.
ultra-Orthodox population is growing substantially.
During the 2000- 2001
school year, approximately 57.3% of students enrolled in municipal Jewish
schools in Jerusalem were in the haredi framework. In the 2009-2010 year, 64.7%
of enrolled students were in haredi programs.
Jerusalem celebrated the
44th anniversary of the Six Day War as both the capital and the largest city in
In 1948, the city had 82,900 residents, while in 2010, this had
grown to 789,000, or roughly 10% of the country’s population.
grew by nearly 16,000 residents in 2010, despite the fact that more than 7,000
left the city for Tel Aviv, Ma’aleh Adumim, Bnei Brak, Betar Illit and other
In 2010, 2,547 new immigrants moved to Jerusalem, an
increase of 11% over the previous year.
The city used the holiday to
highlight some unique facts about Jerusalem, such as the fact that there are
2,000 archeological sites located within the city boundaries.
also has 1,253 km. of roads, only 28 km. of which are highways.
an effort to introduce some color into the city’s 80 squares, the city has
planted 420,000 seasonal flowers across the capital since Pessah.