Eco-friendly village to be built in Gilboa area

In what it hopes will serve as an example to others, the regional council is set to establish a "green village" run according to ecological principles.

greenhouse (photo credit: )
(photo credit: )
In what it hopes will serve as an example to others, the Gilboa Regional Council is set to establish an "green village" run according to ecological principles. Nurit will include residential neighborhoods, businesses and a commercial district. "We hope to set an example of how to be be green and ecologically aware," said a Gilboa council official. The town's main focus will be on recycling and the conservation of water and energy. "Gray water" - used for laundry, dishwashing and other household activities - will be re-used to water gardens. Houses will be built with large windows to allow for maximum light for as much of the day as possible. These, along with skylights, will reduce electricity usage. Nurit's public spaces will also be sensitive to environmental concerns. Roads will be built from recycled material and pedestrians and cyclists will have priority. Like other towns, Nurit's center, a pedestrian mall, will feature cafes and other public spaces aimed at creating a "community focus." "Every new town has an area for the community," said the official. "The difference here is that this will be a public place that corresponds to our ecological concerns." Despite the regulations, the council hopes that Nurit will attract a diverse population, with differing visions of how the town should look. "This won't be like a normal suburb," said the official. "Not everything will look the same. There will be variation in the [design of the] houses." The Gilboa is ideal for Nurit, he said, because the council is embarking on several other eco-friendly projects. "The construction of Nurit fits with the general direction of the council, which has already begun several other initiatives promoting the protection of the environment," said Danny Atar, the council head. To establish Nurit, the council will sell 106 lots ranging in size from half an acre to an acre and a quarter, with the goal of expanding the village to a total of 480 lots for both businesses and family homes. Although there is no set timetable for Nurit's expansion, the council is confident that it will attract enough families. "The progress of every stage [of construction] depends on what precedes it," said the regional official. "In a number of years the whole thing will be filled." Despite its green intentions, the official explained, Nurit will cause some damage to the environment, and has thus drawn protest from environmental groups."Whenever you build a new village on a previously empty area, it hurts the environment," he said. "We want to damage the environment as little as possible."