Far be it for this Green Prophet to disavow her love of the city of Tel Aviv. Tel Aviv has almost everything – the beach, museums, great food, interesting architecture, a happening nightlife… But also, of course, traffic congestion, waste, pollution, an overdose of concrete, and the improper collection of rainwater, to name a few. Tel Aviv – or any city – can be a lot to take and many urbanites find themselves searching for greener pastures eventually.
In Israel, these greener pastures will soon come in the form of an intentionally eco-friendly town in the northern Israeli region of Gilboa called Nurit. And lots of Israeli urbanites (mostly from Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Haifa) are getting on board.
Currently in the works with the first 100 homes ready by next year (and 400 families living in Nurit by 2012), this new green town is the product of intense consultation with global environmental experts. Nurit will not only encourage, but actively enforce environmentally responsible behavior via its infrastructure and services. And here’s how:
Wind and solar energy: Since Nurit will be located on Mt. Gilboa itself, it will lend itself to collecting a great deal of wind and solar energy. Photovoltaic solar panels and dozens of wind turbines will be installed and will provide more than enough energy for all of Nurit’s public buildings. The excess energy will be sold to the Israel Electric Company, which means that private residents will be able to save money on their own electric bills while making some cash on the side.
Natural air conditioning: Residents will be asked to reduce the need for electric cooling and heating systems by growing tall, leafy trees around their homes (to provide shade during the summer) as well as effectively insulate their homes.
Water conservation: Nurit residents will be required to save water in a few ways. Not only will residents have to build their own rain collection systems and mini-reservoirs to store rainwater, but they will also be required to save “gray water” from dishwashing, bathing, and other non-sewage sources by building separate drainage systems in their homes. The “gray water” will then be used to water gardens and other purposes.
Transporation: Nurit will allow residents to keep their personal vehicles, but will encourage them to use local transportation services. It will also be expected that most residents work in the area or at home, so that long daily work commutes are unnecessary.
Read more about other environmental endeavers in northern Israel:: Israel’s First Wind Energy Developer Mey Eden (Eden Springs), Gets Windier on the Golan, Ras Al-Ayn: A Model for Composting in Israel!, Israeli Eco Tourism Welcomes the Yurt, and Green Prophet Visits Amirim, a Vegetarian Paradise in the Galilee