Monday, August 15, 2011

Use it or lose it

A dirty door with broken glass for today's Monday Doorways.
And to my further chagrin, ISRAEL COINS & MEDALS CORPORATION is what the metal letters on the door say, both in English and Hebrew, in between the menorahs.

If you enlarge this photo, look for the sign next to that door.
The smaller signs says No Parking, to no avail.

In addition to housing the Coins and Medals office/store, this must have been a hotel once, judging from the remnants of a sign.
This decaying building just off Keren Hayesod Street is one of several in central Jerusalem that have been standing empty for years, caught in legal battles between contractors, investors, and government bureaucracy.
As I hope your news media have told you, the past month is seeing an unprecedented wave of grassroots "social justice" protests all across Israel (well explained here).
For one thing, young people are demanding affordable apartments to buy or rent, saying that the cost of housing has risen 50% in the last two and a half years.
And thus the current tent encampments of protestors in the big cities now.
Some of the students went around finding and photographing buildings like the one shown above and then digging in municipal files to find out why the structures are caught in limbo.
They presented their findings to the Jerusalem Municipality and also got time on the evening TV news.
These young people claimed that these buildings could be renovated and turned into hundreds of available apartments much faster than the years it takes to get permits and finish construction of new housing.

Not to mention that Jerusalem is almost out of space to build new places, at least if we want to stay inside the Green Line (the previous border) and not to encroach on the surrounding green lungs (e.g. the forested Jerusalem Hills).
This post can surely be for That's My World.


Suzanne said...

Every level of Israel is complicated it seems. Good for the protesters sometimes grass roots is what it takes. Thanks for your commentary and photos on the subject.

Mo said...

Apartments sounds like a better use of the buildings

Winchester Daily Photos said...

It's a shame that there are empty buildings when there are people wanting housing..

Anonymous said...

I learned a lot.This world is unfamiliar to me.Thanks for sharing.

Hels said...

Absolutely! Buildings could be renovated and turned into decent residences much faster than the years it takes to construct brand new buildings from the foundations up. Not only could be... they must be. Otherwise young graduates would have to live with their parents :(

Pasadena Adjacent said...

I think they should cut the locks and become homesteaders/squaters

PerthDailyPhoto said...

Such an interesting post Dina, I can see why the young people are protesting, red tape is a frustrating thing when housing is desperately needed. I have a feeling that this situation might happen all over the world. It makes no sense whatsoever but then a lot of Government decisions don't make sense!!

VP said...

Municipalities work (whe they actually do it) in mysterious and arcane ways. How naive are these boys trying to apply logic and good sense to these things...

Lawstude said...

two words... great composition!