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About the Company

Eden is a subsidiary of the Jerusalem Development Authority. It was founded with the aim of developing the city center and to implement a plan for regeneration and renewal of downtown Jerusalem. Eden is a statutory authority under the Jerusalem Development Authority Law -1988. The company's Board of Directors includes representatives of the Jerusalem Development Authority, the municipality and the government. The Chairman of the Board of Directors of Eden is the Mayor of Jerusalem. The boundaries of its activities were approved by the City Council.

The company's main function is to promote planning and implementation of a variety of physical and economic projects; but it will only be directly involved in administration at the level of design and development of physical infrastructure. Through the years the definition of "city center" has been extended and it now includes the historic city center with the CBD North being added in 2005 and in 2008 the CBD East was also included.

Eden operates in a well defined and strict physical area composed of three sub-districts which are separate operating units. The limits of Eden's operations are coordinated with the city of Jerusalem's maintenance operations in the center of the city, in order to achieve maximum synchronization between the operations of Eden and the daily operations of the municipality.

CBD Center - from the entrance to city at the Chords Bridge along Jaffa Road to Jaffa Gate, Rehov Hanevi'im is the northern border, the southern border is the YMCA site and the Mahane Yisrael neighborhood.
CBD North - the main ultra-orthodox central business district and the Romema Industrial Area - southern boundary is Rehov Hanevi'im and Jaffa Road, the northern boundary is Rehov Tzfanya and on the west - the entrance to the city, on the east Rehov HaTzanchanim
CBD East - The main Arab business center - on the west of Rehov HaTzanchanim, on the south - Sultan Suleiman, on the north Shimon HaTzadik and on the east Ahwan A-Siefa

All the boundaries were determined so as to include areas characterized by their business activities as the central business district - CBD. Each of the three sub-districts has its special atmosphere but they all share the fact that they do not have homogeneous residential or industrial areas (the exception being the Romema Industrial Area.) The three areas together constitute the central business district of the city of Jerusalem.

 

Activities and Budget Framework
Eden and the city of Jerusalem have a financing agreement in which it is stated that the city will transfer to Eden a relative part of the betterment levies, road and sewer bonds and building bonds collected within the boundaries of the area. The agreement is based on the strategic decision to create a financing system which enables on-going investment over many years in projects in the city center.
The financing agreement between the city of Jerusalem and Eden creates, with strategic investments by the public sector, an incentive to private entrepreneurs and property owners in the city which will lead to development and investment by the private sector (as can be seen in practice.) The reason for this is that the agreement shows a budgetary commitment to investments in the area around projects and property owned by entrepreneurs, financed by city taxes.
In addition, the government of Israel has made a series of decisions whose main aim was to support plans to strengthen the city of Jerusalem. By virtue of these decisions the government also participates in the financing of regeneration and renewal projects for the Jerusalem city center.

 
Long-term Planning:
Eden promotes plans for building and projects over a long-term for regeneration and renewal of the city center. The company works on two planes: On the supply side Eden promotes statutory plans which allow for higher density and renewal of built-up areas while preserving historic buildings. On the demand side it promotes activities to upgrade the public spaces including upgrading the public infrastructure and landscaping and the creation of "anchors" for the growth of economic activities (details follow).
 
Areas of Activities:
Upon its establishment it was determined that its work would concentrate on the following areas:
  • Promotion of town building plans
  • Upgrading public space (including infrastructure, traffic patterns, trees and building facades.)
  • Promotion of public projects: government offices in the city center, municipal and public projects such as student dormitories, public gardens, cultural and artistic events - as tools for making the city center a drawing card for the general public while specifically targeting the younger generation.
In its first decade Eden concentrated its efforts in regenerating the city center - an aim which was fully achieved in the second decade and gives Eden greater influence with its actions aimed at upgrading the business and tourist activities and the quality of the city center for use by all the residents of the city. The establishment of Eden in the context of the Jerusalem Development Authority was premeditated. The idea of creating a long term plan, together with the establishment of cooperative action with different government agencies, with the third sector and with the private economy is what the Jerusalem Development Authority does best. The main distinction between the municipality and Eden is the avoidance of dealing with current day to day upkeep. Eden is an entrepreneurial company which deals with the development of the city center whereas the day to day management and maintenance are the responsibility of the various department of the municipal government.
 
Development of Soft Infrastructure - Planning, Building, Administering Soft Infrastructure such as:
Closed Circuit Television, Wireless Internet or Cultural Activities
- Complementary economic activities, organizational, cultural or technological, in the area under the purview of Eden, are an important part of complementing the practical part of the vision for the city center. Eden promotes, plans and implements "soft infrastructure" in the areas under its responsibility with the emphasis on the general CBD. The management and maintenance of the infrastructures is done by the city
 

Cleaning Building Facades in the Jerusalem City Center
As part of a general, broad process which is intended to bring about a change in the look and the function of the city center the Jerusalem municipality made it its goal to improve the building facades in the city center by repairing damage, by improving show windows and by setting general standards of business conduct toward the public space etc.

The Jerusalem Development Authority through its subsidiary - Eden, the Jerusalem Center Development Company, has taken it upon itself to lead in this part of the process which includes, inter alia, the development of public space, providing guidance and assistance to business owners, by improving show windows and providing guidance and aid in cleaning the facades of buildings as described below.

Under the Government decision 3996 for the Development and Strengthening of Jerusalem, The Jerusalem Development Authority receives a government budget meant for awarding grants to aid in the financing of the cleaning of building facades in the Jerusalem city center (as marked on the map.) The grants are given as a participation in the costs of cleaning the building fronts, according to set criteria.

The understanding behind the grant is that the building fronts, even though they are private property, are an integral part of the public space and they should be taken care of along with the upgrading of the infrastructure, sidewalks and transportation. This project is a classic example of cooperation between the public and the private sectors (PPP - Public Private Partnership.)

The clean-up campaign was started more than two years ago and up to now about 40 buildings have been cleaned.

 

Jerusalem Windows
The process of upgrading show windows is an educational and cultural project of physically upgrading the show windows. The project is complicated, interesting and special; it straddles the realms of the physical and the cultural, the esthetic and the functional, the private and the public, preservation and development, between a general systematic vision and a look at the particular aspect at the heart of the matter or business.

The show windows and building facades suffered in the past from businesses changing hands frequently, from periods of hard economic times and from the lack of a guiding municipal hand and they showed the signs of neglect in the city center. With the years it became common for merchants to adopt the misguided view that a bigger sign and/or show window would attract more customers.
With the establishment of Eden work was begun to upgrade the public space in the city center and a concept was introduced that the sides of the street - the building facades and the show windows, even though they were private property were in fact an integral part of the public space and they should be treated at the same time as the upgrading of the sidewalks and transportation. The project to upgrade show windows in the Jerusalem city center is a classic example of cooperation between the public and the private sectors (PPP - Public Private Partnership.)

The Jerusalem municipality formulated clear directives and guidelines and rules for enforcing them, regarding the standard for business frontages.

Eden, the Jerusalem Center Development Company, financed the grants and provided constant, regular architectural support.

The Lev Ha'ir Community Center provided systems and project coordination, arranged public service messages and drafted businesses according to the work plan. The Committee of City Center Business Owners - gave its support and aided in the public relations among business owners urging them to join the program and invest in the upgrading of the business frontage.The project was begun gradually starting at those locations which were being upgraded by Eden. Up to now (2008) 250 show windows have been upgraded in the city center and the process is still underway.

  
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