Already the methane emitted from Hiriya is harvested to power a nearby factory and the surrounding area is being converted into an urban park that is safe for a variety of outdoor recreational activities. Now Yosef Messer Architects have won the Econtainer Bridge Competition, which may result in the construction of a bridge made of recycled shipping containers linking Arial Sharon Park with the main thoroughfare leading to Tel Aviv.
Each year, 800,000 maritime shipping containers are spit out into the world with nowhere to go. As a result, resourceful designers have frequently incorporated the into art and design projects. They are used for pop-up shops, for temporary restaurants, mobile eco-lodging and all sorts of other creative uses.
But to our knowledge, Yosef Messer Architects is the first to propose utilizing them as the main construction material in a 160 meter bridge.
The Israeli firm places great emphasis on reusing existing materials in order to reduce waste and on fast, efficient and inexpensive construction.
About 70 percent of the ECOtainer bridge will be constructed in a factory, which goes a long way to reducing site damage, and wooden platforms will create a path through the shipping containers, which will comprise the project’s “skeleton,” according to the design team.
Both a passageway for cyclists, pedestrians and light vehicles, the Econtainer Bridge will also be a destination in itself. Benches will be available on either edge, and rooftop platforms will frame panoramic views of southern Tel Aviv.
Photovoltaic panel louvers will serve the dual purpose of creating shading and generating energy for lighting so that the bridge will be completely self-sufficient.
Additional louvers will be included to ensure that the shipping containers, which are made of steel, won’t bake park visitors during the summer months.
Of different shapes and sizes, the recycled containers offer a variety of volumetric options, giving the client a great deal of design flexibility. And most of all, this extraordinary project, if it gets off the ground so to speak, will become a fabulous teaching tool.
Already Hiriya offers tours to people interested in urban reclamation and improved waste management, but a bridge constructed with recycled shipping containers sets a whole new precedent in a country that consistently breaksground in water conservation, wildlife management, clean technology and green architecture.
It has our vote of confidence.
The Jewish National Fund reported that a new record has been set this Tu Bishvat, as over 600,000 new trees were planted over the holiday weekend.
According to JNF World Chairman Efi Stenzle, this year’s Tu Bishvat (Israel’s Arbor Day) events, which span the entire week, will see over a million new saplings planted in forests and parks nationwide.
Over 260 cities, towns and communities participated in the JNF’s annual planting event Saturday, as hundreds of thousands of Israelis used the sunny day and came out in droves to celebrate the trees’ annual holiday.
According to Stenzle, 2013′s Tu Bishvat’s planting venture will set a new record.
“We want to thank the hundreds of thousands of people who came out today and took part in Tu Bishvat’s events in Israel,” he said.
Israel, he added, “Is the only country in the world to have more trees in the 21st century than in the previous one… We’re creating a green lung that will benefit all of us.”
Israel has joined the UN’s Kiev Protocol on air pollution, the Environmental Protection Ministry said.
The Kiev Protocol, also known as the Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (PRTR), was introduced and enacted in 2003.
The environmental treaty aims “To enhance public access to information through the establishment of coherent, nationwide pollutant release and transfer registers.”
According to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), it is the first legally binding international tool to that effect.
The Kiev Protocol demands that government exercise freedom of information and transparency regarding emissions data.
By requiring transparency, instead of regulating emissions output, the protocol’s effectiveness hinges on the idea that companies will want to avoid the stigma of being large polluters.
The protocol will enter into force in Israel on April 14, according to UN spokesman Farhan Haq.
“The secretary-general appreciates all ratifications and accessions to the treaties deposited with him, including the Kiev Protocol,” he said.
By signing the environmental treaty, Israel will be joining 36 countries, in addition to the European Union, which have individually signed the protocol.
Kiev Protocol members so far include: Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Montenegro Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Macedonia, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.
Israel is the second country in the Middle East, after Cyprus, to join the protocol. The decision also coincides with Israel’s duties as an OECD member.
srael has received positive feedback from the OECD’s Chemicals Committee and its Working Party on Chemicals Pesticides and Biotechnology regarding its implementation of the organization’s policies in these fields.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s periodic assessment found that Israel’s compliance with its obligations in the areas of chemicals and waste management were successful and satisfactory, the Environmental Protection Ministry said on its website.
A delegation from the Israeli ministry presented the OECD’s committee with the steps Israel has taken in order to meet its commitments to the OECD.
Israel’s has noted several accomplishments since joining the OECD in 2010, including establishing a mechanism for managing and registering industrial chemicals, establishing the Pollutant Release and Transfer Register mechanism to keep track of chemicals emissions, and implementation of Integrated Pollution Prevention Control policies.
Israel also made significant progress in the comprehensive management of waste via legislation, waste reduction at source, the separation of different waste streams, recycling and reducing landfill; as well as management of facilities for waste and for recycling.
The OECD committee recognized Israel’s earnest commitment and efforts in these matters, saying that it had achieved a great deal in the two years reviewed.
“The committee members, as well as OECD Secretariat representatives, said that they see much improvement in our management of chemicals,” said Romy Even Danan, head of the ministry’s Hazardous Materials Division.
The OECD’s Environmental Policy Committee (EPOC) will meet in February 2013, to discuss Israel’s progress related to other environmental issues, including the use of economic instruments to manage biodiversity, environmental information and indicators.
A delegation from Mongolia’s Ministry of Environment and Green Development is hoping to take home practical lessons from a recent visit to Israel.
According to the Environmental Protection Ministry the Ulan-Bator mission visited Israel in late December as guests of the Environmental Protection and Foreign ministries.
The Mongolian delegates visited Israel with aim of learning from the Israeli expertise in the fields of water pollution management and prevention, and land rehabilitation.
The delegation met with officials from the Environmental Protection Ministry and from the Water Authority, as well as with representatives of companies that deal with land rehabilitation, biological treatment of contaminated soil, and treatment of other environmental woes.
The mission visited various sites across Israel, including the Shafdan Wastewater Treatment Plant and the Environmental Services Co., a government-owned company in Ramat Hovav, where they learned about innovative facilities for the treatment of organic waste and solid waste.
Mongolia has expressed great interest in forging collaborations with Israel on environmental issues, especially in the fields of air pollution and coping with desertification.
Mongolia has the lowest population density in the world, but the country is plagued by a variety of environmental challenges.
The effects of desertification and climate change have damaged the ability of its grazing animals to survive, and has prompted a mass migration of Mongolian residents from rural areas to the capital city of Ulan-Bator.
Today, 45% of the 2.75 million Mongolians live in the capital, which has registered a sharp increase in air pollution levels in recent years.