New City of Modi’in
Project Title
New City of Modi’in
Located between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, Modi'in is a planned green city that juxtaposes natural and urban space with street patterns that are adapted to its undulating terrain.

The hilly 8000-acre site is mostly treeless with rock escarpments. Responding to its unusual topography, the linear planning framework transforms the valleys of the city into movement spines. A network of valleys running east to west toward the sea forms the community’s spine. Parks and community services comprise the backbone of this organization and are straddled by a couplet of one-way urban arteries. Each valley is planted with a distinct species of tree—the Valley of Pines; the Valley of Palms; the Valley of Jacarandas. At least 50 percent of each valley is devoted to parks and playgrounds, while the balance accommodates neighborhood shopping areas, schools, synagogues, clinics, and other facilities. The three valley systems converge to form a mixed-use city center with a transportation interchange.

Housing follows the topography with low-level buildings in the valley, gradually climbing the hilly slopes. Larger structures enhance hilltops and create a series of identifiable crowns, providing orientation points on the skyline. Generally limited to four stories in height, the terraced housing maintains a comfortable density of 50 persons per acre and provides views of parks and greenery. Planning guidelines promote these urban principles by regulating setbacks, footprints, and heights of buildings, and cladding guidelines apply to public, commercial, and high-rise buildings. This allows planned growth to occur comfortably by different developers and architects. Since the first residents moved into Modi’in in 1996, the city has continued to grow by about 4000 annually. The current population is 90,000, with a target population of 250,000 expected.

Images on this page: 1 Housing and amenities surrounding a spinal valley; 2 Aerial view of site; 3 Site section; 4 Aerial rendering sketch; 5 Rendering sketch

Jerusalem, Israel

between 1989 and 2010
Completion Date
Client: Israel Ministry of Construction and Housing

Project Type
Safdie Architects
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