Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Municipal Assets – Public Goods

Ruth Avraham

Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies 
www.jiis.org

Municipal assets are assets which the municipality owns or rents, as well as manages. These are a rare public resource, mostly used by various municipality departments or private voluntary associations that receive the building in a land allocation process.

In 2012, the "Public Knowledge Workshop" together with "Hitorerut" movement compiled a list of municipal assets in Jerusalem. The list contains 2,590 assets, with a total area of 3,400 dunams, or 3% of Jerusalem's municipal area. Sixty-eight percent of the assets serve as educational facilities such as kindergartens, elementary or intermediate schools, yeshivas, ulpena etc.; eleven percent are used by community, sport and welfare facilities; eight percent are bomb shelters; and the other 13% are divided between various cultural venues, libraries, mother and child care, offices, storage and others.

East Jerusalem residents constitute 37% of the city's population, but only 10% of the municipal assets are located in East Jerusalem. In Ultra-orthodox neighborhoods, whose population composes approximately 20% of the population, the "Public Knowledge Workshop" and "Hitorerut" found 25% of the assets. East Jerusalem has less than two assets per thousand residents; the large neighborhoods such as Gilo, Pisgat Ze'ev, and Har Homa have 2-5; and southern neighborhoods, mostly populated by the "General" Jewish population (non-Ultra-orthodox), such as Bak'a, Kiryat Yovel, Ein Karem and Makor Haim have 5-8. The overall average in Jerusalem stands at 3.2 assets per 1,000 residents.

All cultural venues, according to the list, are located in West Jerusalem. Only 5% of community, sport and welfare facilities are in East Jerusalem, along with only 3 branches of mother and child care (5% of the total in Jerusalem). Only 2 of 196 bomb shelters are in East Jerusalem.

The street and facility mapping's accuracy is limited, so there may have been errors in the geo-coding process. A further error may have been caused by the analyses of the number of assets, which greatly differ in size, but the overall trend is quite clear, and in line with other findings. We did not compare these findings to world trends, since definitions are very different in different countries.