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Studies in Applied Geography and Spatial Analysis

Addressing Real World Issues

Edited by Robert Stimson and Kingsley E. Haynes

This timely and fascinating book illustrates how applied geography can contribute in a multitude of ways to assist policy processes, evaluate public programs, enhance business decisions, and contribute to formulating solutions for community-level problems.
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Chapter 18: A local master plan for biospheric conservation and development: concept, methodology and application

Eliahu Stern and Burrell E. Montz


A major arena for applied geography is urban, regional and environmental planning. This is especially the case in Israel, where even the first national structure plan was already based on the principles of the geographyoriginated Central Place Theory (Sharon, 1951). Geographers have participated in shaping the national map since statehood (in 1948), serving as planners in all levels of the local planning hierarchy. Geographers are now officially recognized by the planning authorities as an integral, and even leading, part of the planning system, in both the public and the private sectors. Some of the methodological and context-wise innovations in Israel’s planning arena were introduced by geographers, such as the spatial texture base of the new national master plan (Asif et al., 1999), the time–space functional areas division of dynamic urban planning (Litchfield and Stern, 1997; Stern and Litchfield, 2001) and methodology for planning a statutory master plan for sustainable development. A statutory plan for sustainable development is actually the legal expression of whatever is implied by the spatial zoning and the planning guidelines of a given biosphere reserve. A practiced planning procedure of biosphere reserves was recently published by Stern (2004). This chapter presents applied geography work that I led in preparing a statutory, biospheric-oriented master plan. The plan was assigned to me by the Israeli Ministry of Housing and Construction and the Ministry of the Interior. It was financed and contracted by both ministries. The plan was a direct consequence of the 2005 Israeli evacuation of the Gaza Strip.

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