In 1988 the Director General of the Ministry of Housing and Construction Amos Unger, requested the planners Moshe Safdie Architects, to learn from past experiences in planning new cities in Israel and abroad and apply it to the creation of a new model City. The planned city is located midway between Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv, as part of the National settlement plan of urban decentralization.
In 1994, under the auspices of the Israel Land Authority, a major study was launched to determine the long term potential to expand Jerusalem to accommodate future population and employment growth. The study had four components:
The term "inner-city decline" is a well known phenomena, particularity in North American cities that have grown rapidly. Characterized by deteriorating old and often historic building stock, declining commercial activity, increased transient population and personal safety concerns, city vitality disappears. In short, areas that were welcoming places to visit are now shunned and avoided.
In 1995 the City of Jerusalem initiated a programme to reverse this trend, to renew the urban historic quality fabric and more efficiently utilize scarce land resources. There has been little new construction in past years and almost no new and modern residential buildings, offices, commercial and hotels in the city center, except for the Mamilla project adjacent to Jaffa Gate of the Old City.