Planning and climate - The case of Di-Zahav

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Climate is one of the important factors which must be taken into consideration in all levels of planning. Despite its importance many planners are still unaware of it. An excellent example of such a situation is the case of Di-Zahav, a new settlement located about 130km south of Elat, on the alluvial fan of Wadi Dahab, which flows to the Gulf of Elat. In addition to its extreme hot and arid climate, the region suffers from very strong winds blowing throughout the year from the northerly direction. Heavy rainfall on the 19-20 February 1975 caused a considerable flood in the Wadi Dahab. Because of a mistake in the construction of the road leading to Di-Zahav, the settlement was inundated. After the water dried up, the strong north winds blew sand and dust into the village and dunes accumulated between the buildings. The strong winds are also a negative factor in human comfort and are an obstacle in the development of tourism which is the economic basis of Di-Zahav. Therefore, it seems that the location of the settlement on the southern part of the alluvial fan instead of on the north-eastern edge was a mistake. Also the detailed plan did not take into consideration the negative effects of the climate. It was therefore necessary to plan and carry out a peripheral and internal protection system consisting of planted and artificial windbreaks. It was also suggested to carry out some modifications in the buildings in order to prevent the strong winds blowing into them.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-265
Number of pages17
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - 1977
Externally publishedYes


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