The illusion of the “National Plan 38”: Earthquake reinforcement is just an excuse for economic profits

25 July, 2018

The plan to reinforce buildings against earthquakes – National Master Plan 38 - creates an illusion of "readiness" but because it is economically feasible only in areas of high land prices, it contains an inevitable preference for better-off regions in Israel. These, it so happens, are less prone to earthquakes. In practice, NMP 38 is mainly a tool for the upgrading the value of non-substandard units through permission to add a few additional units to each building. Ostensibly, the plan “does no harm” but in fact it takes away tax revenues from less affluent areas of cities and destabilizes stable neighborhoods. To date, there is no a national program of expenditures for reinforcement according to real earthquake risks, not only for housing, but also for public buildings, roads and bridges.

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