Netanya, a city of 240,000 people, is set to grow substantially in the coming years, following the approval of a new city expansion plan. The goal is to expand the city’s population to 350,000, adding 35,000 new housing units. Along with housing, some 7.8 million square meters of facilities for business and industry will be built, along with 7,700 new hotel rooms. Also to be built will be new highways to enable easier commuting within the city, and between Netanya and other cities north and south.
New bike paths and walking paths will be built as well. A new “historical path” will be developed near the coast, which city fathers believe will become a major tourist draw. The path will extend to the southern parts of the city, which are less populated and often overlooked by tourists, but include numerous parks and forested areas.
Netanya has been a major draw for new immigrants in recent years, especially immigrants from France. Although it already has a substantial population, Netanya has plenty of undeveloped land available for construction, one reason that the government is focusing on development there, a report in Yediot Acharonot quoted officials as saying.