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הפקולטה למדעי
הרוח והחברה
הירשמו ללימודים להרשמה

המחלקה לגיאוגרפיה

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  • פרופ' נורית אלפסי

מאמרים בכתבי עת

1.   Alfasi, N. (2017) The coding turn in urban planning: Could it remedy the essential drawbacks of planning? Planning Theory.

The paper deals with the growing tendency to articulate planning policies through principles and codes, a feature of recent planning theory and practice. While this tool arouses interest and enthusiasm, very little attention is given to how it affects planning thought and impacts – or should impact – the act of planning and the institutions involved. After reviewing pre-modern decision-making frameworks that accompanied the use of planning codes, this paper highlights the role of mutual agreement and shared responsibility in the application of past planning codes. It then discusses the meaning of the transition to planning codes and elaborates on the opportunity to remedy the embedded pitfalls created by applying comprehensive land-use plans as a regulatory tool, and to institute planning that is based on the principles of liberal democracy.

 

2.   Totry-Fakoury, M., Alfasi, N., (2017) From abstract principles to specific urban order: Applying complexity theory for analyzing Arab-Palestinian towns in Israel, Cities 62, 28-40.

This paper uses complexity theory to analyze the urban order and development of Arab Palestinian villages and towns in Israel. It follows the spontaneous emergence of abstract planning codes and principles, influenced by changing social, political and cultural dynamics. Based on a morphological analysis of 77 towns in northern and central Israel, and an in-depth investigation conducted in the city of Sakhnin, in the central Galilee, the paper reveals a repeated three-ring structure, corresponding to three socio-political periods. We offer a detailed examination of the links between social values and spatial conduct, thus enabling us to follow how slight changes in social and economic circumstances affect planning principles. In addition, the paper highlights the power of planning-without-a-plan as a method that facilitates shaping the quality of the built environment while allowing local adaptation and creativity. Finally, we discuss the problematic urban pattern created in the typical third ring, which is a top-to-bottom product of modern planning thought.


 

3.    Kaplan, S., Georgescu, M., Alfasi, N., Kloog, I., (2017) Impact of future urbanization on a hot summer: A case study of Israel, Theoretical and Applied Climatology 128 (1–2), 325–341.

Israel's population is projected to increase significantly through the middle of the current century, requiring further expansion of the built environment to accommodate additional inhabitants and accompanying urban infrastructure. This study examines the climatic impacts of future urban expansion through simulated near-surface temperature and energy flux components associated with built environment growth. The Weather Research and Forecasting model was used to simulate present day extreme summertime conditions, at 1-km resolution, utilizing contemporary urban representation. To determine impacts associated with the physical growth of the urban environment, sensitivity simulations, also at 1-km resolution, incorporating projected changes in urban areas for Israel-based national development plans, were performed. Spatially and diurnally averaged at the national scale, projected urbanization is shown to increase summertime temperatures 0.4–0.8 °C, with greater temperature rise in northern compared to southern parts of the country. Across the diurnal cycle, urban impacts on near-surface warming are minimal during daytime hours, but exceed 3 °C across many urban locales during nighttime hours. The results presented here demonstrate the spatio-temporal impact of future urban expansion in Israel on temperature. The magnitude of these changes highlight the need for strategically designed regional and national planning to alleviate potentially deleterious climatic impacts associated with the physical growth of the built environment.

 

4.   Vitman, A., Iecovich, E., Alfasi, N., Shamai, S. (2017) Socio-spatial Integration of Older Adults in Four Types of Residential Environments in Israel, Journal of Applied Gerontology, 36(10) 1243–1271.

The socio-spatial integration of older people in different types of residential environments is a key factor affecting the well-being of older people. This study, which included a convenience sample of 565 participants, examined the socio-spatial integration of older people living in two different regional areas (central and peripheral) and four different residential environments (metropolitan hub, city, and town and rural settlements) in Israel. Willing participants were asked to complete a self-administered questionnaire. Socio-spatial integration was assessed by recognition of their neighbors and sense of belonging to the residential environment. The findings show that older adults who resided in the town and in rural settlements were more socio-spatially integrated in their living environments compared with their counterparts who resided in cities. The best predictors of sociospatial integration were a combination of personal characteristics and characteristics of the environment (perceived accessibility) except for rural settlements, where none of the variables predicted socio-spatial integration.

                                                                                    

  • דר' ערן בן אליא

מאמרים בכתבי עת

  1. 2017 Levy N., Ben-Elia E., An exploratory study of spatial patterns of cycling in Tel Aviv using passively generated bike-sharing data, J. of Transport Geography.

    Investments in bike-sharing and cycling infrastructures are justified for contributing towards more sustainable mobility in cities. Harvesting data from passive sources has important potential for better understanding the spatial patterns of human movements in urban areas including cycling. We explore data obtained from the Tel Aviv bike-sharing system and corresponding GTFS data, to understand the spatial patterns of cycling in the city and its relation to bus travel. Using a combination of transportation and geostatistical models including spatially adjusted regression, and all-or-nothing traffic assignment, we show that cycling movements are not well balanced and different behaviors are associated with the length of trips. Shorter trips are more concentrated in the city center and seem to complement bus travel. Longer trips are more focused on links with dedicated bicycle lanes and do not show strong correlations with bus travel, possibly indicating a weak substitution effect. The implications of data-driven studies for transport policy and spatial inquiries of urban mobility are further discussed.

     

     
  2. 2017 Levy N., Klein I., Ben-Elia E., Emergence of cooperation and a fair system optimum in road networks: A game-theoretic and agent-based modelling approach, Research in Transport Economics.

    Cooperation is an emergent social state related to the dynamics and complexity of road traffic and is reinforced through adaptive learning. Game theory and research in behavioural economics provide ample evidence that cooperation can efficiently solve social dilemmas similar to traffic congestion in dynamic settings. Traffic theory, asserts User Equilibrium, is both a stable and equitable, albeit inefficient, network state, which is a behavioural outcome of the selfish uncoordinated decision of drivers. In contrast, the System Optimum is an efficient network state that minimizes the total travel costs but is hard to maintain due to the inherent cost inequalities drivers will incur. In this paper, we describe how the principles of game-theory in a simple 2-player game allow the emergence of a stable system optimum through cooperation. We then investigate what happens in n-player games by applying an agent-based route-choice model. The model shows how reinforced learning and different behavioural specifications regarding agents' cognition – selfish or cooperative - brings a simple road network from User Equilibrium towards the system optimum while preserving sufficient equity amongst drivers. The results suggest that a sufficient number of route alternations between drivers and a certain degree of altruism allow for a self-organizing formation of a fairness equilibrium that can maintain the network in the system optimum. The implications of future congestion management strategies that can be implemented with information and communication technologies are discussed.

     

     
  3. 2017 Klein, I., & Ben-Elia, E. (2017, June). System optimal ATIS as a congestion management instrument—Game-based experiment and agent based model. In Models and Technologies for Intelligent Transportation Systems (MT-ITS), 2017 5th IEEE International Conference on (pp. 816-820). IEEE.

    Traffic congestion is a nuisance for urban centers. Traditional congestion management policies, like road pricing and road expansion, increase urban sprawl and inequity between road users. Recent developments in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) enabled Advanced Travel Information Services (ATIS) that provide road users with real-time traffic information. Road users can benefit from this information by avoiding congestion. Travel information may hamper the traffic condition, as perfect information held by rational road users leads to a state known as User Equilibrium (UE), where travel times on all routes between an origin and a destination are equal. UE is not overlapping with the concept of System Optimum (SO)where  the aggregate travel time of all road users is minimized. Achieving SO was long considered impossible, as certain road users must take a slower route than they would under UE in contradiction to the rational character of road users. Use of prescriptive travel information that leads to SO can theoretically work in repeated interactions – if road users know that in order to guarantee a shorter travel time on average, once in a while they have to sacrifice and experience a longer trip, they might agree to comply with the prescriptive travel information recommendation. We carry out a behavioral economic experiment that examines the efficiency of such prescriptive travel information in a binary road network. The participants interact over many rounds in which they are provided with basic travel information and with prescriptive travel information, and are rewarded for travel time savings. The experiment includes two treatments – one where the participants are only provided with prescriptive information, and one where participants are penalized for not complying with the recommendation of the prescriptive information, and rewarded for complying. Preliminary results show that the effect of punishment and rewards is significant, as opposed to having only pure information. The results are compared to a computer simulation that examines different decision making heuristics in the same scenario. This research highlights the necessary and sufficient conditions for using prescriptive travel information as a measure of reducing congestion.

  4. 2017 Klein I, Levy N., Ben-Elia E. (2017), An Agent-Based Model of a System-Optimal ATIS, Procedia Computer Science, 109, 893-898.

    System optimum is usually referred to as a theoretical traffic assignment, whose main use is comparison to user equilibrium. In this paper, we investigate an advanced travel information service (ATIS) that provides the travelers system optimal routing signals, so that if all travelers comply with the signal, system optimum is achieved. We present a simple binary route-choice Agent-Based Model that includes the interaction between agents in multiple congestion sensitive road networks, under different allocation of routing signals. We find that the frequency agents receive a better signal and the allocations used by the system have a great effect over the road network convergence to system optimum. The contribution of the findings enables a great reduction in aggregate network travel time only through a behavioral change to the agents.

     

     
  5. 2017 Dong H., Ben-Elia E., Cirillo C., Toledo T, Prashker J. N. (2017), On Negative Correlation: A Comparison between Multinomial Probit and GEV-based Discrete Choice Models, Transportmetrica A,13, 365-379.

    General extreme value (GEV)-type models such as Nested Logit (NL) and Cross-Nested Logit (CNL) have gained popularity for their closed-form formulation of the choice probabilities. A key assumption in GEV estimation process is that any correlation between the error terms is necessarily non-negative. No fundamental reason indicates that negative correlations should not occur from a behavioral perspective in the real world. In this paper, we investigate models' outcomes when alternatives exhibit negative correlation. In experiments using synthetic databases, we estimate and validate Multinomial Probit (MNP) models that correctly handle negative correlations and we compare coefficients' estimates and correlations to those obtained with GEV models. A real case study in which choices reveal the presence of negative correlations is also used to assess the performances of the proposed models. Results are obtained with NL, CNL and Mixed Logit models and compared to MNP. The implications for further practices are discussed.

     
  6. 2017 Benenson, I., Ben-Elia E., Rofe Y., Geyzersky, D., (2017), The benefits of a high-resolution analysis of transit accessibility, International Journal of GIS, 31, 213-236.

Accessibility is an important consideration in sustainable mobility policies, particularly for transit users. Measures suggested in the literature are based on coarse aggregate spatial resolution of traffic analysis zones that is sufficient for managing car travels only. To reflect a human door-to-door travel, transit accessibility demands an explicit view of the location of origin, transit stops and destination, as well as of the temporal fit between transit lines timetable and traveler's needs. We thus estimate transit accessibility based on mode-specific travel times and corresponding paths, including walking and waiting, at the resolution of individual buildings and stops. Car accessibility is estimated at a high resolution too. A novel representation of transit network as a graph is proposed. This representation includes all modal components of a transit travel – walking, waiting at a stop, transit ride, transfers between lines, thus enabling unified view of a travel, regardless of mode. The use of modern high-performance graph database allows construction of high-resolution accessibility maps for an entire metropolitan area with its 100–200 K buildings. The application is tested and applied in a case study involving the evaluation of the 2011 bus line reform in the city of Tel Aviv. Specifically, we demonstrate that while the reform increased the average accessibility for the entire city the increase was not uniform with different areas of the city experiencing different absolute accessibility by transit and relative accessibility in comparison to car travel. The bus reform did in fact benefit travelers that experienced low relative accessibility, but the benefits are mainly accruing to longer trips. Our approach and computational methods can be employed for directly investigating the impacts of transportation infrastructure investments.

 

 

 

  • פרופ' פועה בר קותיאל

מאמרים בכתבי עת

1.  Bar (Kutiel), P., 2017. Special issue in memory of Prof. Avinoam Danin. Israel Journal of Plant Sciences. Volume 64, Issue 1-2. Pp, 3-238 (19 research papers) Guest Editor.

The papers in this special issue of the Israel Journal of Plant Sciences commemorated to Prof. Danin's memory reflect the fields of research and knowledge of Prof. Danin's long and very productive and influential academic career. There are 3 groups of papers: Taxonomic papers which aim to: define new plant species or taxon; record either vascular plant species or marine macroalgae (seaweeds) distribution. The paper of Tomas Raus that belong to this group aims to evaluate with respect to taxonomic and floristic content, co-authors, and new area and status records the contributions of Prof. Danin to the Med-Checklist and the Euro+Med PlantBase projects over thirty-five years. The papers of the second group are related to plant and behavior ecology (plant-soil-habitat relationships, plant conservation, plant-animal relationships). The papers of the third group deal with historical plant expedition and plant evolution.

 

2.      Bird L.F., T.S, Dorman, M.C, Ramot, A.S, Bouskila, A.PI, Bar (Kutiel), P.PI, Groner, E.PI 2017. Shrub encroachment effects on habitat heterogeneity and beetle diversity in a Mediterranean coastal dune system. Land Degradation & Development 28: 2553–2562.

Coastal dunes are fragile dynamic environments characterised by low productivity and high levels of bare and shifting sands. They are highly threatened by urbanisation and human development. The dunes in Nizzanim Dunes Nature Reserve, Israel, additionally incur shrub encroachment following exclusion of grazing from the area.

The temporal changes over the last few decades have been monitored in the Nizzanim LTER project and are reflected by spatial heterogeneity. Some dunes are fixed with high plant cover and associated characteristics, while other dunes are still in semi-fixed and mobile states.

Measures of beetle abundance, richness and diversity showed significant difference with highest diversity found in mobile dunes and highest abundance in fixed dunes. Cluster analysis and ordination of species composition revealed distinct assemblages for three different states, with more psammophilous species found in mobile dunes than in other dune states. Variation within a dune state was not significant for any dune state, while among states it was significantly different, demonstrating high b-diversity between dune states.

Shrub encroachment and the associated fixation of mobile dunes will lead to loss of species diversity found in these dunes due to habitat homogenisation. This finding may appear counterintuitive in other habitats but highlights the importance of disturbance in dynamic Mediterranean coastal dunes. We recommend some restorative intervention that promotes disturbance and heterogeneity at the landscape level by conserving all three dune types.

 

4.   Cohen PI, O. and Bar (Kutiel) PI, P., 2017.The imphttp://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07929978.2016.1275362.act of Acacia saligna invasion on the indigenous vegetation in various coastal habitats in Israel and its implication for nature conservation. Israel Journal of Plant Sciences,64:111-121.

Coastal sand dunes are susceptible to invasive plants that significantly alter these endangered ecosystems. Acacia saligna is a small Australian tree that has become a significant invasive plant in Israel and in many other Mediterranean countries. The aim of this research was to study the impact of A. saligna on the indigenous vegetation of three coastal habitats (sand dunes, inter-dune depressions, and aeolianite [sandstone] ridges) in the Nizzanim Long Term Ecosystem Research Nature Reserve, Israel. Plant observations were conducted in the spring, in the following site types: (1) sites planted with A. saligna and sites invaded by A. saligna; and (2) reference sites not invaded by A. saligna. A simple index, the aggregate ecological value, was developed in order to evaluate the impact and the ecological value of each habitat and site for conservation purposes. The results indicate that planting A. saligna and invasion by A. saligna changed plant community composition, reduced psammophyte species richness, caused the disappearance of most endemic, rare, and protected species, and overall reduced the ecological value of the Nizzanim Nature Reserve.

 

1.      Bar (Kutiel) PI, P., 2017. Visitor trampling impacts on soil and vegetation: the case study of Ramat Hanadiv Park, Israel. Israel Journal of Plant Sciences, 64: 145-161.

In recent decades, recreational activities in natural open areas have increased substantially. At the same time, stresses imposed upon these areas have increased considerably as a result of a significant reduction in their dimension. These activities strongly affect ecosystem attributes and processes.This paper intends to review several studies that were conducted in one of the protected areas in Israel, Ramat Hanadiv Park, aiming to (a) quantify the rate of pedestrian trail development and (b) examine the impact of high and low trampling intensities on soil and vegetation properties at different trail sections (center, edge and control – a natural area adjacent to the trail).The following properties were examined: soil compaction, bulk density, aggregate size distribution, organic matter, moisture, electrical conductivity, pH, sodium and potassium concentrations, vegetation cover, species richness, and composition.The results indicated that: (a) the number of pedestrian trails increased slightly between the years 1944 and 1990; (b) soil properties, except for soil compaction and aggregate size, were not affected by low trampling intensity. A slight decrease in the soil measured properties was recorded at trail centers. However, under high trampling intensity, a reduction in most soil measured properties was detected on all trail sections; (c) vegetation cover, height and species richness were lower at the trail center under high and low trampling intensities. Herbaceous plant species that are common in compacted soils were found under intense trampling impacts.The conclusions from the studies conducted at Ramat Hanadiv Park were: (a) there is a positive correlation between trampling intensities and soil and vegetation properties; (b) an increase in trampling intensity is followed by spatial degradation of soil properties beyond the trail's visible boundaries (what we referred as the “control"); and (c) most of the trails in Ramat Hanadiv Park experience low trampling intensities.


 

2.      Divinsky S, I., Becker PI, N., Bar (Kutiel) PI, P., 2017. Ecosystem service tradeoff between grazing intensity and other services-A case study in Karei-Deshe experimental cattle range in northern Israel. Ecosystem Services, 24: 16-27.

In the last few decades open space has been rapidly disappearing, replaced by urban areas and infrastructure. This decline in open space, coupled with other processes adversely affecting ecosystems and the environment, highlights the importance of protected areas. Protected areas enable ecosystems to maintain their balance, thereby safeguarding many important ecological assets and services provided by ecosystems.

The purpose of this study was to economically value multiple ecosystem services (ES) and the tradeoffs between them and species richness across different management alternatives in the LTER sites at the Ramat Hanadiv Nature Park, located in northern Israel. Ecological data was retrieved from previous ecological research conducted at the sites, and valuation of scenic values was performed using the replacement cost method and a contingent valuation survey.

The relationship between ES value and species richness was found to be inverse. Of all management alternatives studied only the Planted forest alternative was found to be inefficient; moving to other alternatives would enhance ES provision levels and species richness. This research demonstrates a fairly simple path for providing land managers an ecological data-based tool for comparing management alternatives in monetary terms.

 

 

  • פרופ' אורן יפתחאל

מאמרים בכתבי עת

  

2. Oren Yiftachel & Rani Mandelbaum (2017) Doing the Just City: Social Impact

Assessment and the Planning of Beersheba, Israel, Planning Theory & Practice, 18:4, 525-548.

This article documents the making of a Social Impact Assessment (SIA) for

Beersheba, Israel, using a modified version of Susan Fainstein's 'just city' vision.

Four key dimensions are analyzed: equality, built environment, diversity and democracy. The SIA reveals that the new plan offers positive steps towards narrowing spatial inequalities. However, it overlooks threats of social dislocation as a result of massive development planned for the city. It also ignores the needs of minorities and creates a democratic deficit. SIA is shown to be needed if planning is to face the challenge of the twenty-first century – doing the just city.

 

3. Amit, I and Yiftachel, O. 2017, 'Urban Colonialism and Buffer Zones: Gray Spaces in Hebron and Nicosia', Geography Research Forum, 36: 144-159.

This paper examines the effects of creating buffer zones in cities controlled by contemporary colonial regimes by comparing two such zones in Hebron, Palestine, and Nicosia, Cyprus. We argue that buffer zones in occupied and colonized cities constitute markers of “gray spaces" where law is suspended under (putatively) temporary colonial sovereignty. Their formation formalizes a process of 'darkening' these uncontrolled unplanned spaces, turning temporary into indefinite and even permanent. As such, buffer zones are significant tools in simultaneously formalizing spatial demarcation while creating informal spaces, causing the emergence of layered ethnic urban citizenship. We suggest that in both Hebron and Nicosia, this spatial process has deepened both colonial controls, and the nature of ethnic conflict. We propose referring to those colonized cities not as exceptions, but rather as windows into the planning influence of military and security logics in shaping urban landscapes and the formation of gray spaces.

Keywords: Buffer zones, Urban colonialism, Gray space, Planning, Militarization, Hebron, Nicosia.

 

Book Chapters​
1. Yiftachel, O. (2017) 'Terra Nullius and planning: law, space and identity in Israel/Palestine', in Bhan, G., Sviniras, S. and Watson, S. (eds) Routledge Companion to Cities of the Global South, London: Routledge: 243-255.

Despite a recent critical turn, most social science theories in general, and urban theories in particular, continue to overlook the continuing centrality of land and time to social relations. Dominant critical approaches typically focus on the present-day nation-state, on politics and economy, thereby overlooking the severe impact of displacement and contested timescapes. This is the case for most studies of Israel/Palestine.

This paper foregrounds the concept of 'terra nullius' (TN - land emptied of rights) and explores its use – explicit and more often implicit – as a central component in the making of modern space. Using a critical legal-geographic approach, the paper illustrates how TN enabled the dispossession of indigenous and other minorities, while simultaneously deny the existence of such dispossession. This process entails the pervasive 'gray spacing' of marginalized groups whose presence is typically framed as 'displaceable', while existing in 'permanent temporariness'.

These concepts are used to analyze the legal geography of the Negev/Naqab and the West Bank in Israel/Palestine.  The analysis shows how the land regime of the previous Ottoman and British rulers has been routinely distorted by Israeli officials and courts resulting in the questionable classification of indigenous land as 'dead' ('mawat'), 'vacant'('matruka') or 'abandoned' ('mahlul'). In the Negev, the 'Dead Negev Doctrine' (DND), developed by Israeli authorities, classified the entire region as 'dead land' ('mawat') and hence as state property. This legal maneuver framed indigenous citizens as 'trespassers' on their ancestors' lands, in a constant state of displaceability and temporariness. The material consequences have been grave:  neglect, ghettoization, coerced urbanization and waves of home demolitions. In parallel, the Jewishness of the land has been reinvented and 'inserted' into these contested regions and timescapes, placing its Jewish character as permanent and stable.

At the heart of this process, this paper argues, has been the manipulation of the region's legal timescapes, dealing with two major Ottoman land categories – 'mewat' and 'mahlul'. In their legal discourse and rulings, Israeli authorities have effectively replaced substantive geography with administrative times, as determinants of land classification. The application of formal temporal requirements (that cannot be met) to colonized Palestinian land in retrospect has effectively emptied the land from indigenous communal or private ownership, and – critically - future development rights. As a result areas have been (erroneously) registered as 'state land' allowing the land to be reallocated through planning strategies for Jewish-Israeli settlement, military zones, infrastructural projects and residential development. 

A thorough understanding of urban and regional policy – in most post- and neo-colonial societies -- thus requires scholars to expose the work of the TN concept in emptying past and future timescapes, and study its severe consequences of displacement and ethnic conflict. The TN approach has long been part and parcel of the modern endeavor of planning and the shaping urban and regional spaces in such societies – including Israel/Palestine, and should be re-theorized accordingly.




 

  • פרופ' אבינועם מאיר

מאמרים בכתבי עת

1. Meir,, Avinoam and Karplus Yuval, (2017) Production of space, intercultural encounters and politics: Dynamics of consummate space and spatial intensity among the Israeli Bedouin. Transactions, Institute of British Geographers.

The 'spatial turn', represented primarily by the Lefebvrean theory of Production of Space, fails to internalize insights from the 'cultural turn' which delves into high cultural resolutions of minority ethnic or religious sub-groups within Western culture'. These insights suggest that space may be characterized by spatial pluralism that originates in ontological pluralism of place and space. This ontological pluralism originates in the contemporary reality of cultural pluralism within the same space. By deconstructing the classical Lefebvrean theory of production of space as a super concept into finer scales, we facilitate internalization of these cultural insights through a series of new sub-concepts of consummate space, spatial imbrication and spatial intensity. These successive concepts are capable of creating a process of production of space with possible political consequences at group level. That is, violation of a space that is perceived and practiced as consummate may lead to political action by group members. This conceptual framework, highlighting at high resolution the agency of space in culture, is demonstrated through a detailed analysis of a unique cultural group, the indigenous Bedouin of the Negev desert in Israel, through three phases of their spatial history over a period of two centuries —semi-nomadic pastoralism, sedentary farming, and urban wage labor. This case may serve to illustrate the value of this theoretical approach for future analysis of other unique cultural groups and a more nuanced and comprehensive understanding of production of space.

Keywords: Production of space, indigenous ontologies, consummate space, spatial intensity, Bedouin, Israel

 

  • פרופ' טל סבוראי

מאמרים בכתבי עת

Environmental management May 2017, Volume 59, Issue 5, pp 762–776

1.   Resource-Constrained Information Management: Providing Governments with Information for Earthquake Preparedness

Michael Vatenmacher, Shabtai Isaac, Tal Svoray

This study seeks to attain a better understanding of the information that is required by governments to prepare for earthquakes, and of the constraints they face in obtaining this information. The contributions of the study are two-fold. A survey that was conducted among those responsible for earthquake preparedness actions in different governmental agencies and at different levels revealed on the one hand a desire for information on a broad range of topics, but on the other hand that no resources were allocated in practice to gather this information. A Geographic Information System-based process that was developed following the survey, allowed the required information on seismic hazards and loss and damage risks to be rapidly collected, mapped and integrated. This supported the identification of high-priority areas, for which a more detailed analysis could be initiated. An implementation of the process showed promise, and confirmed its feasibility. Its relative simplicity may ensure that an earthquake preparedness process is initiated by governments that are otherwise reluctant to allocate resources for this purpose.

​Earth Surface Processes and Landforms Volume 42, Issue 8 30 June 2017 Pages 1213–1226

2.    Using a landform evolution model to study ephemeral gullying in agricultural fields: the effects of rainfall patterns on ephemeral gully dynamics

David Hoober, Tal Svoray, Sagy Cohen

Water driven soil erosion is a major cause of land degradation worldwide. Ephemeral gullies (EGs) are considered key contributors to agricultural catchment soil loss. Despite their importance, the parameters and drivers controlling EG dynamics have not been adequately quantified. Here we investigate the effects of rainfall characteristics on EGs, using the physically based landform evolution model (LEM) CAESAR-Lisflood. An initial goal of this study was to test the feasibility of using a LEM to estimate EG dynamics based on an easily obtainable and moderate spatial resolution (2 × 2 m) Digital Elevation Model (DEM). EG evolution was simulated for two rainfall seasons in a 0.37 km2 agricultural plot situated in a semiarid catchment in central Israel. The 2014 rainfall season was used to calibrate the model and the 2015 season was used for validation. The model overall well predicted the EG network structure and average depth but tended to underestimate the EG length. The effects of rainfall characteristics on EG dynamics were investigated by comparing simulations employing seven rainfall scenarios. Four of these scenarios differ in their overall rainfall volume relative to observed precipitation (+20%, +10%, −10%, −20%). The remaining three scenarios vary in the temporal distribution of rainfall during each storm, allowing us to isolate the effect of rainfall intensity on EG evolution. The results show that: (1) EG dynamics strongly correlated with changes in rainfall volume; (2) small-scale morphological behavior varies between rainfall scenarios, resulting in different meandering and connectivity variability; (3) EG evolution is divided into two main stages, an initial rapid development occurring after the first two weeks of the rainy season, followed by a stable development period; (4) a 12 mm h−1 intensity threshold was observed to initiate and, later, modify EGs; and (5) inner storm rainfall variability can have a considerable effect on EG evolution. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Soilscape evolution of aeolian-dominated hillslopes during the Holocene: investigation of sediment transport mechanisms and climatic-anthropogenic drivers

 

3. Cohen, Sagy; Svoray, Tal; Sela, Shai; Hancock, Greg; Willgoose, Garry. Earth Surface Dynamics; Gottingen Vol. 5, Iss. 1,  (2017): 101-112.

Here we study the soilscape (soil-landscape) evolution of a field site in the semiarid zone of Israel. This region, like similar regions around the world, was subject to intensive loess accumulation during the Pleistocene and early Holocene. Today, hillslopes in this region are dominated by exposed bedrock with deep loess depositions in the valleys and floodplains. The drivers and mechanism that led to this soilscape are unclear. Within this context, we use a soilscape evolution model (mARM5D) to study the potential mechanisms that led to this soilscape. We focus on advancing our conceptual understanding of the processes at the core of this soilscape evolution by studying the effects of fluvial and diffusive sediment transport mechanisms, and the potential effects of climatic and anthropogenic drivers. Our results show that, in our field site, dominated by aeolian soil development, hillslope fluvial sediment transport (e.g., surface wash and gullies) led to downslope thinning in soil, while diffusive transport (e.g., soil creep) led to deeper and more localized soil features at the lower sections of the hillslopes. The results suggest that, in this semiarid, aeolian-dominated and soil-depleted landscape, the top section of the hillslopes is dominated by diffusive transport and the bottom by fluvial transport. Temporal variability in environmental drivers had a considerable effect on soilscape evolution. Short but intensive changes during the late Holocene, imitating anthropogenic land use alterations, rapidly changed the site's soil distribution. This leads us to assume that this region's soil-depleted hillslopes are, at least in part, the result of anthropogenic drivers.

 

  • פרופ' יצחק קטרה

מאמרים בכתבי עת

1. Krasnov, H., Katra, I., Friger, M. (2016) Increase in dust storm related PM10 concentrations: A time series analysis of 2001-2015. Environmental Pollution 213, 36-42.

Over the last decades, changes in dust storms characteristics have been observed in different parts of the world. The changing frequency of dust storms in the southeastern Mediterranean has led to growing concern regarding atmospheric PM10 levels. A classic time series additive model was used in order to describe and evaluate the changes in PM10 concentrations during dust storm days in different cities in Israel, which is located at the margins of the global dust belt. The analysis revealed variations in the number of dust events and PM10 concentrations during 2001e2015. A significant increase in PM10 concentrations was identified since 2009 in the arid city of Beer Sheva, southern Israel. Average PM10 concentrations during dust days before 2009 were 406, 312, and 364 mg m_3 (median 337, 269,302) for Beer Sheva, Rehovot (central Israel) and Modi'in (eastern Israel), respectively. After 2009 the average concentrations in these cities during dust storms were 536, 466, and 428 mg m_3 (median 382, 335, 338), respectively. Regression analysis revealed associations between PM10 variations and seasonality, wind speed, as well as relative humidity. The trends and periodicity are stronger in the southern part of Israel, where higher PM10 concentrations are found. Since 2009 dust events became more extreme with much higher daily and hourly levels. The findings demonstrate that in the arid area variations of dust storms can be quantified easier through PM10 levels over a relatively short time scale of several years.

 

2. Katra, I., Elperin, T., Fominykh, A., Krasovitov, B., Yizhaq, H. (2016) Modeling of particulate matter transport in atmospheric boundary layer following dust emission from source areas. Aeolian Research 20, 147-156.

A two-dimensional model for particulate matter (PM) dispersion due to dust emission from soils is presented. Field experiments were performed at a dust source site (Negev loess soil) with a portable boundary layer wind tunnel to determine the emitted PM fluxes for different wind speeds and varying soil conditions. The numerical model is formulated using parameterizations based on the aeolian experiments. The wind velocity profiles used in the simulations were fitted from data obtained in field measurements. Size distribution of the emitted dust particles in the numerical simulations was taken into account using a Monte Carlo method. The PM concentration distributions at a distance of several kilometers from the dust source under specific shear velocities and PM fluxes from the soil were determined numerically by solving advection–diffusion equation. The obtained PM10 concentrations under typical wind and soil conditions are supported by PM data recorded over time in a standard environmental monitoring station. The model enhances our capacity of quantification of dust processes to support climate models as well as health risk assessment.

 

3. Getzin, S,, Yizhaq, H., Bell, B., Erickson, T.E., Postle, A.C., Katra, I., Tzuk, O., Zelnik, Y.R., Wiegand, K., Wiegand, T., Meron, E. (2016) Discovery of fairy circles in Australia supports self-organization theory. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Vegetation gap patterns in arid grasslands, such as the “fairy circles" of Namibia, are one of nature's greatest mysteries and subject to a lively debate on their origin. They are characterized by small-scale hexagonal ordering of circular bare-soil gaps that persists uniformly in the landscape scale to form a homogeneous distribution. Pattern-formation theory predicts that such highly ordered gap patterns should be found also in other water-limited systems across the globe, even if the mechanisms of their formation are different. Here we report that so far unknown fairy circles with the same spatial structure exist 10,000 km away from Namibia in the remote outback of Australia. Combining fieldwork, remote sensing, spatial pattern analysis, and process-based mathematical modeling, we demonstrate that these patterns emerge by self-organization, with no correlation with termite activity; the driving mechanism is a positive biomass–water feedback associated with water runoff and biomass-dependent infiltration rates. The remarkable match between the patterns of Australian and Namibian fairy circles and model results indicate that both patterns emerge from a nonuniform stationary instability, supporting

a central universality principle of pattern-formation theory. Applied to the context of dryland vegetation, this principle predicts that different systems that go through the same instability type will show similar vegetation patterns even if the feedback mechanisms and resulting soil–water distributions are different, as we indeed found by comparing the Australian and the Namibian fairy-circle ecosystems. These results suggest that biomass–water feedbacks and resultant vegetation gap patterns are likely more common in remote drylands than is currently known.

 

3.      Katra, I., Gross, A., Swet, N., Tanner, S., Krasnov, H., Angert, A. (2016) Substantial dust loss of bioavailable phosphorus from agricultural soils. Scientific Reports 6, 24736

Phosphorus (P) is an essential element in terrestrial ecosystems. Knowledge on the role of dust in the biogeochemical cycling of phosphorus is very limited with no quantitative information on aeolian (by wind) P fluxes from soils. The aim of this study is to focus on P cycling via dust emissions under common land-use practices in an arid environment by integration of sample analyses and aeolian experiments. The experiments indicate significant P fluxes by PM10 dust due to agricultural land use. Even in a single wind-dust event at moderate velocity (7.0 m s−1), P flux in conventional agricultural fields can reach 1.83 kg km−2, that accumulates to a considerable amount per year at a regional scale. The results highlight a negative yearly balance in P content (up to hundreds kg km−2) in all agricultural soils, and thus more P nutrition is required to maintain efficient yield production. In grazing areas where no P nutrition is applied, the soil degradation process can lead to desertification. Emission of P from soil dust sources has significant implications for soil nutrient resources and management strategies in agricultural regions as well as for loading to the atmosphere and global biogeochemical cycles. Bar, N, Elperin, T., Katra, I., Yizhaq, H. (2016) Numerical study of shear stress distribution at sand ripple surface in wind tunnel flow. Aeolian Research 21, 125–130.

 

4.      Schmerler, E., Katra, I., Kok, J.F., Tsoar, H., Yizhaq, H. (2016) Experimental and numerical study of Sharp's shadow zone hypothesis on sand ripple wavelength. Aeolian Research 22, 37-46.

The mechanism responsible for the formation and sustainability of sand ripples sheared by a uniform air flow is not well understood, despite the significant attention that has been given to it ever since the pioneering studies of Bagnold (1941). In this study we explore ANSYS Fluent simulations of fine-scale turbulent flow structure in the vicinity of 2D sand ripples with particular emphasis on shear stress distribution at the sand bed. The flow parameters in the simulations were pertinent to the wind tunnel experiments for studying sand ripples formation. The simulations show that the shear stress at the crest is about 2.5 times larger than the shear stress at the trough and that in most of the simulations a separation bubble has been developed at the lee slope. In contrast to wind tunnel experiments the simulations show that ripples will be flattened at wind speed of 9 m/s as shear stress at the ripples surface exceeds the fluid threshold. This discrepancy between the calculations and real wind tunnel measurements are due to the important role of the saltation layer on the decrease of the shear stress at the surface. Without this effect ripples cannot grow higher and will be diminished at quite moderate winds.

 

5.      Swet N., Katra, I. (2016) Reduction in soil aggregation in response to dust emission processes. Geomorphology 268, 177–183.

Dust emission by aeolian (wind) soil erosion depends on the topsoil properties of the source area, especially on the nature of the aggregates where most dust particles are held. Although the key role of soil aggregates in dust emission, the response of soil aggregation to aeolian processes and its implications for dust emission remain unknown. This study focuses on aggregate size distribution (ASD) analyses before and after in-situ aeolian experiments in semiarid loess soils that are associated with dust emission. Wind tunnel simulations show that particulate matter (PM)emission and saltation rates depend on the initial ASD and shear velocity. Under all initial ASD conditions, the content of saltator-sized aggregates (63–250 μm) increased by 10–34% due to erosion of macro-aggregates (N500 μm), resulting in a higher size ratio (SR) between the saltators and macro-aggregates following the aeolian erosion. The results revealed that the saltator production increases significantly for soils that are subjected to short-term (anthropogenic) disturbance of the topsoil. The findings highlight a decrease in soil aggregation for all initial ASD's in response to aeolian erosion, and consequently its influence on the dust emission potential. Changes in ASD should be considered as a key parameter in dust emission models of complex surfaces.

 

6.      Krasnov, H., Katra, I., Friger, M., Kloog, I. (2016) The spatio-temporal distribution of particulate matter during natural dust episodes at an urban scale. PLoS ONE 11(8), e0160800.

Dust storms are a common phenomenon in arid and semi-arid areas, and their impacts on both physical and human environments are of great interest. Number of studies have associated atmospheric PM pollution in urban environments with origin in natural soil/dust, but less evaluated the dust spatial patterns over a city. We aimed to analyze the spatial-temporal behavior of PM concentrations over the city of Beer Sheva, in southern Israel, where dust storms are quite frequent. PM data were recorded during the peak of each dust episode simultaneously in 23 predetermined fixed points around the city. Data were analyzed for both dust days and non-dust days (background). The database was constructed using Geographic Information System and includes distributions of PM that were derived using inverse distance weighted (IDW) interpolation. The results show that the daily averages of atmospheric PM10 concentrations during the background period are within a narrow range of 31 to 48 μgm-3 with low variations. During dust days however, the temporal variations are significant and can range from an hourly PM10 concentration of 100 μgm-3 to more than 1280 μgm-3 during strong storms. IDW analysis demonstrates that during the peak time of the storm the spatial variations in PM between locations in the city can reach 400 μgm-3. An analysis of site and storm contribution to total PM concentration revealed that higher concentrations are found in parts of the city that are proximal to dust sources. The results improve the understanding of the dynamics of natural PM and the dependence on wind direction. This may have implications for environmental and health outcomes.

 

7.      Zaady, E., Katra. I., Barkai, D., Knoll, Y., Sarig, S. (2017) The coupling effects of using coal fly-ash and bio-inoculant for rehabilitation of disturbed biocrusts in active sand dunes. Land Degradation & Development

Active wind-borne sand dunes, which lead to covering of fertile soils and agricultural fields, are one of the main problems in desertified lands worldwide, and stabilizing them poses a significant challenge. Such sand dunes may be naturally stabilized by biocrusts (biological soil crusts). One of the main restraints of biocrust development is the typical lack of fine particles in sand dunes. A possible artificial source of fine particles is coal fly-ash, which is the by-product of power stations and comprises of particles having a diameter of less than 100 μm. This study tested the influence of the coupling effects of coal fly-ash and bio-inoculant of filamentous cyanobacteria, isolated from natural stabilized sand dunes nearby, on the soil surface of active sands for increasing resistance to wind erosion. Boundary-layer wind tunnel experiments were conducted in experimental plots within a greenhouse for examining the effects of adding coal fly-ash and bio-inoculant to active sands. The biocrust development was evaluated via several physical and bio-physiological variables. In all the physical measurements and the bio-physiological variables, the treatment of “sand + inoculum + coal fly-ash" showed significant differences from the “sand-control". The combination led to the best results of surface stabilization in boundary-layer wind tunnel experiments, with the lowest sand fluxes. The filamentous cyanobacteria use the fine particles of the coal fly-ash as bridges for growing toward and adhering to the large sand particles. The cumulative effects of biocrusts and coal fly-ash enhance soil surface stabilization and may allow long-term sustainability.

 

8.      Katra, I., Laor, S., Swet, N., Kushmaro, A., Ben-Dov, A. (2017) Shifting cyanobacterial diversity in response to agricultural soils associated with dust emission. Land Degradation & Development.

Dust emission to the atmosphere from wind-eroded soils has many environmental impacts, including soil degradation and air pollution. Various agricultural land uses alter the topsoil properties and thus affect dust particle characteristics as well as loading of biological components into the air. In the present work, the richness and abundance of bacterial communities in topsoils of semiarid loess that are associated with dust emissions were studied by high throughput sequencing methods and were found to be affected by land uses: conventional agriculture, organic agriculture alternating with grazing, uncontrolled grazing activities and natural nondisturbed soil. Moreover, bacterial diversity was shown to be influenced by the contents of sand, CaCO3 and particulate matter in the topsoil. Of all bacteria taxa detected, cyanobacteria were found to be most strongly influenced by land use: Natural and grazing lands were highly abundant with cyanobacterial reads (about 33%), whereas conventional agriculture lands and organic agriculture lands alternating with grazing contained only 7% cyanobacteria. When examining macro-aggregates in two soils (natural and grazing), approximately 44% of reads were found to be affiliated to cyanobacteria, whereas in micro-aggregates, their concentration decreased to about 11%. Intensive agricultural use leads to a reduction in soil aggregation and significantly decreases cyanobacteria abundance, in turn increasing dust emission potential and loss of topsoil materials to the atmosphere.

 

9.      Uni, D., Katra, I. (2017) Airborne dust absorption by semi-arid forests reduces PM pollution in nearby urban environments. Science of the Total Environment 598, 984-992. 

Dust storms are a major source of global atmospheric particulatematter (PM), having significant impacts on air pollution and human health. During dust storms, daily averages of atmospheric PM concentrations can reach high levels above theWorld Health Organization (WHO) guideline for air quality. The objective of this study was to explore the impact of forests on PMdistribution following dust events in a region that is subjected to frequent dust storms (Northern Negev, Israel). Dust was measured in a forest transect including urban environments that are nearby the forest and at a distal location. During a background period, without dust events, the forest with its surrounding areas were characterized by lower monthly average of PM concentrations (38 μg/m3) comparedwith areas that are not affected

by the forest (54 μg/m3). Such difference can be meaningful for long-term human health exposure. A reduction in PM levels in the forest transect was evident at most measured dust events, depending on the storm intensity and the locations of the protected areas. A significant reduction in PM2.5/PM10 during dust events, indicates the high efficiency of the forest trees to absorb airborne PM2.5. Analysis of dust particles absorbed on the foliage revealed a total dust deposits of 8.1–9.2 g/m2, which is equal to a minimum of 418.2 tons removed from the atmosphere per a forest foliage area (30 km2). The findings can support environmental strategies to enhance life quality in regions that are subjected to dust storms, or under potential risk of dust-related PM due to land use and/or climate changes.

 

10.  Katra, I., Yizhaq, H. (2017) Intensity and degree of segregation in bimodal and multimodal grain size distributions. Aeolian Research 27, 23-34

The commonly used grain size analysis technique which applies moments (sorting, skewness and kurtosis) is less useful in the case of sediments with bimodal size distributions. Herein we suggest a new simple method for analyzing the degree of grain size segregation in sand-sized sediment that has clear bimodal size distributions. Two main features are used to characterize the bimodal distribution: grain diameter segregation, which is the normalized difference between coarse and fine grain diameters, and the frequency segregation which is the normalized difference in frequencies between two modes. The new defined indices can be calculated from frequency plot curves and can be graphically represented on a two dimensional coordinate system showing the dynamical aspects of the size distribution. The results enable comparison between granular samples from different locations and/or times to shed new light on the dynamic processes involved in grain size segregation of sediments. We demonstrate here the use of this method to analyze bimodal distributions of aeolian granular samples mostly from aeolian megaripples. Six different aeolian cases were analyzed to highlight the method's applicability, which is relevant to wide research themes in the Earth and environmental sciences, and can furthermore be easily adapted to analyze polymodal grain size distributions.

 

 

  • דר' מידד קיסינגר

מאמרים בכתבי עת

1. Kissinger , M. and Dickler, S (2016) Interregional bio-physical connections - a 'footprint family' analysis of Israel's beef supply system. Ecological Indicators. 69: 882-891.

The need to advance bio-physical accounting as a base for sustainability assessment has been acknowledged and advanced in recent years. One approach highly relevant to the 21st century global reality is the 'Footprint' – Ecological, Land, Water and Carbon. While each has merits and limitations, the potential to bring all together under the title of the 'Footprint Family' is emerging. This paper embraces a footprint family approach to analyze beef consumption in the state of Israel over a decade (1999-2010) and explore some tradeoffs between different biophysical components. The research results reveals that on average a tonne of beef consumed in Israel, reflecting a mixture of sources of supply from all over the world requires 9.5 hectares of land and 10,000 m3 of water, mostly for grazing in Latin America (in Brazil and Argentina) but also for growing feed in the U.S and the E.U. Enteric fermentation, manure management, farm operations, shipping and slaughtering generate approximately 19.7 tonnes of CO2e and the above can be integrated into an ecological footprint figure of approximately 6 global hectares. The paper also demonstrates the utility of inter-regional biophysical accounting at the detailed commodity level.  Inter-regional accounting identifies the geographic locations that contribute resources to, and are affected by, the production of specific consumption products. Comprehensive interregional biophysical accounting can be used to generate a better understanding of the complex ecological impacts associated with most consumption products, and the implications of the relationship between these impacts for sustainability. 

 

2. Dor, A. and Kissinger, M (2016) A multi-year, multi-scale analysis of urban sustainability. Environmental Impact Assessment Review. 62: 115-121.

In an urban world human well-being and global sustainability are connected to cities and the way they function. However, the ability and political willingness of local authorities and urbanites to take action to significantly reduce urban negative biophysical impacts is limited. This manuscript presents the results of a research which aimed to examine the extent to which existing and potential measures within and outside urban boundaries can reduce the urban ecological footprint and advance urban sustainability. It focuses on the town of Ra'anana, Israel, as a case study examined over a decade. It identifies the contribution of different urban activities (e.g., transportation, food consumption etc.) and stakeholders (e.g., urban residents, municipality, the state etc.) to the changes of the urban footprint over time. It then examines the potential contributions of selected measures (e.g., plans, technology implementation, behavioral change, etc.) within and outside the town's boundaries to minimize the urban footprint. The research joins a small group of studies that have examined urban footprints over time and an even smaller number that tried to examine the potential footprint reductions from sustainability actions taken at different spatial scales.

 

1.      Kissinger, M and Dor, A. (2016) Urban sustainability assessment – reviewing existing approaches. Ecology and Environment. 3: 270-278.

העניין באמידת הקיימות העירונית הולך וגובר ברחבי העולם. במהלך השנים האחרונות הלכו והתפתחו שורה ארוכה של מערכות מחוונים (אינדיקטורים) ומדדים (אינדקסים) עירוניים אשר פותחו על ידי גופים שונים ומתמקדים במגוון היבטים של הקיימות העירונית. לבניית מערכות אלו מגוון יעדים הפונים לקהלים שונים. ההבנה כי יש צורך לבחון את המצב בהווה, לנסות לזהות את הגורמים המשפיעים ולהצביע על התלות ההדדית שבין החברה העירונית, הפיתוח הכלכלי והסביבה הטבעית מחלחלת ברמות השונות (גם אם במקרים שונים המוטיבציה הראשונית קשורה במיתוג ומיצוב העיר). אמידה זו אף יכולה לתרום למעקב אחר מגמות ההתפתחות של העיר, וההשפעה של צעדים שונים לטוב ולרע, תוך זיהוי הפערים בין המצוי לרצוי. מאמר סקירה זה מציג את תחום אמידת הקיימות העירונית כפי שבא לידי ביטוי בספרות המחקרית ובשורה של יוזמות של גופים ציבוריים וקהילות ברחבי העולם. חלקה הראשון של הסקירה מציג שורה של גישות לאופן אמידת הקיימות העירונית והדגשים של מערכות שונות לאמידת קיימות. בחלקה השני מוצגות מספר יוזמות מקומיות וביניהן מערכת אינדיקטורים שערכנו בשיתוף פרויקט "קיימות עירונית" של מכון ירושלים לחקר ישראל, אשר בנייתה מסתיימת בימים אלו ובוחנת היבטים התנהגותיים של החיים בעיר.

 

2.      Mullinix, K., C. Dorward, C. Sussmann, W. Polasub, S. Smukler, C. Chiu, A. Rallings, C. Feeney and M. Kissinger. (2017). The future of our food system: Report on the Southwest BC bioregional food system design project. Institute for Sustainable Food Systems, Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

Freidman, D., and Kissinger, M., (2017) Israel's Carbon leakages – analyzing GHG emissions embodied in import. Ecology and Environment.

במהלך העשורים האחרונים הולכת ומתבססת ההכרה בצורך לקדם יעדים לאומיים להפחתת פליטות גזי החממה על מנת לצמצם את קצב והשלכות תהליכי שינויי האקלים. מדינות העולם אומדות את הפליטות בתחומן ובוחנות אמצעי מדיניות שונים לאמידה ביעדים. אולם, בעידן הגלובלי בו מסחר בין-לאומי של מוצרים ושירותים מהווה חלק משמעותי בפעילות הכלכלית של מדינות רבות, צריכה בכל מדינה קשורה באופן עקיף לפליטות גזי חממה במדינות אחרות. גישה זו הולכת ומתבססת במחקר וחושבה עבור מדינות רבות בעולם. אומדן פליטות גזי חממה שמקורן בצריכה של מוצרים יכול לשמש ככלי להגברת מודעות צרכנית, וככלי עזר לקביעת מדיניות לאומית ובין-לאומית להפחתה ולמסחר בפליטות. אנו מציגים תוצאות מחקר אשר מציג לראשונה חישוב פליטות גזי חממה מיבוא מוצרים לישראל בשנים 2000 – 2008. המחקר מצא כי סך הפליטות מייבוא מוצרים לישראל, ללא פליטות הכרוכות בהובלה, מגדיל את הפליטות המתרחשות בתחומי ישראל בכמחצית, ונמצא במגמת עלייה לאורך תקופת המחקר. פליטות אלו מתרחשות ברחבי העולם, ובעיקר בסין, ארה"ב וקנדה, רוסיה ואירופה.

 

3.      Stossel, Z ., Kissinger, M. and Meir, A (2017) Modeling the contribution of existing and potential measures to urban sustainability using the Urban Biophysical Sustainability Index (UBSI). Ecological Economics. 139: 1-8.

Advancing urban sustainability requires an implementation of various measures such as environmental policy, behavioral change, and technological developments, which have to be taken at various spatial scales. However, choosing the right measures demands considering their potential contribution in reducing the environmental impact and advancing urban sustainability. In recent years, some attempts to assess the contribution of implementing various measures have been advanced by various researchers focusing on different components of urban environmental interactions. While these studies make a significant contribution towards the understanding of the impact of various measures taken for a specific environmental issue, they mostly ignore the diversity and complexity of the urban interface with the environment at different spatial scales, as well as the ecological economics perspective, which approaches the city as a system. This paper uses the UBSI index published recently in this journal, to evaluate the urban biophysical sustainability of the city of Tel Aviv- Jaffa (Israel) in 2014. Based on this data, future scenarios are developed, which examine the potential contribution of various policy measures and different technological processes to the city's sustainability. This examination is conducted while considering population growth and changes of consumption patterns as they are expected to occur until 2030.

 

  • פרופ' איתי קלוג

מאמרים בכתבי עת

1. * ZanobettiPI, A., CoullC, B.A., KloogC, I., SparrowC, D., VokonasC, P.S., GoldC, D.R. and SchwartzC, J., 2017. Fine-scale spatial and temporal variation in temperature and arrhythmia episodes in the VA Normative Aging Study. Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association, 67(1), pp.96-104.

Many studies have demonstrated that cold and hot temperatures are associated with increased deaths and hospitalization rates; new findings indicate also an association with more specific cardiac risk factors. Most of these existing studies have relied on few weather stations to characterize exposures; few have used residence-specific estimates of temperature, or examined the exposure-response function. We investigated the association of arrhythmia episodes with spatial and temporal variation in temperature. We also evaluated the association btween monitored ambient temperature (central) and the same outcome. This longitudinal analysis included 701 older men participating in the VA Normative Aging Study. Arrhythmia episodes were measured as ventricular ectopy (VE) (bigeminy, trigeminy, or couplets episodes) by 4-min electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring in repeated visits during 2000–2010. The outcome was defined as having or not VE episodes during a study visit. We applied a mixed-effect logistic regression model with a random intercept for subject, controlling for seasonality, weekday, medication use, smoking, diabetes status, body mass index, and age. We also examined effect modification by personal characteristics, confounding by air pollution, and the exposure-response function. For 1°C increase in the same day residence-specific temperature, the odds of having VE episodes was 1.10 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.04–1.17). The odds associated with 1°C increase in central temperature was 1.05 (95% CI: 1.02–1.09). The exposure-response function was nonlinear for averages of temperature, presenting a J-shaped pattern, suggesting greater risk at lower and higher temperatures. Increased warm temperature and decreased cold temperature may increase the risk of ventricular arrhythmias.

Implications: This is the first study to provide evidence that residence-specific temperature exposure is associated with increased risk of ventricular arrhythmias in cohort of elderly subjects without known chronic medical conditions; that the delayed effect of temperature has a nonlinear relationship; and therefore that both warm and cold temperature increase the risk of having ventricular arrhythmias. Moreover, we show that the use of residence-specific temperature data reduces downward bias due to exposure error, by comparing the estimated health effect based on our spatiotemporal exposure prediction model to those based on a single local weather monitor.

 

2. Conti, G.O., Heibati, B., Kloog, I., Fiore, M. and Ferrante, M., 2017, A review of AirQ Models and their applications for forecasting the air pollution health outcomes. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, pp.1-20.

Even though clean air is considered as a basic requirement for the maintenance of human health, air pollution continues to pose a significant health threat in developed and developing countries alike. Monitoring and modeling of classic and emerging pollutants is vital to our knowledge of health outcomes in exposed subjects and to our ability to predict them. The ability to anticipate and manage changes in atmospheric pollutant concentrations relies on an accurate representation of the chemical state of the atmosphere. The task of providing the best possible analysis of air pollution thus requires efficient computational tools enabling efficient integration of observational data into models. A number of air quality models have been developed and play an important role in air quality management. Even though a large number of air quality models have been discussed or applied, their heterogeneity makes it difficult to select one approach above the others. This paper provides a brief review on air quality models with respect to several aspects such as prediction of health effects.

 

3.* MacNaughtonS, P., EitlandC, E., KloogC, I., SchwartzC, J., AllenPI, J., Impact of Particular Matter Exposure and Surrounding “Greenness" on Chronic Absenteeism in Massachusetts Public Schools,International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2017, 14,2, 1660-4601

Chronic absenteeism is associated with poorer academic performance and higher attrition in kindergarten to 12th grade (K-12) schools. In prior research, students who were chronically absent generally had fewer employment opportunities and worse health after graduation. We examined the impact that environmental factors surrounding schools have on chronic absenteeism. We estimated the greenness (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI)) and fine particulate matter air pollution (PM2.5) within 250 m and 1000 m respectively of each public school in Massachusetts during the 2012–2013 academic year using satellite-based data. We modeled chronic absenteeism rates in the same year as a function of PM2.5 and NDVI, controlling for race and household income. Among the 1772 public schools in Massachusetts, a 0.15 increase in NDVI during the academic year was associated with a 2.6% (p value < 0.0001) reduction in chronic absenteeism rates, and a 1 μg/m3 increase in PM2.5 during the academic year was associated with a 1.58% (p value < 0.0001) increase in chronic absenteeism rates. Based on these percentage changes in chronic absenteeism, a 0.15 increase in NDVI and 1 μg/m3 increase in PM2.5 correspond to 25,837 fewer students and 15,852 more students chronically absent each year in Massachusetts respectively. These environmental impacts on absenteeism reinforce the need to protect green spaces and reduce air pollution around schools.

 

4.* AntonelliS, J., SchwartzC, J., KloogC, I. and CoullPI, B., 2016. Spatial Multiresolution Analysis of the Effect of PM2. 5 on Birth Weights. arXiv preprint arXiv:1609.05186.

Fine particulate matter (PM2.5PM2.5) measured at a given location is a mix of pollution generated locally and pollution traveling long distances in the atmosphere. Therefore, the identification of spatial scales associated with health effects can inform on pollution sources responsible for these effects, resulting in more targeted regulatory policy. Recently, prediction methods that yield high-resolution spatial estimates of PM2.5PM2.5 exposures allow one to evaluate such scale-specific associations. We propose a two-dimensional wavelet decomposition that alleviates restrictive assumptions required for standard wavelet decompositions. Using this method, we decompose daily surfaces of PM2.5PM2.5 to identify which scales of pollution are most associated with adverse health outcomes. A key feature of the approach is that it can remove the purely temporal component of variability in PM2.5PM2.5 levels and calculate effect estimates derived solely from spatial contrasts. This eliminates the potential for unmeasured confounding of the exposure—outcome associations by temporal factors, such as season. We apply our method to a study of birth weights in Massachusetts, U.S.A., from 2003–2008 and find that both local and urban sources of pollution are strongly negatively associated with birth weight. Results also suggest that failure to eliminate temporal confounding in previous analyses attenuated the overall effect estimate toward zero, with the effect estimate growing in magnitude once this source of variability is removed.

 

5.   * DoransS, K.S., WilkerC, E.H., LiC, W., RiceC, M.B., LjungmanC, P.L., SchwartzC, J., CoullC, B.A., KloogC, I., KoutrakisC, P., D'AgostinoC, R.B. and MassaroPI, J.M., 2017. Residential proximity to major roads, exposure to fine particulate matter and aortic calcium: the Framingham Heart Study, a cohort study. BMJ open, 7(3), p.e013455.

Objectives Traffic and ambient air pollution exposure are positively associated with cardiovascular disease, potentially through atherosclerosis promotion. Few studies have assessed associations of these exposures with thoracic aortic calcium Agatston score (TAC) or abdominal aortic calcium Agatston score (AAC), systemic atherosclerosis correlates. We assessed whether living close to a major road and residential fine particulate matter (PM2.5) exposure were associated with TAC and AAC in a Northeastern US cohort.

Design Cohort study.

Setting Framingham Offspring and Third Generation participants residing in the Northeastern USA.

Participants and outcome measures Among 3506 participants, mean age was 55.8 years; 50% female. TAC was measured from 2002 to 2005 and AAC up to two times (2002–2005; 2008–2011) among participants from the Framingham Offspring or Third Generation cohorts. We first assessed associations with detectable TAC (logistic regression) and AAC (generalised estimating equation regression, logit link). As aortic calcium scores were right skewed, we used linear regression models and mixed-effects models to assess associations with natural log-transformed TAC and AAC, respectively, among participants with detectable aortic calcium. We also assessed associations with AAC progression. Models were adjusted for demographic variables, socioeconomic position indicators and time.

 

Results There were no consistent associations of major roadway proximity or PM2.5 with the presence or extent of TAC or AAC, or with AAC progression. Some estimates were in the opposite direction than expected.

 

Conclusions In this cohort from a region with relatively low levels of and variation in PM2.5, there were no strong associations of proximity to a major road or PM2.5 with the presence or extent of aortic calcification, or with AAC progression.

 

6.* Mohammadyan, M., Ghoochani, M., Kloog, I., Abdul-Wahab, S.A., Yetilmezsoy, K., Heibati, B. and Pollitt, K.J.G., 2017. Assessment of indoor and outdoor particulate air pollution at an urban background site in Iran. Environmental monitoring and assessment, 189(5), p.235.

The relationship between indoor and outdoor particulate air pollution was investigated at an urban background site on the Payambar Azam Campus of Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences in Sari, Northern Iran. The concentration of particulate matter sized with a diameter less than 1 μm (PM1.0), 2.5 μm (PM2.5), and 10 μm (PM10) was evaluated at 5 outdoor and 12 indoor locations. Indoor sites included classrooms, corridors, and office sites in four university buildings. Outdoor PM concentrations were characterized at five locations around the university campus. Indoor and outdoor PM measurements (1-min resolution) were conducted in parallel during weekday mornings and afternoons. No difference found between indoor PM10 (50.1 ± 32.1 μg/m3) and outdoor PM10 concentrations (46.5 ± 26.0 μg/m3), indoor PM2.5 (22.6 ± 17.4 μg/m3) and outdoor PM2.5 concentration (22.2 ± 15.4 μg/m3), or indoor PM1.0 (14.5 ± 13.4 μg/m3) and outdoor mean PM1.0 concentrations (14.2 ± 12.3 μg/m3). Despite these similar concentrations, no correlations were found between outdoor and indoor PM levels. The present findings are not only of importance for the potential health effects of particulate air pollution on people who spend their daytime over a period of several hours in closed and confined spaces located at a university campus but also can inform regulatory about the improvement of indoor air quality, especially in developing countries.

 

7.* KhaniabadiS, Y.O., FanelliC, R., De MarcoC, A., DaryanooshC, S.M., KloogC, I., HopkeC, P.K., ContiC, G.O., FerranteC, M., MohammadiC, M.J., BabaeiC, A.A. and BasiriPI, H., 2017. Hospital admissions in Iran for cardiovascular and respiratory diseases attributed to the Middle Eastern Dust storms. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, pp.1-9.

The main objective of this study was to assess the possible effects of airborne particulate matter less than 10 μm in diameter (PM10) from the Middle Eastern Dust (MED) events on human health in Khorramabad (Iran) in terms of estimated hospital admissions (morbidity) for cardiovascular diseases (HACD) and for respiratory diseases (HARD) during the period of 2015 to 2016. The AirQ program developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) was used to estimate the potential health impacts to daily PM10 exposures. The numbers of excess cases for cardiovascular/respiratory morbidity were 20/51, 72/185, and 20/53 on normal, dusty, and MED event days, respectively. The highest number of hospital admissions was estimated for PM10 concentrations in the range of 40 to 49 μg/m3, i.e, lower than the daily (50 μg/m3) limit value established by WHO. The results also showed that 4.7% (95% CI 3.2–6.7%) and 4.2% (95% CI 2.6–5.8%) of HARD and HACD, respectively, were attributed to PM10 concentrations above 10 μg/m3. The study demonstrates a significant impact of air pollution on people, which is manifested primarily as respiratory and cardiovascular problems. To reduce these effects, several immediate actions should be taken by the local authorities to control the impacts of dust storms on residents' health, e.g., developing a green beltway along the Iran-Iraq border and management of water such as irrigation of dry areas that would be effective as mitigation strategies.

 

 

8.   * JamesPI, P., KioumourtzoglouC, M.A., HartC, J.E., BanayC, R.F., KloogC, I. and LadenC, F., 2017. Interrelationships between Walkability, Air Pollution, Greenness, and Body Mass Index. Epidemiology.

Background: Recent studies have linked urban environmental factors and body mass index (BMI); however, such factors are often examined in isolation, ignoring correlations across exposures.

 

Methods: Using data on Nurses' Health Study participants living in the Northeastern United States in 2006, we estimated associations between neighborhood walkability (a composite of population density, street connectivity, and business access), greenness (from satellite imagery), and ambient air pollution (from satellite-based spatiotemporally resolved PM2.5 predictions and weighted monthly average concentrations of NO2 from up to five nearest monitors) and self-reported BMI using generalized additive models, allowing for deviations from linearity using penalized splines.

 

Results: Among 23,435 women aged 60–87 years, we observed nonlinear associations between walkability and BMI and between PM2.5 and BMI in single-exposure models adjusted for age, race, and individual- and area-level socioeconomic status. When modeling all exposures simultaneously, only the association between walkability and BMI remained nonlinear and nonmonotonic. Increasing walkability was associated with increasing BMI at lower levels of walkability (walkability index <1.8), while increasing walkability was linked to lower BMI in areas of higher walkability (walkability index >1.8). A 10 percentile increase in walkability, right above 1.8 was associated with a 0.84% decrease in log BMI. The relationship between walkability and BMI existed only among younger participants (<71 years old).

 

Conclusions: Neighborhood walkability was nonlinearly linked to lower BMI independent of air pollution and greenness. Our findings highlight the importance of accounting for nonlinear confounding by interrelated urban environmental factors when investigating associations between the environment and BMI.

 

 

9.* RosaS, M.J., JustC, A.C., KloogC, I., PanticC, I., SchnaasC, L., LeeC, A., BoseC, S., ChiuC, Y.H.M., HsuC, H.H.L., CoullC, B. and SchwartzC, CohenC S., RojoC M RT., Wright C R O and R J wrightPI , 2017. Prenatal particulate matter exposure and wheeze in Mexican children: effect modification by prenatal psychosocial stress. Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

Background

Air pollution exposure in childhood is associated with greater incidence and exacerbation of asthma, particularly in children whose parents report high levels of psychological stress. However, this interaction has not been completely elucidated in pregnancy.

 

Objective

To examine whether the association between prenatal exposure to particulate matter no larger than 2.5 μm in diameter (PM2.5) and wheeze in children is modified by prenatal stress.

 

Methods

Mexican women were recruited during pregnancy (N = 552). Residential prenatal daily exposure to PM2.5 was estimated using a satellite-based spatiotemporally resolved prediction model and averaged over trimesters. Maternal stress was indexed by maternal negative life events (NLE) score (range 0–11) ascertained during mid to late pregnancy. NLE scores were dichotomized at the median as low (NLE score ≤ 3) and high (NLE score > 3) stress. Reports of ever wheeze and wheeze in the past 12 months (current wheeze) for children were obtained using the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood survey at 48 months. The association between prenatal PM2.5 and wheeze was analyzed using a modified Poisson regression and stratified by low vs high stress.

 

Results

Greater PM2.5 exposure during the first trimester was associated with increased risk of current wheeze among children with mothers reporting high prenatal stress (relative risk 1.35, 95% confidence interval 1.00–1.83, per interquartile range increase 3.8 μg/m3) but not among those reporting low stress (relative risk 0.84, 95% confidence interval 0.61–1.16, per interquartile range increase 3.8 μg/m3; P for interaction = .04).

 

Conclusion

Increased prenatal stress enhanced the association between PM2.5 exposure in early pregnancy, and child wheeze at 48 months of age. It is important to consider chemical and nonchemical stressors together to more comprehensively characterize children's environmental risk.

 

 

10.  * RosaC, M.J., PajakC, A., JustC, A.C., SheffieldC, P.E., KloogC, I., SchwartzC, J., CoullC, B., EnlowC, M.B., BaccarelliC, A.A., HuddlestonC, K. and NiederhuberC, J.E. ., RojoC M RT., Gennings C, C., Wright C R O and R J wrightPI , 2017. Prenatal exposure to PM2. 5 and birth weight: A pooled analysis from three North American longitudinal pregnancy cohort studies. Environment International, 107, pp.173-180.

A common practice when analyzing multi-site epidemiological data is to include a term for 'site' to account for unmeasured effects at each location. This practice should be carefully considered when site can have complex relationships with important demographic and exposure variables. We leverage data from three longitudinal North American pregnancy cohorts to demonstrate a novel method to assess study heterogeneity and potential combinability of studies for pooled analyses in order to better understand how to consider site in analyses. Results from linear regression and fixed effects meta-regression models run both prior to and following the proposed combinability analyses were compared. In order to exemplify this approach, we examined associations between prenatal exposure to particulate matter and birth weight. Analyses included mother-child dyads (N = 1966) from the Asthma Coalition on Community Environment and Social Stress (ACCESS) Project and the PRogramming of Intergenerational Stress Mechanisms (PRISM) study in the northeastern United States, and the Programming Research in Obesity, Growth, Environment and Social Stressors (PROGRESS) study in Mexico City. Mothers' daily third trimester exposure to particulate matter ≤ 2.5 μm in diameter (PM2.5) was estimated using a validated satellite-based spatio-temporally resolved model in all studies. Fenton birth weight for gestational age z-scores were calculated. Linear regression analyses within each cohort separately did not find significant associations between PM2.5 averaged over the third trimester and Fenton z-scores. The initial meta-regression model also did not find significant associations between prenatal PM2.5 and birthweight. Next, propensity scores and log linear models were used to assess higher order interactions and determine if sites were comparable with regard to sociodemographics and other covariates; these analyses demonstrated that PROGRESS and ACCESS were combinable. Adjusted linear regression models including a 2-level site variable according to the pooling indicated by the log linear models (ACCESS and PROGRESS as one level and PRISM as another) revealed that a 5 μg/m3 increase in PM2.5 was associated with a 0.075 decrease in Fenton z-score (p < 0.0001); linear models including a 3-level site variable did not reveal significant associations. By assessing the combinability of heterogeneous populations prior to combining data using a method that more optimally accounts for underlying cohort differences, we were able to identify significant associations between prenatal PM2.5 exposure and birthweight that were not detected using standard methods.

 

11.* Yitshak-SadeS, M., KloogPI, I. and NovackPI, V., 2017. Do air pollution and neighborhood greenness exposures improve the predicted cardiovascular risk?. Environment International, 107, pp.147-153.

Background

Numerous studies show associations between exposure to Particulate Matter and Cardiovascular disease (CVD). Current cardiovascular equations incorporate the major risk factors for CVD. The patients' environment, however, is not incorporated in these equations.

 

Methods

In a retrospective analysis, we assessed the contribution of neighborhood greenness and particulate matter (coarse-PM and PM < 2.5 μm–PM2.5) to the development of CVD by analyzing the change in prediction abilities. We included members of the largest health-care provider in Southern-Israel, who had at least one cardiovascular risk factor (dyslipidemia, diabetes, hypertension or smokers). PM exposure and neighborhood greenness (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index-NDVI) were assessed by satellite-based models. We used pooled logistic mixed regressions to obtain the CVD risks including conventional risk factors (i.e. age, gender, blood-pressure, etc.) and measured the model performance with and without PM and NDVI.

 

Results

We included 23,110 subjects, of whom 12% had CVD. Coarse-PM exposure was associated with stroke and Myocardial-Infarction (MI) (OR 1.02,p < 0.01 for both). NDVI was associated with MI: OR 0.72(p < 0.01) for NDVI 0.1–0.2; and OR 0.52(p = 0.270) for NDVI > 0.2. The c-statistics slightly improved from 77.30%–77.40% for the prediction of MI (p = 0.004) and from 75.60%–75.76% for the prediction of stroke (p = 0.027). Calibration was fair in all models. The associations were partially mediated through the patients' comorbidities.

 

Conclusion

The negligible improvement in the prediction performance, despite significant associations with PM and NDVI, may be due to partial mediation of these associations through the conventional cardiovascular risk factors, suggesting the importance in assessing the environmental effects on more basic physiological pathways when addressing the contribution to the cardiovascular risk.

 

12.   * BoseS, S., ChiuC, Y.H.M., HsuC, H.H.L., DiC, Q., RosaC, M.J., LeeC, A., KloogC, I., WilsonC, A., SchwartzC, J., WrightC, R.O. and CohenC, S., CoullC B. and R J wrightPI, 2017. Prenatal Nitrate Exposure and Childhood Asthma: Influence of Maternal Prenatal Stress and Fetal Sex. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

RATIONALE: Impact of ambient pollution upon children's asthma may differ by sex, and exposure dose and timing. Psychosocial stress can also modify pollutant effects. These associations have not been examined for in utero ambient nitrate exposure. OBJECTIVES: We implemented Bayesian distributed lag interaction models (BDLIMs), to identify sensitive prenatal windows for the influence of NO3- on child asthma, accounting for effect modification by sex and stress. METHODS: Analyses included 752 mother-child dyads. Daily ambient nitrate (NO3-) exposure during pregnancy was derived using a hybrid chemical transport (Geos-Chem)/land-use regression model and natural-log (ln) transformed. Prenatal maternal stress was indexed by a negative life events (NLEs) score [high (≥3) vs. low (<3)]. The outcome was clinician-diagnosed asthma by age 6 years. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Most mothers were Hispanic (54%) or Black (29%), had ≤high school education (66%), never smoked (80%), and reported low prenatal stress (58%); 15% of children developed asthma. BDILMs adjusted for maternal age, race, education, pre-pregnancy obesity, atopy, and smoking status identified two sensitive windows—7-19 and 33-40 weeks gestation—during which increased NO3- was associated with greater odds of asthma, specifically among boys born to mothers reporting high prenatal stress. Cumulative effects of NO3- across pregnancy were also significant in this subgroup (OR=2.64, 95%CI=1.27-5.39; per IQR increase in ln-NO3-). CONCLUSIONS: Prenatal NO3- exposure during distinct sensitive windows was associated with incident asthma in boys concurrently exposed to high prenatal stress.


 

 

13.*  . KingsleyS, S. L., DeyssenrothC, M. A.,. KelseyC, K. T., Abu AwadC, Y., KloogC, I., SchwartzC, J. D., LambertiniC ,L., ChenC, J., MarsitC, C. J., WelleniusPI, G.A.,  Maternal residential air pollution and placental imprinted gene expression, Environment International, Volume 108, November 2017, Pages 204-211, ISSN 0160-4120

Maternal exposure to air pollution is associated with reduced fetal growth, but its relationship with expression of placental imprinted genes (important regulators of fetal growth) has not yet been studied.

 

Objectives

To examine relationships between maternal residential air pollution and expression of placental imprinted genes in the Rhode Island Child Health Study (RICHS).

 

Methods

Women-infant pairs were enrolled following delivery between 2009 and 2013. We geocoded maternal residential addresses at delivery, estimated daily levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5; n = 355) and black carbon (BC; n = 336) using spatial-temporal models, and estimated residential distance to nearest major roadway (n = 355). Using linear regression models we investigated the associations between each exposure metric and expression of nine candidate genes previously associated with infant birthweight in RICHS, with secondary analyses of a panel of 108 imprinted genes expressed in the placenta. We also explored effect measure modification by infant sex.

 

Results

PM2.5 and BC were associated with altered expression for seven and one candidate genes, respectively, previously linked with birthweight in this cohort. Adjusting for multiple comparisons, we found that PM2.5 and BC were associated with changes in expression of 41 and 12 of 108 placental imprinted genes, respectively. Infant sex modified the association between PM2.5 and expression of CHD7 and between proximity to major roadways and expression of ZDBF2.

 

Conclusions

We found that maternal exposure to residential PM2.5 and BC was associated with changes in placental imprinted gene expression, which suggests a plausible line of investigation of how air pollution affects fetal growth and development.

 

 

14.   *  RosenfeldS, A., DormanC, M., SchwartzC, J., NovackC, V., JustC, A.C. and KloogPI, I., 2017. Estimating daily minimum, maximum, and mean near surface air temperature using hybrid satellite models across Israel. Environmental Research, 159, pp.297-312.

Meteorological stations measure air temperature (Ta) accurately with high temporal resolution, but usually suffer from limited spatial resolution due to their sparse distribution across rural, undeveloped or less populated areas. Remote sensing satellite-based measurements provide daily surface temperature (Ts) data in high spatial and temporal resolution and can improve the estimation of daily Ta. In this study we developed spatiotemporally resolved models which allow us to predict three daily parameters: Ta Max (day time), 24 h mean, and Ta Min (night time) on a fine 1 km grid across the state of Israel. We used and compared both the Aqua and Terra MODIS satellites. We used linear mixed effect models, IDW (inverse distance weighted) interpolations and thin plate splines (using a smooth nonparametric function of longitude and latitude) to first calibrate between Ts and Ta in those locations where we have available data for both and used that calibration to fill in neighboring cells without surface monitors or missing Ts. Out-of-sample ten-fold cross validation (CV) was used to quantify the accuracy of our predictions. Our model performance was excellent for both days with and without available Ts observations for both Aqua and Terra (CV Aqua R2 results for min 0.966, mean 0.986, and max 0.967; CV Terra R2 results for min 0.965, mean 0.987, and max 0.968). Our research shows that daily min, mean and max Ta can be reliably predicted using daily MODIS Ts data even across Israel, with high accuracy even for days without Ta or Ts data. These predictions can be used as three separate Ta exposures in epidemiology studies for better diurnal exposure assessment.

 

  • פרופ' שאול קרקובר

מאמרים בכתבי עת

1. Krakover, S. 2017. A Heritage site development model: Jewish heritage product formation in South-Central Europe. Journal of Heritage Tourism, 12(1), 81-101.

Models referring to tourism product development are rather rare. This paper suggests a model of heritage tourism formation. The model is based on observations made and interviews conducted in three Balkan States and southern Hungary with respect to the formation of Jewish heritage products. Results indicate that the formation of the heritage product follows a structured line of development. This is presented in two phases, an initial phase concerning the development of major tangible products and a mature phase taking care of the addition of minor artifacts some of them of intangible nature. Each phase is composed of several steps, providing together a sort of protocol for heritage product formation. Although the suggested model does not fit all heritage sites, it appears to be applicable to several heritage products such as churches and shrines of other religious denominations, heritage of famous figures like writers, painters, musicians, and others, and sites of prominent events such as battles, films and the like.

 

2. Petrevska, B. Krakover, S. and Collins-Kreiner, N. 2017. Investigating motives for preservation of Jewish heritage sites: The case of Macedonia.  International Scientific Conference GEOBALCANICA 2017 Proceedings.

The study investigates the main motives for preservation of sites of Jewish heritage tourism (JHT) by studying three locations in Macedonia: Skopje (the capital), Štip (the largest city in the east part of Macedonia) and Bitola (the largest city in the southwest part of Macedonia). The article assesses the presence of several motivations, like: (i) Guilt; (ii) Interest in national history; (iii) Revival of a glorious Past; (iv) Economic benefits; (v) Display of sympathy; and (vi) Dark tourism development. The analysis is based on a qualitative research method and incorporates: (a) Qualitative data analysis, by conducting interviews in June 2016 with key stakeholders from central and local governments as the main policy makers; and (b) Analysis of secondary data sources, achieved by reviewing literature, historical, and statistical data related to Jewish history in Macedonia. Generally, the results point to the presence of strong iconic connection among Macedonians and the Jews that lived in Macedonia. The general findings indicate that by establishing and maintaining JH sites, stakeholders reflect sentiments of sympathy and even admiration to the perished Jewish community and a strong desire to revive a glorious past. Only in the case of Bitola, the potential economic benefits were surfaced as the main motive for initiating activities and investments in JH sites. Finally, the study recommends design and development of JHT product and tailor-made tourist packages as key elements that may boost tourism development in Macedonia alongside with commemoration of the Jews and their ties with the Macedonian people.

Keywords: JHT, Tourism development, Stakeholders, Macedonia.

 

3. Petrevska, B. Krakover, S. and Collins-Kreiner, N. 2017. Preserving Cultural Assets of Others: Jewish Heritage Sites in Macedonian Cities. Tourism Geographies.

 

Issues arise when trying to understand the motivation of policymakers to preserve the assets of cultures that do not belong to the mainstream population. Tunbridge and Ashworth's seminal study on 'Dissonant Heritage' and Bennett's developmental model of intercultural sensitivity (DMIS model) provide a basis to evaluate both the motivations and the existence of a cultural dissonance. As there is a growing worldwide trend towards preserving and developing Jewish heritage tourism (JHT) this study examines Jewish heritage sites in three Macedonian cities endowed with rich Jewish history. Unlike previous studies concentrating on the notion of dissonant heritage, this research focuses on the motivation for preserving such sites, an issue hardly tackled before. Previous studies suggested the prevalence of six possible motives: guilt, facing harsh history, emphasis on dark tourism, revival of a harmonious past, respect, and economic benefits. Data were obtained via face-to-face interviews conducted with policy-makers from central and local governments. The interviews were analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively in order to determine the leading motives for preservation. The findings indicate that by establishing and maintaining Jewish Heritage sites, stakeholders reflect sentiments of respect and admiration for the perished Jewish community and a longing for the revival of an elusive harmonious past. The potential economic benefits and dark tourism surfaced only as minor motives. Practically, JH preservation is used to revive dialogue with a forgotten past that may also contribute to urban tourism development in the future. Conceptually, the interviews did not reveal any indication of heritage dissonance, a finding that stands in sharp contrast to the dissonant heritage theory.

 

  • פרופ' אליהו שטרן

מאמרים בכתבי עת

1. Feitelson, E., Felsenstein, D. Razin, Stern, E., "Assessing Land Use Plan

     Implementation: Bridging the Performance - Conformance Divide"' Land

     Use Policy, 2017, 61, 251-264.

Assessing the implementation of land use plans is fraught with pitfalls, as land use plans are multi-dimensional and their effects are felt over extended time periods. One major controversy in the evaluation of land use plans is whether the evaluation should assess the conformance of development to the plans or whether it should focus on the performance of the plan – on the degree to which the goals of the plan have been advanced. In this paper we present an analytic framework that combines both conformance and performance for the evaluation of (regional) land use plans, and apply it to the case of the Central District Plan in Israel.

To this end we combine qualitative and quantitative simulation methods. We find that while the plan does not fulfill all its goals it had substantial effects, and thus advanced its goals relative to the business-as-usual case. We argue that in order to assess a plan's  impact it is necessary to assess its effects on the transaction costs of land use re-designation and on actors' perceptions of the probability that amendments will be granted. An important insight gained from the Israeli case is that these perceptions differ across actors as a function of the political clout that they wield over planning bodies.

Book chapters

2. Stern, E., "Spatial search: New settlements for Israel's ultra-orthodox population" in ​Lombard, J., Stern, E., Clarke, G. (eds.), Applied Spatial Modelling and Planning, Routledge, London and New York, 2017,121-133.

A different tool of applied spatial modelling is presented by Eli Stern who provides an example of the never-ending practice of spatial search. It is a GIS-based search aimed at finding locations for housing the growing ultra-orthodox population in Israel. Bounded by several sectorial restrictions like proximity, and/or high accessibility to Jerusalem, and low-rise buildings, the Ministry assigned the author to find feasible locations to accommodate a minimum of 50,000 dwelling units. Feasibility is defined by several different objective and subjective indicators. A paired-comparison analysis of location criteria is also used to examine the rank-orders of feasible locations by the leaders of the ultra-orthodox population and the community of urban planners. An agreeable solution was achieved.  However, despite the comprehensive spatial search procedure, at the end, one should expect, to some extent, public objection to a near-by ultra-orthodox settlement, a common NIMBY phenomenon.