Peek preview of Hubitus urban sustainability hub in Israel

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Hubitus at the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens will be a zero-energy hub with smart water and solar collection systems, built from recycled containers.
Hubitus – the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens Hub for Urban Sustainability. Simulation by Sharon Golan

The architectural plans are completed for Hubitus – the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens Hub for Urban Sustainability, and it’s easy to see why the cofounders are fielding inquiries from botanical gardens all over the US and Canada.

“We took the entrepreneurship hub model from the startup world and adapted it to the environmental world. This is something that has never been done before, definitely not at a botanical garden,” says cofounder and director Lior Gottesman.

She and cofounder Adi Bar-Yoseph have described Hubitus, a unique co-working space for environmental entrepreneurs, environmental artists and designers, urban planners, social activists, gardeners and urban farmers, at international conferences in Hawaii, Miami, San Diego and St. Louis.

Open classrooms at Hubitus – the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens Hub for Urban Sustainability. Simulation by Sharon Golan

Recently they accepted invitations from the heads of the Chicago Botanical Gardens and the UC Davis Botanical Gardens in California.

“We are invited to talk all over the world as botanical gardens rethink their social role,” Gottesman tells ISRAEL21c. “We’ve taken it to the next level by having change agents sitting in the garden. We’re the startup nation so it’s clear this innovation will come from here.”

Hubitus – the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens Hub for Urban Sustainability. Simulation by Sharon Golan

Hubitus already exists virtually for the past three years, providing courses, training, events and professional connections to 80 change agents. The hub also runs outreach programs including an initiative to establish sustainable gardens in preschools.

The physical space to house 30 Hubitus members was planned with the input of that community in coordination with Noam Austerlitz, a prominent Israeli “green” architect and lecturer at Tel Aviv University’s schools of architecture and environmental studies.

Office of Hubitus – the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens Hub for Urban Sustainability. Simulation by Sharon Golan

The zero-energy hub will generate as much renewable energy as it uses, aided by intelligent water collection and solar energy systems. “It will be built entirely of recycled containers using green construction techniques,” says Gottesman.

“In addition to the work spaces, our hub also will have classrooms, open spaces, rooftop gardens, green walls and more because our community needs places to prove and demonstrate concepts in areas such as beekeeping, hydroponics and vertical gardening.”

Closed classroom at Hubitus – the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens Hub for Urban Sustainability. Simulation by Sharon Golan

The grading of the site has started, with funding from Leichtag Foundation, and further fundraising is being conducted through JNF Australia and the Jerusalem Foundation. In addition to Austerlitz Architecture, the hub has engaged the services of Shlomo Aronson Architects for landscape design.


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