Bar-Ilan University | President’s Report 2022

55 well: They decreased by about two degrees Celsius in hot weather and increased by about two degrees Celsius inwinter. Together with Drs. Yafit Cohen and Victor Alchanatis of ARO, Bar-Ilan researchers also conducted thermal and hyper-spectral imaging of the VGS, demonstrating that it’s possible to identify climate stressors for several weeks before visual damage identification. Master’s student Yaara Shitrit performed acoustic measurements showing significant noise reduction in the green-canyon buildings, while MSc student Ido Sharabi noted that air quality in the green canyonwas also markedly improved. In the area of human well-being, Dr. Keren Agay-Shay, an environmental epidemiologist at the Azrieli Faculty of Medicine, and her student ReemMohsen showed that people who spent time near the buildings with the green facades experienced an improvement in emotions, attention capacity, and even positive body image. While these findings align with a longstanding body of research showing that connectedness with nature is associated with improved cognitive andmental well-being, Mohsen’s research is the first in the world to study the influence of a “greened” building on both. Finally, Dr. Anat Tchetchik of the Department of Geography and Environment identified the direct and indirect costs and benefits of theVGS andquantified theminmonetary terms. She showed that the project appears to be balanced throughout its lifetime, suggesting justification for its construction and operation. However, since many of the benefits represent externalities that can’t be realized by the private market, a private-public partnership is still the best approach.