The city of Tel Aviv is 102 years old. It gave birth when immigrants from Europe came pouring into Israel. Due to the overcrowded conditions in the ancient Mediterranean city of Jaffa, in April 1909, a few dozen families decided to build a suburb. At the time, there were only a couple of streets in Tel Aviv, along with piles of deep sand and some citrus groves. The Tel Aviv population grew quickly; Meir Dizengoff, the head of the local council, realized that he needed to design a well thought out plan for the expansion of Tel Aviv.
He hired Sir Patrick Geddes, a Scottish urban planner, biologist, and philosopher, along with a plethora of other talents.
“This is a green world, with animals comparatively few and small, and all dependent on the leaves. By leaves we live. Some people have strange ideas that they live by money. They think energy is generated by the circulation of coins. Whereas the world is mainly a vast leaf colony, growing on and forming a leafy soil, not a mere mineral mass: and we live not by the jingling of our coins, but by the fullness of our harvests.”
- Patrick Geddes
Gedde’s plan was to make Tel Aviv a garden city with tree lined pedestrian boulevards and a separation between main and residential streets. His design included shared public spaces; squares and parks on major boulevards and in residential areas.
|A shaded, eucalyptus allee that leads from one end of Gan Meir Park to the other|