The Yarkon River is seen by most as the green lung of Tel Aviv, a crowded, towering city in the heart of the Dan Region. The stream, which crosses the city from east to west accompanied by a sprawling park, creates opportunities for connection between the public and urban nature: wide grassy fields, woods, sport fields, hiking and bicycling trails and more. But this relationship seems to be undermined at a very significant point within the space – the Yarkon River estuary.
The Yarkon River estuary has scenic-ecological, urban and social importance in Tel Aviv. In its vicinity are many opportunities for the rehabilitation and conservation of the stream and urban nature areas. Nevertheless, the space closest to the estuary is filled with asphalt areas, parking spaces and wide structures and sharp, rigid river banks. In addition, despite its importance as a scenic, cultural and urban epicenter, the area surrounding the estuary faces future threats of intense flooding, a reduction in the urban nature areas that constitute the city’s last land reserves, and scenarios of rising sea levels and wide flood plains that challenge environmental resilience near the Yarkon estuary.
The project proposes a holistic view of the Yarkon River estuary and the city of Tel Aviv as a single body and, through this view, the transformation of a dismantled, vulnerable space into a harmonious, complete urban estuary that benefits the city, nature and the public. This would be accomplished by strengthening social, urban and ecological resilience: creating a continuum of urban nature areas, rehabilitating the Yarkon salt marsh, creating special areas that bring man closer to nature, stream and sea, and planning tourist, employment and commercial complexes with the aim of creating a continuum of daily urban activity in the coastal and stream strip. Under this plan, the Yarkon River estuary area would transform from a space that limits the stream and disconnects it from its surroundings, into a diverse and complex public space that enhances the importance of urban nature in the crowded city, bringing man closer to nature and strengthening the city in face of tomorrow’s challenges for Tel Aviv’s waterfront.