Every year, during the rainy winter seasons, citizens of Nahariya experience extreme flooding within their city. Entire streets fill with water, and the blame generally goes to the Gaaton River. A river which the city was built around, that once functioned as a main green axis and central meeting place, is nowadays hidden by concrete walls and fences, and functions as a rear end to the main street, Sderot HaGaaton. With that said, the reoccurring floods reflect a deeper matter within the city; the immense lack of green spaces within the existing urban grid. The few green spaces that do exist, don’t live up to their full potential; most of them are plain grass lawns, with few functions and inadequate user experiences, with no place for water to infiltrate.
The research process was carried out in two ways; Research from above; consisting of mapping and analysis on large-scale plans, and research from within, which was based on independent tours and our personal experiences from the field, in addition to surveys and interviews with residents. It was discovered that on average, only about 15% of the city consists of soft and permeable soils, compared to 85% of hard areas (buildings, asphalt, pavements, etc.). In addition, we discovered that the older residents remember a different Nahariya to what exists today, a city that was made for wandering the streets, where you could spend entire days outside by the river and on the beach, and was once called “The Bicycle City”.
Reviving – means restoration, awakening, and renewal. The uniqueness of the project is rooted in studying Nahariya through a broad lense as opposed to the usual frame of The Gaaton River. The aim of the project is to examine the existing urban network which over time has become increasingly crowded, and to integrate a new and developed system of open spaces. This system will provide a solution to the flooding problems in the winter, and on a daily basis will improve the quality of life of the residents, create a new urban experience, and turn the greatest challenge of Nahariya today into an opportunity.