|M.Sc Thesis||Department of Architecture and Town Planning|
|Supervisor:||Assoc. Prof. Alon-Mozes Tal|
|Full Thesis text - in Hebrew|
This study examines the planning of the public open space in two of the earliest comprehensive plans for the development of Tel Aviv. Both plans were drawn by well known planners: the first in 1921 by the Zionist architect and town planner Richard Kauffmann (1887-1958), the second, in 1925, by the renowned Scottish Professor Patrick Geddes (1854-1932). The study examines the planning of the public open space in both plans, in the context of the turn of the twentieth century city planning theory and practice and in light of each of the planners' planning thought.
The research compares both the physical and conceptual aspects of the public open space in the plans and reveals that the differences between them were greater than the similarities. Both planners devoted 20% of their plan area to public open space. While Kauffmann concentrated most of it along the beachfront with a promenade, a park and public squares, Geddes scattered spaces, different in size and form, throughout the city. He introduced a natural reserve, central city square, small parks, boulevards and community block gardens and suggested the residents' participation in their design. Adopting the current conventions for planning coastal cities, he planned the beachfront as an economic resource: for industries and tourist facilities.
These differences can be attributed to different planning thoughts. Kauffmann's planning thought stemmed from a rationalistic approach that gave priority to the physical features. He chose the beach area as the main public arena because of its physical properties: light and air, which were associated with progress during the early 20th century. Geddes' planning thought, on the other hand, gave priority to the cultural and social meanings that could be given to the public open space. His main purpose was to create urban communities through block gardens, designed by the residents themselves as to involve them in the planning of their city. In his planning report for Tel Aviv he elaborated on the importance of creating open spaces that reflect the Jewish heritage and traditions in order to enhance the cultural aspect of the city's life.
Paradoxically, it was Kauffmann's plan, not Geddes', that better approximated the wishes of the residents who embraced the beach as their public space and made it a prominent feature in the city's culture.