TA Municipality publishes design rules for Sde Dov development

The new neighborhood to be built on the site of what used to be Sde Dov airport north of Tel Aviv has sparked curiosity over construction tender prices, as well as planning and design. Last week, architects working on the design of the neighborhood, for plans already approved and in progress, received a document from the Tel Aviv Municipality containing construction guidelines: “City Engineer’s Guidelines for Urban Construction and Design in the Sde Dov Neighborhood”, which sets out the planned architectural design and environmental development for the entire neighborhood, and the Eshkol site in particular.

According to the document, the new district will consist of three types of construction: perimeter block buildings of up to nine floors; low towers up to 16 stories; and towers over 20 stories. The towers will be scattered randomly in all parts of the district, and will have up to 45 floors. The document states that construction should be uniform, with no buildings of visibly different design. It is estimated that two-bedroom apartments will start at NIS 3 million and four-bedroom apartments at NIS 5 million.

The document encourages the design of buildings with colonnades along main streets and allows colonnades to continue up to 14 meters on side streets.

Many buildings will have ground floors with commercial activity, offices and public services.

“The goal is to create a neighborhood that is a real city, with pleasant streets to walk on and where things are happening all the time”, is how architect Orit Muhlbauer-Eyal of Muhlbauer Architects interprets the guidelines document. “The intention is good, the question is whether the means they have adopted will lead to this result,” she says.

“The municipality is trying to adopt things that have worked in streets like Ibn Gabirol and Basel, but it won’t be the same. The most substantial reason for that, and it’s a mistake made when developing of the urban construction plan, stipulates very wide main streets, between 24 and 32 meters. Streets like this do not give an urban impression. It is too wide to make it look like a real street, “explains Muhlbauer-Eyal.

Tel Aviv Municipality responded to ‘Globes’: “The plan is for a 30 meter wide street with wide sidewalks for passers-by and full-length tree planting for shade, allowing development of an inviting space in which to walk, next to a solution for traffic, parking and cycle paths.”

The guidelines call for plaster, decorative plaster or exposed concrete finishes and advise against stone cladding. Dark coatings will not be permitted. There will be passages between the inner gardens of the blocks. There are detailed provisions for the type, size and appearance of balconies.

The document devotes a long chapter to sustainability and environmental protection. This requires rooftop gardens and the installation of solar panels to generate electricity. Each building will be the subject of an energy consumption forecast and the objective is that at least 10% of the forecast consumption be of renewable origin. These requirements are something new in the planning of entire neighborhoods in Israel.

The plan also provides that 15% of each plot must be free of watertight constructions and underground constructions, in order to allow the absorption of runoff water. All construction must meet the green building standard.

Yael Dori, head of planning at the environmental organization Adam Teva V’Din, says however that the treatment of climatic aspects is insufficient. “While in other countries plans come with a survey of greenhouse gases and ways to reduce emissions to zero, in Israel there is still no supply target in energy from renewable sources, and a loophole is left for the use of fossil fuels. The plan even allows 700 square meters to be allocated to “energy production centers”, including in public open spaces.”

Dori adds that “the construction line is too close to the sea, and does not ensure a wide enough public beach for years to come”.

The Tel Aviv Municipality responded, “Sustainable planning and renewable energy are an integral part of built environment planning. Among other things, the plan requires compliance with green building regulations, rainwater management , energy production, shading and moderation of urban heat.island phenomenon.

Commenting on criticisms that the plan was too restrictive and did not allow sufficient architectural freedom, Tal Venger, Vice President of Urban Planning and Environmental Consulting at AVIV AMCG Management & Consulting, said: “This neighborhood presents an excellent concept and innovative, especially in its desire to combat the dogmatism that has existed in Israel for many years. The municipality of Tel Aviv has a privilege, due to the high value of the land, and can dictate to developers what it wants and which suits him.

“Most municipalities in Israel are weak in their work vis-à-vis developers and contractors, and it follows that ultimately they are the ones who dictate the character of the development, not the municipality. And so we get these neighborhoods that look alike. Developers and contractors have their own considerations when it comes to construction. That’s why, in my opinion, there’s great justification for an urban architectural design document such as the one distributed by the Tel Aviv Municipality. It’s meant to give control to the municipality and make a statement about how they want things to look in the new public space.”

The Tel Aviv Municipality said: “The guidelines were drafted following an open architectural discussion on urban design in the new neighborhood. It is important to emphasize that giving design guidelines for buildings and spaces helps preserve the public interest of having a good sustainable urban environment, while providing planning security and architectural freedom in the planning of each building.”

The Sde Dov neighborhood covers 1,490 dunams (375 acres) and is located north of Tel Aviv. It is planned to house some 41,000 people in 16,000 units.

Published by Globes, Israel business news – en.globes.co.il – on June 28, 2022.

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