Tel Aviv, Town planning, Tel Aviv history,
Town planning regulations for Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv town planning, Tel Aviv history, Tel Aviv
Independence and a New Town Plan for Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv, history, town planning, conservation

Shaping the face of Tel Aviv. Ahuzat Bayit lays the way for more new neighborhoods that shape the face of Tel Aviv. Less than a year after the draw to divide the lots, most of Ahuzat Bayit’s houses were already standing. The name of the neighborhood was subsequently changed to Tel Aviv, (meaning Hill of Spring), inspired by the title of the Hebrew translation of Theodore Herzl’s book, Altneuland. It also began to expand, first to the east, following the initiative to establish Nahalat Binyamin,  whose plan was similar to Tel Aviv.  Purchasing 13 dunams of the original plot bought by the Ahuzat Beit Committee in Kerem Jabali,  the founders began construction in 1911 just northeast of the Gymnasium building. The tract of land was long and narrow, so the neighborhood was built as one main road lined by houses on both sides. This main road did not run parallel to Herzl Street in Ahuzat Bayit, nor did the design of the neighborhood take into account the existing layout of Ahuzat Bayit. This was the beginning of a trend that characterized the expansion of Tel Aviv in its early years. Each new neighborhood was built as an independent unit; plans did not take into account the layout of other adjacent neighborhoods.  

However, in 1912, with 60 families living in Tel Aviv and another 40 in Nahalat Binyamin, the  two neighborhoods merged. Subsequently, more neighborhoods joined the main block, and Tel Aviv continued to expand mainly to the north where there were tracts of land that could be purchased.   Seeking to expand and strengthen the financial foundations of Tel Aviv, the Tel Aviv Committee began selling plots to private individuals north of the Herzliya Gymnasium, who promised to abide by the bylaws. However, proper planning procedures were still lacking, and from Montifiore Street northwards, residential units were built whose plans were not necessarily integrated with the rest of Tel Aviv.

In 1911, the Tel Aviv committee bought an additional 60,000 cubits of uncultivated lands (mahloul) between the north-west part of Gruzenberg Street and Carmel Street, from David Moyal, a Jewish lawyer who engaged in land speculation and development.  This area was also allocated for construction and was divided into building plots of 1000-cubits each like Tel Aviv’s original core neighborhood. However, once again, the planning of this plot of land was undertaken without consideration of Ahuzat  Bayit.

On the northern border of the lands purchased from Moyal, the Tel Aviv Committee purchased about half of 68 dunams owned by the Palestine Real Estate Company and another half of 22 dunams owned by Hevra Hadasha. Founded in 2011 by entrepreneurs such as Yehuda Leib Abuhav, Yehoshua Goldberg, Akiva Arie Weiss, Bezalel Yaffe, Avraham Lev, Menachem Sheinkin, Yosef Eliyahu Chelouche, Yaakov Shertok and Mordechai Weisser, Hevra Hadasha sought to acquire land throughout the country. In practice, its activities were concentrated in the Tel Aviv area only, and at the end of 1911 the company bought about 70 dunams of land owned by Sheikh Ali east of Tel Aviv between the railroad and what is known today as Magen David Square. After dividing the area into 1500 cubit plots, construction began. The main street, along the sea is today know as Allenby.

Tel Aviv, Nachalat Binyamin, history, conservation, town planning

The Geula company (a company established for the purpose of redeeming land in Eretz Israel) purchased large areas south of the railway (in the area where a commercial center would later be built), between Tel Aviv and Neve Tzedek. The Hachsharat Hayeshuv company founded by the Zionist movement, bought large tracts of land north and west of the lands of Hevra Hadasha.  Hachsharat Hayeshuv owned mainly lands in Kerem Badrani (today ​​Bialik Street), Karkara (the lower part of Allenby Street and the beginning of Ben Yehuda) and Kerem Matri (the seaside along Ben Yehuda Street from Trumpeldor Street to Gordon Street.)

These lands were not used until the First World War, but they made up the future land reserves of Tel Aviv. Smaller groups, for example Baalei Melacha (the artisans) also bought and built on lands north of what is known as Sheinkin street today. These neighborhoods joined Tel Aviv also. On the eve of World War I, 150 houses existed with about 2,000 inhabitants.  However, during the first thirteen years of the British Mandate, starting 1920, the population of Tel Aviv reached 75,000 and the number of houses, in an area of ​​5,000 dunams, grew to 5,000.

The main strategy was to bypass Manshieh and connect to the sea, which was only one kilometer from the center of Tel Aviv, in order to block Jaffa’s expansion northward and facilitate Tel Aviv’s unhindered growth to the west and north.  By the end 1913, 281 dunams were purchased near the coast, achieving this goal.  This acquisition created a huge land reserve for Tel Aviv and was the decisive step that transformed the suburb into a city. The committee also purchased land south of the Ahuzat Bayit neighborhood with the aim of establishing a commercial district.  In addition, in 1911, the Tel Aviv Committee purchased land from Yosef Eliyahu Chelouche that was near the railway tracks on the southeastern border of Tel Aviv, in addition to several thousand square cubits of land from David Moyal, also near the railway tracks, but on the western side of Tel Aviv. This land was adjacent to an area purchased by the Geula company and actually united Jewish Jaffa with Tel Aviv. The Anglo-Palestine Company offered a tract of land that they owned near the sea west of Manshieh to the Ahuzat Beit Association, which preferred the lands of Kerem Jabali. These acquisitions – of the Tel Aviv Committee and other companies created a territorial continuity around Tel Aviv on the eve of World War I.

The success of Ahuzat Bayit paved the way for the establishment of additional Jewish neighborhoods. Entrepreneurs were quick to take advantage of the many opportunities available, and many commercial land acquisition companies purchased land , enabling the construction of new neighborhoods which then merged with Tel Aviv.  With the rapid growth in population and built-up areas, and the high demand for housing, Tel Aviv soon grew into an independent city.

Many new development plans emerged. Some were delayed because of the war and only implemented later.  Tel Aviv attracted not only immigrants, but also long-time residents from other towns and moshavim. Without intervention of the Ottoman government, the city soon became a center of Jewish culture and autonomy.  However, industry was not yet developed and most of the residents made a living from their businesses in Jaffa, or from rental fees on properties they owned.

Tel Aviv, Nachalat Binyamin, conservation, history









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