By covering a large portion of the traffic artery with a green park, the city said it aims to both connect the municipality’s eastern and western portions and create a cultural hub.
Tel Aviv-Jaffa’s Local Committee for Planning and Building has approved a plan to transform the city’s jampacked Ayalon Highway into an oasis of greenery.

The Ayalon Roofing Project proposes covering a 240-hectare (593-acre) section of Gush Dan’s principal traffic artery with a grassy roof. It would create a new public space for recreation while enabling traffic to continue flowing below.

The local committee on Wednesday decided to recommend advancing the plan to the Regional Committee for Planning and Building.

The project aims to completely change the look of the central region’s primary business area and is the country’s largest municipal venture, the Tel Aviv Municipality said, adding that the project will not only make available more public recreation areas, but do so without requiring the loss of existing open space.

The Ayalon Highway is infamous for its air pollution and noise and effectively slices the city in two. It is one of the country’s most heavily traveled roads, with about 750,000 vehicles using it daily.

By covering a large portion of the traffic artery with a green park, the city said it aims to both connect the municipality’s eastern and western portions and create a hub for cycling, hiking, green spaces, cafes, commercial activity and recreation. A large new park in the center of a major urban area can help address the shortage of public space and provide an attractive area for civic activities, the municipality said.

“Tel Aviv-Jaffa today marks an infrastructural, environmental and architectural milestone, and begins, in practice, a project that will surely attract both national and international attention,” Itai Pinkas, a city council member and chairman of the project’s steering committee, said. “The infrastructure that is the most densely packed in the Middle East – composed of trains, roads, sewage pipes, drainage, electricity, communications and more – will be transformed in a few years to a green and blossoming island in the heart of the city.”

The project, which is part of the city’s new master plan, is being overseen by Lerman Architects Ltd., in conjunction with the municipality’s Eastern Planning Department.

Design is slated to occur in two distinct phases: an “Ayalon Vision” stage, and an architecture, building and planning stage. Following the completion of these phases, the full master plan is expected to come to the local committee for discussion by early 2016, the city said.

The project will cost an estimated NIS 2b., and construction will occur gradually over the next few years, the municipality added.

“The shortage of open spaces is receiving a unique response in the form of creating new space [by using] existing space, while reducing environmental hazards and creating open spaces for the benefit of the city, its residents and visitors,” Pinkas said. “Beyond being the largest municipal roofing project in Israel – and one of the most ambitious in its history – the Ayalon Roofing Project will be one of the most impressive infrastructural-environmental ventures in the world, and a symbol of urban pride.”
Tel Aviv’s Ayalon Highway gets green light on green park – YNET

The Azrieli Group will cover a section of the Ayalon Highway to build an urban park; a new 80-storey tower will replace the current Yedioth Ahronoth headquarters.

Hila Tsion
Published: 07.22.15, 21:19 / Israel Business

Last week the Tel Aviv-Yafo Local Planning and Construction Committee approved a plan to cover over about 15 dunams of the Ayalon highway’s lanes so that an urban city park for the benefit of local residents can be built.

The program includes an ambitious idea; The Azrieli Group will build a new tower where the Yedioth Ahronoth headquarters is currently located, on Menachem Begin Road in Tel Aviv, and in exchange promises to cover a section of the Ayalon Highway to create an urban park, The work is expected to begin in 3 to 5 years, depending on approvals given by the planning committee.

Future Tel Aviv

The Tel Aviv Municipality confirmed the information and added that according to the local committee’s decision, the section highway slated to be covered over is bordered by Yitzhak Sadeh Street in the south and Arlozorov Street in the north.

And what exactly is going to happen beneath the new park? According to Itai Pinkas, a member of the municipal city construction committee and chairman of the Ayalon project’s steering committee said, “The roof will cover Ayalon highway’s lanes, basically to enclose the traffic with a “lid” so it passes through tunnels.”

So what will be built over the tunnels? Pinkas clarifies that no additional towers will be built – the covered space will become an open area that will include a green park for the benefit of local residents. “There will be no massive construction or malls as that would make the heart of the city even dirtier and noisier. The park will actually connect the neighborhoods of Yad Eliyahu, Nahalat Yitzhak, Bitzaron, and hopefully the city center,” he said.

In fact, the covered area will be encompassed by dozens of new towers of different uses, that are currently in the process of approval and construction as part of the northern Central Business District branch of the municipality.

Pinkas adds that cafes and sports complexes (like the Herzliya Sportech) will likely be built in the park. According to him, the inspiration for the establishment of a green park over the Ayalon came to the steering committee from similar projects abroad such as Park Avenue, the High Line Park in New York, Miami Beach Park, the Big Dig project in Boston and the London highway covering project.

The Azrieli Group explained to Ynet that on the area of Yedioth Ahronoth’s building, an elliptical tower will be built, designed by the late David Azrieli and Moshe Tzur. It will have 80 floors with hundreds of housing units, along with business areas, and be an integral part of the Azrieli Center. In fact the mall itself will be expanded by 13 thousand square meters of rental space, and will extend continuously and have a passageway to the new tower. The group also reported that “as part of the strategy, an urban building scheme for protected housing has been approved.”,7340,L-4683067,00.html