OpenBag: Naama Lissar History of Planning and Architecture in Tel Aviv

“There may be others more beautiful, but as none as beautiful as she”

Tel Aviv from the Seashell Lottery in 1909 to its designation as a World Heritage city in 2003, is a city of neighborhoods, of people and of  public interaction. Naama Lissar, a native Tel Avivian, urban planner, and OpenPlans’ Community Tools Planner, gave a presentation about the historical context of Tel Aviv’s urban planning and architecture.

Tel Aviv is a modernist city: the city’s architects embraced the International style, and created a local interpretation of their own. Le Corbusier must have teared up at its sight. Openness and connection to the environment was king: open plan (!) buildings atop pilotes, ringed with strip windows, balconies and crowned with roof gardens.  These free- standing four-story buildings in Geddes block clusters face onto courtyards that offer civic buildings and public space. Through-traffic is confined to main streets and wide boulevards. Boulevards and major civic buildings align with the sea and the sea is always within view. (see slides 11-16).

The tradition of this planning is seen today – Tel Aviv has a street and public space culture.

Naama’s whose job here at OpenPlans is exploring civic participation and building community is clearly the product of a city whose style is that open, accessible and free from borders.

View the slideshow here.