• Kobi Tour Guide of Israel

Jerusalem & Tel Aviv are Stealing from Each Other & it's Great!

Charles Dickens wrote "A Tale of Two Cities," more than half a century before Tel Aviv was even conceived. And yet, it so easily could have been about Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, two cities which are such diametric opposites. As a tour guide of Israel, I always like to ask people to compare and contrast these two cities. Yet the truth is, despite their incredible differences, there are also things which connect them - and I don't just mean the new high-speed train. When it comes to urban planning, the two cities are constantly inspiring each other - or stealing from each other - whatever you prefer to call it. Let's take a look.


Jerusalem:


Just as Tel Aviv is planning to cover the Ayalon Expressway with an urban park (https://en.globes.co.il/en/article-plan-approved-to-cover-ayalon-highway-1001139393), four years later, Jerusalem is getting in on the act as well, with plans to cover the Begin Expressway. For more, click here: https://www.timesofisrael.com/jerusalem-plans-revolutionary-green-space-over-city-highway/


Who is doing it better (Jerusalem on left - Tel Aviv on right)?


Tel Aviv:


Tel Aviv meanwhile has stolen from Jerusalem the idea to build a public park stretching throughout the city where the old Jerusalem-Jaffa train line was built by the Ottomans (okay by the French for the Ottomans) in the late 19th c., but which has been out of use for decades. Tel Avivians are quite excited about it, but Jerusalemites love to note that they have had it for almost a decade (it's my personal running spot). https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium.MAGAZINE-a-new-green-lung-ottoman-era-railway-becomes-tel-aviv-s-newest-park-1.9212310

https://www.thenatureofcities.com/2014/08/18/the-story-of-jerusalems-railway-park-getting-the-city-back-on-track-economically-environmentally-and-socially/


Again, who is doing it better (Jerusalem on left, Tel Aviv on right)


Of course both cities have already turned their old railway stations into centers for art, shopping, performances and dining. In Jerusalem it is called "The First Station," whereas in Tel Aviv it is called "The Old Station." As a Jerusalemite, however, it pains me to say that Tel Aviv was actually first to complete its renovation and renewal project in 2010 (Jerusalem finished in 2013). Then again, Jerusalem got a light rail before Tel Aviv, so that evens up the battle at 2-2.



However, Tel Aviv was just named the #5 most creative city in the world. It was by far #1 in most art galleries per square mile/km (only Paris was close), it was #4 in theaters per square mile/km and #5 in music clubs per square mile/km. It came in just ahead of... you guessed it [if you've been on a tour of Tel Aviv with me]... New York City. For more, check out:

https://inkifi.com/most-creative-cities/



Okay, I will give it to Tel Aviv for now, but watch your back, Jerusalem will be responding soon :) For now, enjoy this photo of Tel Aviv at night...


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