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The Urban Block Gardens

29.12.22-15.04.23

Opening: Thursday 29.12.2022, at 20:00

The exhibition at the Urban Planning Hall displays the city's unique landscape scheme as designed 100 years ago by the town planner of Tel Aviv, Patrick Geddes. The plan laid out the new city as a grid of residential perimeter blocks, with a ‘block garden’ planted in each of their centers. Together they define the White City's socio-landscape genome.

The exhibition, the result of a comprehensive research, was born out of the urgent need to acknowledge historic and contemporary open space in the modern city. Particularly in view of climate crisis and the depletion of natural resources, the block gardens present as essential components In Tel Aviv’s present wellbeing and future development.

Sir Patrick Geddes, a botanist, sociologist and town planner, designed the first masterplan for the city of Tel Aviv (the Geddes Plan) in 1925. Nowadays Geddes is considered among the founding figures of planning and a pioneering environmentalist who considered the relationship between society and nature as an integral part of the modern city. Geddes’s visionary interpretation of the 'Garden City' endowed the center and old north of Tel Aviv with its unique urban skeleton and the special character its city residents and visitors have come to know and appreciate.

The exhibition aims to highlight the often overlooked fact that Tel Aviv’s urban infrastructure is based on nature – which manifests as a network of boulevards, alleys and gardens. Together they provide the ever growing and evolving city with an innately healthy genetic makeup. This is nature that offers a pause from urban intensity, and a place for life and community.

Over the years, as the city gows in density, the green windows which Geddes placed in every block become essential ventilating shafts, a network of alleys and gardens waiting to be discovered anew. We hope that the exhibition will draw attention to the crucial role played by urban block gardens (and open spaces in general) in the sustainable future of the city, hand in hand with enhancing and preserving essential landscapes and cultures.

Exhibition team: Ruthy Liberty-Shalev, Adi Har-Noy, Hadas Nevo Goldberst, Noa Hollander, Anat Levy, Shira Levy-Benyemini
The Office for Documentary Embroidery: Aviv Kruglansky and Vahida Ramujkic
The Arik Einstein Community Center: Dovrat Gelev
Graphic design: Noam Noy
Curation, design and production at Liebling Haus: Noa Hollander, Anat Levy, Shira Levy-Benyemini
Photography: Yael Schmidt
The exhibition is based on the study Garden City conducted by the Ruthy Liberty-Shalev and Adi Har-Noy Architecture & Conservation practice, commissioned by the Tel Aviv Municipality Conservation Department
Acknowledgments: The Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality Conservation Dept; Dept for the Improvement of the City; Authority for the Environment and Sustainability; Authority for Community, Culture and Sport – the Arik Einstein Community Center