The De-Greening of Tel Aviv's Central Park

The river may be so polluted that you can't let your dog swim in it; the park may be littered with garbage after a weekend or holiday, but for Tel Avivians, Park Hayarkon is their Central Park and a breath of fresh air from the cement and chaos of the city. Despite a decision of Israel's Interior Ministry to limit construction in the park, reports Haaretz, the Municipality of Tel Aviv has other plans in store: some 155 dunams of land (38 acres) are now being zoned for new projects -- one of which will include public offices. Trees will be cut down, the river will be widened and in total, about 14% of the park's open space will be gobbled up (dare we say) probably forever. This is sad news for the people and escaped pet parakeets that live in the park's Eucalyptus trees. Good news for the giant river rats! The story is a little doom and gloom, but typical of enviro news in Israel which usually comes too late for green groups to intervene. Reports Haaretz, "All the buildings plans are currently in the late stages of approval by the city's planning and zoning institutions." We know Tel Aviv isn't exactly gay Paris (ie limited by the number of stories it can build) — can't the city build up instead? Here is a video of some random people enjoying the park. ::Haaretz

Tags: Israel