Tel Aviv metropolitan area

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ISRAEL

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TEL AVIV


Palmachim beach

Netanya sandstone cliffs

The Tel Aviv Metropolitan area is located along the Israeli Mediterranean coast, stretching from the city of Ashdod at the southern fringe, up to the area north of Netanya – one of Israel's major coastal cities – and eastward to the border between Israel and the occupied territories. The Tel Aviv metropolitan area is Israel’s dominant economic and cultural heart, Israel's "global city-region". It is the core region in a clear core-periphery structure characterizing Israel’s space-economy.

The dominance of the Tel Aviv metropolis in Israel’s space-economy has probably become evident more than ever before, since the 1990s, with the metropolis attracting the young, professional, highly qualified labour, seemingly draining other parts of the country from leading talent and creativity in business services, high-technology, entertainment and culture.

Taking into account the gradual expansion of its boundaries, the share of the Tel Aviv metropolis of Israel’s total population has been fairly stable at around 44-45 percent. At the end of 2009, 3.3 million of Israel's 7.55 million inhabitants have resided within its statistical boundaries. However, with adjacent localities that are in fact already part of the expanding metropolis the metropolis is approaching 4 million inhabitants, and in fact serves as the economic and commercial center for the entire population of Israel – only very few localities are at a distance of more than two hours drive from Tel Aviv by car, ride by train or flight in the case of Elat.

The coastal zone of the Tel Aviv metropolis begins (from south to north) by the coastal zone of Ashdod with its port – one of the two major ports in Israel – and power plant, followed by an undeveloped stretch, most of it held by the military. To the north lies the main urbanized area, including the cities of Rishon LeZion, Bat Yam, Tel Aviv-Jaffa and Herzliyya, where the built up area approaches coastal roads, promenades and public beaches. This stretch includes two recreational marinas (Tel Aviv and Herzliyya), two historical ports that have become revitalized entertainment and recreation zones (Jaffa and Tel Aviv), one small airport (in northern Tel Aviv) and an adjacent power plant. North of Herzliyya the coast is largely preserved as open space, despite immense development pressures, except for the urbanized coastline of the city of Netanya.

One of the unique features of the Tel Aviv metropolis coastal zone is the Sandstone Cliffs along substantial stretches of the coast, particularly in the area of Netanya. These cliffs are subject to erosion by the battering waves of the sea and urban development pressures on the cliffs, posing planning and environmental policy dilemmas, such as investment in wave breakers and coastal defences versus adjusting development patterns to the sensitivity of the coastal cliffs.

Policies at the metropolitan coastal zone reflect changing (and conflicting) paradigms, from mainly regarding the coast as an urban backyard (the location of large-scale infrastructural facilities), through regarding the coast as an urban front-yard (mainly tourism development), to increasing pressures for treating the coast as a public domain, focusing on public access, environmental awareness and the preservation of natural ecosystems.

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The Tel Aviv Metropolitan area is located along the Israeli Mediterranean coast, stretching from the city of Ashdod at the southern fringe, up to the area north of Netanya – one of Israel's major coastal cities – and eastward to the border between Israel and the occupied territories. The Tel Aviv metropolitan area is Israel’s dominant economic and cultural heart, Israel's "global city-region". It is the core region in a clear core-periphery structure characterizing Israel’s space-economy.

The dominance of the Tel Aviv metropolis in Israel’s space-economy has probably become evident more than ever before, since the 1990s, with the metropolis attracting the young, professional, highly qualified labour, seemingly draining other parts of the country from leading talent and creativity in business services, high-technology, entertainment and culture.

Taking into account the gradual expansion of its boundaries, the share of the Tel Aviv metropolis of Israel’s total population has been fairly stable at around 44-45 percent. At the end of 2009, 3.3 million of Israel's 7.55 million inhabitants have resided within its statistical boundaries. However, with adjacent localities that are in fact already part of the expanding metropolis the metropolis is approaching 4 million inhabitants, and in fact serves as the economic and commercial center for the entire population of Israel – only very few localities are at a distance of more than two hours drive from Tel Aviv by car, ride by train or flight in the case of Elat.

The coastal zone of the Tel Aviv metropolis begins (from south to north) by the coastal zone of Ashdod with its port – one of the two major ports in Israel – and power plant, followed by an undeveloped stretch, most of it held by the military. To the north lies the main urbanized area, including the cities of Rishon LeZion, Bat Yam, Tel Aviv-Jaffa and Herzliyya, where the built up area approaches coastal roads, promenades and public beaches. This stretch includes two recreational marinas (Tel Aviv and Herzliyya), two historical ports that have become revitalized entertainment and recreation zones (Jaffa and Tel Aviv), one small airport (in northern Tel Aviv) and an adjacent power plant. North of Herzliyya the coast is largely preserved as open space, despite immense development pressures, except for the urbanized coastline of the city of Netanya.

One of the unique features of the Tel Aviv metropolis coastal zone is the Sandstone Cliffs along substantial stretches of the coast, particularly in the area of Netanya. These cliffs are subject to erosion by the battering waves of the sea and urban development pressures on the cliffs, posing planning and environmental policy dilemmas, such as investment in wave breakers and coastal defences versus adjusting development patterns to the sensitivity of the coastal cliffs.

Policies at the metropolitan coastal zone reflect changing (and conflicting) paradigms, from mainly regarding the coast as an urban backyard (the location of large-scale infrastructural facilities), through regarding the coast as an urban front-yard (mainly tourism development), to increasing pressures for treating the coast as a public domain, focusing on public access, environmental awareness and the preservation of natural ecosystems.