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Updated Tel Aviv master plan envisions packed city of skyscrapers

Reworked outline proposes increased building around rail and metro lines, with dozens of new towers 20-80 stories high

A general view shows the center of Tel Aviv, Israel, on Thursday, December 2, 2021. (AP/Oded Balilty)
A general view shows the center of Tel Aviv, Israel, on Thursday, December 2, 2021. (AP/Oded Balilty)

Tel Aviv has produced a major update to its master plan for the city in recent weeks in a bid to cope with an expected population growth of up to half a million residents by 2025.

It proposes making the city landscape much denser, with dozens of new skyscrapers between 20 and 80 stories high. The plan would direct increased building to corridors served by rail and metro lines.

In the area of the now-closed Sde Dov airport, there are plans for nearly 13,000 housing units based in multiple apartment towers.

It also proposes construction of buildings up to 40 stories high around the new central bus station; the previous plan limited the height to 25.

The plan goes further than previous master plans to develop the urban environment in Tel Aviv, and to create more housing within the limits of the city. But it is still unclear whether it will deliver enough to meet the demand for housing within Tel Aviv, or whether it is sufficiently in line with Israel’s National Outline Plan for developing cities and meeting housing needs.

Adv. Tzvi Shoob and Eyal Oliker of Tzvi Shoob Law Offices, which specializes in planning and construction law, told Globes that the upgraded plan “does not go far enough to deal with the challenges expected in the city in the coming years.”

The city hopes to get the plan approved by the end of 2023. However, the city’s last master planning process started out in 2008 and was only approved eight years later. In addition, a completely new master plan is scheduled to be produced in 2026.

Separately, the city has been looking at its development of tourism facilities and has another development plan to become one of the world’s leading urban tourist destinations.

The vital light rail infrastructure, on which key elements of the plan are based, is running behind schedule and the first route is not scheduled to open until at least the middle of next year.

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