Patrick Geddes and the evolution of a housing type in Tel Aviv

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Rachel Kallus – Article in Planning Perspective, July 1997

This article provides me with a much clearer understanding on the Geddes Plan in Tel Aviv. The article started off with the background of Tel Aviv, in which it mentioned the history of the city and its development, and even look further into the typical layouts of the houses in a Jewish neighborhood, information about the culture and the living habits that weren’t highly addressed in other books. I am also fascinated by a diagram, which indicated the communities outside the Jaffa walls, and also the topograhpy types of unused lands. It gave me a much deeper understanding in not only Jaffa the city, but also the land condition and usage around the city itself.

The Geddes Plan is another main focus of the article. The author started off with the history of how Patrick Geddes got involved into the Tel Aviv planning, and a series of plans showing Geddes’ own plan and the plan he referenced on. Geddes’ plan report was said to be massive with many chapters, and the author clearly brings out the whole concept of the plan by dividing it into three different scales: the metropolitan, urban and neighborhood scales. So clear and organised it is, I can fully understand how Geddes Plan contribute to Tel Aviv in different aspects, and also how it tackles the series of problems in different aspects of methods.

The article also mentioned the implementation of Geddes plan, which shows how urban planning often meets difficulties and unexpected negative influences towards its implementation. The author talked about how Geddes plan failed to perform at its finest in terms of economical, social and political aspects, which also reminded me on how the Garden City plan was ever too ideal to be implemented.

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