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The Charles Clore Park and Ecology

Posted by on Jun 10, 2013 in Ecology, Featured | 0 comments

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Charles Clore Park Bird Eye.

Charles Clore Park Bird Eye.

Now, that some of my posts of are being translated into Hebrew I think it is about time to write about some tangible things, which are part of the city I live in, Tel Aviv. Today I want to write about the Charles Clore Park in Tel Aviv.

The Charles Clore Park (CCP)  (1) is separating Tel Aviv from Jaffo. The park is named after the British businessman and philanthropist Charles Clore (1).

I know the CCP for some years now, as it is my favorite retreat. One of the few points in Tel Aviv, where the traffic noise is almost obliterated by the music of the waves. But there is something I never really thought about. The other day I took a walk trough the CCP. For some reasons I was rather late, it was around noon. It was at the end of May, when the weather is still unstable and I simply underestimated how hot it was going to be. The day before it was much cooler. I walked in the sunshine and saw, at the entrance to the park, a young woman with a dog. The dog sat resting in the shade, while we people were walking in the sun. The woman had to be pretty energetically before the

Water Waste at High Noon

Water Waste at High Noon

dog followed hesitantly. The dog knew it was too hot to walk, while we, the superior beings, the intelligent ones, leisurely walked, or even worked out, at noon. In the sun!

All of a sudden I became a aware of the nature of Charles Clore Park. The CCP is the importation of a British Park into a strange, Mediterranean, area. The concept of the park fits a geographical and meteorological area as northern Europe, where even in the summer time it rains a lot. In such an area the parks can have a water intensive English lawn. In a area as the Near East, where it only rains in the winter time English lawn is not appropriate.

The dog was right, stay in the shade in such a weather, but there is almost no shade in the CCP! Not nearly enough and there are not enough drink fountains as well! Follow my the trail of pictures (3) as I enter the CCP from the North, from Tel Aviv and see for yourself. Right at the entrance, on the right side, are benches with a superstructure which create some shade. Of course, the benches have no back rests. To sit there is very uncomfortable. Of all the places with shade! There is no drinking fountain anywhere near. For people who come from Jaffo by walk, or from the parking lot, it would be very welcome.

Further down, on the left is a little hill, on top is a kind of a circular stage but no shade. And, of course, no drinking fountain. And no benches, where one could rest.

Stones at the Ch. Clore Park

Stones at the Ch. Clore Park

Around the middle of the park is a playground. Here is shade and even benches. Although made as a kind of Amphitheater, cast in concrete and thus not very comfortable. My trepidation, as I came closer, turned out to be groundless, there was a drink fountain. But only one! For a considerable area. How much more would it have cost to install two fountains instead of one? Not much more, since the infrastructure is the same for one or for two or for three! As it is, in the sun, without shade and a long way to walk from each side of the perimeter does not really improve the place.

The next water fountain is at the Alma beach. Of course, how could it be any different, it is not in the shade. But the water is cooled! Further down the slopes of the lawn are fortified at the pathway with big boulders. The rocks are oblong and flat and could have easily be arranged as benches. But they have only aesthetic value. At the extension of this boulders the lawn is fortified with concrete, which is high enough to serve as benches. You guessed right, there are no back rests!

The CCP is a tale how the needs of the people are being subjugated to the imaginations of the donor and the landscapers. Also the opportunities to become ecological correct are enormous but, alas, the chances are not utilized.

The CCP is an ideal place to separate the garbage. Garbage bins should be closed with a kind of a swinging door. Today the garbage bins are open at the top and it happens frequently, that the wind blows out the light garbage, like plastic bags. Also CCP-Wastebasketthe bins are much too small for the amount of garbage, which is produced in the park. There is no cages for collecting plastic bottles. One 1.5 liter bottle jams up the whole bin and the other garbage is found on the floor or, eventually in the sea.

The crows are pretty smart and are adding to the problem of the garbage outside the bins. The birds are picking the content of the bins and and throw out what hinders them to reach the edible parts. To my great sorrow, I don’t have pictures of it.

The CCP on a Friday evening changes its character, lots of Arabs from Jaffa use the park for barbeque. Friday evening the park becomes totally Oriental, interspersed with Jews and tourists. And believe me, when the Arabs party they party. Still there is tensions to be felt

During the week, in the early evening, before nightfall, a lot of young mothers a strolling in the soft breeze. Jews and Arabs alike and the tensions of Friday evening are but a memory. The CCP could very well being a place of peace and understanding and co-existence if both parties would want to. But, alas, both parties are not really interested. Although, as a Jewish citizen, I can only complain about the negligence of the Jewish part.

Alma Beach

Alma Beach

Across the Herbert Samuel street is a cluster of high rises in which thousands of people visit everyday. There is one traffic light. The CCP would be a nice place to spend ones lunch breaks, but for the shade.

Another short coming of the park, which is pretty big is that in case of an emergency no one knows where one is. What to tell the dispenser in the emergency center? My suggestion is to mark the streetlamps with numbers, so in case of an emergency one knows where one is.

The conclusion, although I like to hang out in the park, the CCP is the proof, that it is not based on an anthropocentric concept but rather on the egocentricity of the donor and the landscaper. The park could, without much effort, be made an ecological model.


Bird Eye view of Charles Clore Park courtesy of Google Maps.

For further reading:

1) Charles Clore

2) Charles Clore Park

3) Charles Clore Park Photo Gallery

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