Friday, November 27, 2015
|Joshua blowing a shofar (horn) overlooking Ramat Gan from a hill top park - is he blowing us a modern day warning?|
Israel's central zone is slowly turning from tree dark green to concrete gray. Israel is one of the first and most distinct example of green environment policy. Israel's "green line" started out as somewhat of a public relation scheme to portray the state's tree planting effort as one proof of the idealism and strong effort in turning the land to an oasis within the desert. Pictures taken from the air showed a distinct outline of the state in green while neighboring states (Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon) are left brown. The state's proponents trumpeted the success of a tree planting and agricultural production as a testament to the right to inhabit the land. But in reality the "green line" only depicted the northern third of the state. It also did not prove to Israel's detractors of any realistic "proof". Actually, the green line turned into a territoriality conundrum which over the years proved as the most politically difficult fact to resolve (see Wikipedia).
Sunday, October 11, 2015
|Stark contrast between old and new apartment buildings, Ramat Gan, Israel / @ DAVider 2015|
Ramat Gan is still building residential units at a fast pace. First builders go after empty lots between existing buildings. They are also looking for older buildings with residents willing to "demolish and rebuild". A program backed by the state to renew older sections of the central region. Israel's central region is densely populated and demand for housing is strong. Housing prices have seen 10% rise in prices year-over-year for over a decade. With government statistics not exactly reflecting real street valuations. This makes affordable housing almost an impossible task for new buyers. High housing prices (including rentals) is pushing new construction at the high-end segment (luxury apartments are being built at a fast pace while affordable construction is very weak). This picture is a contrasting view between apartments in the old style (40 to 50 years ago) to the new construction. In the past, affordable construction was the state's priority. This is not the case with Benyamin Netanyahu's last two terms. Fast cement block and stucco beige outer walls is being replaced by glass and aluminum. Looks aside, very few Israelis are able to buy the new luxury homes.Read More...
|B.S.R. building cluster (Abba Hillel @ Ben Gurion in Ramat Gan from Ha'Yarkon Park / @ DAVider 2015|
Ramat Gan is the smaller less know city just east of Tel Aviv. It is sometimes considered an alternative (essentially a second choice) for working and living. But the city has been growing and building modern business and residential areas much faster than Tel Aviv and any of the cities nearby. Ha'Yarkon (the green river) park is a big swath of green bordering the northern neighborhoods of Tel Aviv, Ramat Gan and Petach Tikva. On a sunny Saturday, parts of the park are busy with families picnicking and cooking on small portable BBQ grills. More on Ha'Yarkon park in future posts.
Friday, October 2, 2015
|Moon rise over Tel Aviv & Ramat Gan, Frankie's Sept. picture @ DAVider 2015|
Moon over Tel Aviv, looking east. Aviv tower in Bursa section, Ramat Gan at the right side (silver tubular building).Read More...
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
|Ramat Gan, just east of Tel Aviv is chasing FinTech firms with new attractive construction @ DAVider 2015|
While Tel Aviv is undisputedly the location for Israeli FinTech entrepreneurs, Ramat Gan is still chasing the big city technologists and finaciers for attention. Long considered the "orphan child" of the central region, construction at the business areas is moving at a faster clip than anywhere in Tel Aviv. Allegation of cutting lengthy and expensive construction approval processes have been buzzing for decades (actually have turned into a conviction of the last mayor). Yet, the smaller (and much less glitzy) and more affordable city, somehow manages to continue building at a fast pace. There is a new effort to turn the more traditional location, home to banks, insurance companies and financial institutions into a start-up hub. Yet, this illusive goal, of capturing the imagination of the Israeli entrepreneur (and investor) within one location, is still unattainable. But not for the lack of trying. [more on this in future posts]Read More...