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The only problem is, Rehovot's small businesses are not in a great shape.
There are many "for rent" signs along Hertzl street.
Another example, a new 9 floor building which was built on Hertzl street adjacent to city library has had an empty commercial front since it was completed (more then a year ago) and just got its tenant (a supermarket).
I am not entirely sure, there are many businesses in Rehovot who can afford paying for commercial space in those new projects.
With all due respect, Rehovot is not Tel Aviv.
 

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There is only one mall in Rehovot.
It is located about 5-7 min walk away from Hertzl in the city center.
It is in fact one of the most successful malls from what I read in the past.
There is also a big "american" style outlet mall called "Bilu center" about 10 minutes drive away from Rehovot.
From what I am seeing, street level small shops along Hertzl street are not successful in competing with larger chain stores and malls and are slowly being phased out.
Thats not to say, they are going to close down tomorrow, but their situation is not great and covid19 and now the war is certainly not helping the situation.
Rehovot, while being a relatively lively suburb is not not providing enough customers to fill up those stores.
Add to that that many people who could help the situation work in Rehovot's science park which is pretty far from city center, don't forget the lack of parking for store visitors, lack of good public transportation (an example I brought in the past, is the fact that its sometimes faster for me to walk to city center then to wait for a bus, because the buses are not frequent enough and have very long and convoluted routes), the fact that you have I would say half of town made of people with low level income (Ushioyt neighborhood, Kiryat Moshe neighborhood and generally most of city's eastern old blocks and south).
I could go on, but I think you get the idea.
 

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Well, it sounds like Israel is overdue for a urban-planning overhaul and a public-transit overhaul. This business of driving everywhere and going to malls is really outdated. Hopefully, it won't take decades to go back to a more sustainable development model where there's mixed-use districts, with ground-floor retail, and where people walk, bike or take public transit--subway, LRT, bus, etc. Then the Herzl Streets of Israel will make a comeback.

I think part of the problem is perception, that government bodies, professional planners and regular people somehow see single-use neighbourhoods, where you need a car for everything, as "modern" and what I described above as "old-fashioned." That's got to change.
 

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Its not a matter of what planners view as "modern", nowadays, urban planenrs are all about "sustainability" and all that other stuff you refer to.
Its a matter of what people want and actually need.
Israelis (especially over 30 and those with families, don't want to live in places like downtown Tel Aviv.
Nor do they want to use public transport.
They want a quiet green neighborhood where they can grow their children and live comfortable lives, while driving to work.
Only young people want to live in trendy mixed use neighborhoods and there are only so many of those.
So they choose places like Modiin, West Rishon, Rehovot Hollandit (a similar big neihgborhood built in Rehovot's west, which is basically the same thing).
Those who can afford a more luxury place, are choosing similar neighborhoods in Tel Aviv's north.
People are of course suffering from traffic jams and long commute rides to work in their cars, but they don't necessarily connect it with their lifestyle.
You are forgetting one more thing.
Israelis (unlike most westerners) have compartively large families with more kids in average.
Bigger families mean, you need to buy a bigger apartment, so you will always choose a bigger apartment further away from a center, because its more economical.
At the same time you have a major boost in economic development, meaning its not really that big a deal to purchase a car (or even two).
 

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Its not a matter of what planners view as "modern", nowadays, urban planenrs are all about "sustainability" and all that other stuff you refer to.
Its a matter of what people want and actually need.
Israelis (especially over 30 and those with families, don't want to live in places like downtown Tel Aviv.
Nor do they want to use public transport.
They want a quiet green neighborhood where they can grow their children and live comfortable lives, while driving to work.
Only young people want to live in trendy mixed use neighborhoods and there are only so many of those.
So they choose places like Modiin, West Rishon, Rehovot Hollandit (a similar big neihgborhood built in Rehovot's west, which is basically the same thing).
Those who can afford a more luxury place, are choosing similar neighborhoods in Tel Aviv's north.
People are of course suffering from traffic jams and long commute rides to work in their cars, but they don't necessarily connect it with their lifestyle.
You are forgetting one more thing.
Israelis (unlike most westerners) have compartively large families with more kids in average.
Bigger families mean, you need to buy a bigger apartment, so you will always choose a bigger apartment further away from a center, because its more economical.
At the same time you have a major boost in economic development, meaning its not really that big a deal to purchase a car (or even two).
Your usual BS about this issue. Neighbourhoods with good PT accessibility and some mixed-use characteristics are usually more expensive than the average Israeli suburb. For example, a new apartment in central Rehovot's non religious neighbourhoods is more expensive than a comparable apartment in Rehovot Haholandit. A new apartment in Rishon's old center will be more expensive than a comparable apartment in West Rishon. Your usual flaw in this issue is that most apartments in old city centers in Israel are small and in old buildings- so by nature they are less expensive than apartments in newer suburbs. But in general, prices prove that Israelis prefer to live there. They just move to the suburbs because real estate is cheaper there and new apartments are more abundant than in older districts.
 

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You obviously didn't read what I wrote.
You are in fact proving my point, that apartments in city centers are more expensive and thats one of the reasons why most Israelis aren't looking for a new place to live there.
But of course it would be more expensive, because the supply is limited.
The higher prices don't indicate that there is more demand for such apartments in general public, it merely shows the balance between the relatively short supply vs the existing demand (again Israel is a young country,so there are enough young single Israelis who are looking for small apartments in city centers).
Neighborhoods with good PT (mostly inner Gush Dan), are very rare in Israel and are located in generally desirable areas (except maybe Bnei Brak, but even Bnei Brak is desirable in its own way), so of course they would be more expensive.
I don't necessarily see direct link between them having good PT and mixed use properties and the high prices.
It probably helps, but its not a cause and effect relationship.
There are plenty of non mixed neighborhoods with similar and even higher prices and there are some mixed use areas that aren't necessarily more expensive compared to other nearby locations.
Apartments in new neighborhoods are more abundant also because they are not mixed use and are not subject to heavy handed regulation.
Try to build a new residential block anywhere in Tel Aviv.
There is no land available, you will need to do E&B, you will spend years (if not decades) getting all the permits.
You will spend just as much time in courts fighting wealthy nimbys.
You will need to provide all sorts of concessions in the form of "affordable" housing, developing public use infrastructure, etc.
So of course if you are a developer, you would rather just build another boring block somewhere in Rehovot Holandit or West Rishon.
The demand for these boring blocks is never going to dry out and will likely only increase in the future.
Urban planners simply can't avoid providing new places for such developments, because they are essential for our economy and well being of our society as a whole (unless you want to see even more astronomical pricing on residential real estate and even more people not being able to afford their own place to live in).
 

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Your arguments about the desirability of single-use neighbourhoods doesn't preclude building them with ground-floor retail, for example, and making them generally more mixed-use without trying to turn them into Florentin. And that's something the national/local planning bodies need to enforce. Developers are greedy and lazy. They build what they know.

And the new neighbourhoods need to be built at least with future PT in mind, even if PT isn't possible today, and not always with the car as king. That means, for instance, putting new apartment buildings on a sensible street grid with short, walkable blocks. Again, this is something that planning bodies should require.

It's not like these single-use, car-dependent neighbourhoods--which you've described as desirable, especially for young families--are emerging organically. They're not. They're upholding old urban-planning models and outdated zoning regulations. That needs to change.

And there's a lot of room for change along the spectrum between central Tel Aviv and West Rishon. You can have something in between. I'm positive that a lot of buyers, including young families, would absolutely love something in between.
 

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I am not sure I consider them "desirable".
I do believe that they are inevitable and essential.
It would be great if we could get by without these blocks, but I don't think we can and I explained why.
I agree that PT planning has to improve alot and more effort needs to be put into planning future blocks with PT (or better yet mass transit) systems in mind.
 

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To me PT, ie, public transit, is the same as mass transit. And the only thing making these single-use, car-dependent neighbourhoods inevitable is a lack of will to change the planning model that creates them.
 
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