Theme Week Israel – The port city of Ashdod

Monday, 18 August 2014 - 01:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Union for the Mediterranean

Port of Ashdod © Amos Meron/cc-by-sa-3.0

Port of Ashdod © Amos Meron/cc-by-sa-3.0

Ashdod is the fifth-largest city in Israel, located in the Southern District of the country, located 32 kilometres (20 mi) south of Tel Aviv, 20 km (12 mi) north of Ashkelon and 53 km (33 mi) west of Jerusalem. Ashdod is an important regional industrial center. The Port of Ashdod is Israel’s largest port, accounting for 60% of the country’s imported goods. Blue Marina in Ashdod is one of the newest marinas in Israel. It is located close to the city center in the middle of beach zone. Ashdod was established in 1956 on the sand hills near the site of the ancient town, and incorporated as a city in 1968, with a land-area of approximately 60 square kilometres (23 sq mi). Being a planned city, expansion followed a main development plan, which facilitated traffic and prevented air pollution in the residential areas, despite population growth. According to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, Ashdod had a population of 240,000 at the beginning of 2013, the sixth largest city in Israel, and had an area of 47,242 dunams (47.242 km2; 18.240 sq mi). After the fall of the Soviet Union, the population of Ashdod has doubled because of Russian immigrants.

The development followed a main development plan. The planners divided the city into seventeen neighborhoods of ten to fifteen thousand people. Wide avenues between the neighborhoods make traffic flow relatively freely inside the city. Each neighborhood has access to its own commercial center, urban park, and health and education infrastructure. The original plan also called for a business and administrative center, built in the mid-1990s, when the city population grew rapidly more than doubling in ten years. Three industrial zones were placed adjacent to the port in the northern part of the city, taking into account the prevailing southern winds which take air pollution away from the city. The plan had its problems, however, including asymmetric growth of upscale and poorer neighborhoods and the long-time lack of a main business and administrative center.

City Hall © Ori~ © Amos Meron/cc-by-sa-3.0 Ashdod Marina © Avraham Krichevsky © Kberlin Sails Square © Ori~ Port of Ashdod © Amos Meron/cc-by-sa-3.0
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Port of Ashdod © Amos Meron/cc-by-sa-3.0
Historically each neighborhood of Ashdod had its own commercial center. In 1990, however, when the mall shopping culture developed in Israel, the main commercial activity in Ashdod moved to malls. The first mall to open in Ashdod was the Forum Center in the industrial zone. Restaurants, bars and night clubs were opened in the area. Today, the Forum center is mainly used for offices. Lev Ashdod Mall, which opened in 1993, has been enlarged and upgraded since then. Ashdod Mall, billed at the time as the city’s largest shopping mall, has also been redesigned since its opening in 1995. City Mall, Ashdod was opened in a combined building with the central bus station in 1996, following the examples of the Tel Aviv Central Bus Station and the Jerusalem Central Bus Station. The Sea Mall, a three-story mall near the government offices, has a climbing wall and movie theater. Star Center doubled in size in 2007. In 2012, a plan to build an industrial zone on part of the Ashdod Sand Dune was approved. The plan calls for a hi-tech industrial park, events halls, and coffee shops to be built adjacent to the train station. It will cover 400 dunams (0.4 km2; 0.2 sq mi), including 130 dunams of built-up space, with the rest of the area being preserved as a nature reserve. In addition, the Port of Ashdod is undergoing a massive expansion program.

Read more on Ashdod (mostly not available), Port of Ashdod, Wikitravel Ashdod and Wikipedia Ashdod. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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