Ashkelon's Waterfront Plan


Program Urban renewal of Ashkelon waterfront including: waterfront park, promenade and restaurant
Status Tender
Location Ashkelon coast
Land area 50,000 m2
Client Ashkelon municipality via The Ashkelon Economic Corporation
Ashkelon was the major ancient Cities not far from Gaza. This southern Mediterranean coastal city over 6,000 years of age had a major historical and strategic role affecting the economy of ancient world in the southern region. Nevertheless, like the case of the northern Acre, Ashkelon beach area waited only until recently, to its costal development, prompted by MK Strategic Plan and resulted in major changes in the role of the beach in Ashkelon urban life. The modern city of Ashkelon (1950) was erected adjacent to the archeological compound of ancient biblical Ashkelon. In 2015 MK were invited to create a master plan for the 12 Kilometer beachfront of the city in the format of MK Mother Plan. The goal of the plan was to bring life to the neglected beach front of the city within a short period of time. The target, with a set timetable aiming to complete the first project within the framework of two years, was to make a quick and a deep overturn in the stagnated sea front area, thus for the first time in Ashkelon city life, to connect the modern city both to its beach and to its history. MK Mother Plan included among other elements a scheme of 24 projects, out of which 3 were completed within 3 years. According to MK Strategic Plan the Central beach, branded now as ‘Sea Park’, was designated to become a center piece, allowing diverse activities all year round for all walks of life. The all too wide flat sand strip, that was so far separating city from its sea, was turned into a curious natural, yet unique, hill park, with the creation of all new and artificial dunes grasped solely with local natural vegetation. The ecological approach made use of the local site assets, such as sand, gravel, sandstone and typical vegetation species, for which seeds were collected from the nearby nature reserve, planted in plant nursery and replanted on the new dunes. Principles of sand movement prevention were imitated from nearby natural beach areas, and were implemented with ultimate success, preventing the local typical winter high winds, from covering the park area with moving sands. Within only 3 years the Mother plan yield the renewal of the local yacht harbor, Sea Park beach park and the street behind the park and southern beach, a total of 2 kilometers of seafront.