Tetris City I Evolving Towards Symbiosis

Eben Gvirol Street, Tel-Aviv, Israel

Tetris City is inspired by the ‘Blue Economy’ approach which embraces natural ecosystems principals as a model for sustainable economy. This provides us with economic and environmental systems which create financial and social solutions for many of the problem in modern day cities. Among the main problems we can find the expansion of the ecological footprint of the city, shortage of green spaces, pollution and low density that does not fit the growth rate. The project suggests a new urban scheme, while taking into consideration the three ecological pillars of sustainability:  economic resilience, social equality and environmental protection.

According to Gunter Pauli, author and initiator of ‘The Blue Economy’, it is “… the necessities for life are free thanks to a local system of production and consumption that works with what you have“. In his list of the ‘Blue Economy’ principles, Pauli believes that “Nature responds to basic needs and then evolves from sufficiency to abundance. The present economic model relies on scarcity as a basis for production and consumption”. This is why, he sees nature constant changes as a benefit, as it creates processes within natural systems that are constantly evolve towards symbiosis. According to Pauli, these same systems also share the same risks, which eventually become the trigger for innovations. All these processes bring nature its diversity, and diversity brings wealth and allows us to work with what is locally available.

Eben Gvirol Avenue in Tel Aviv, is a generic urban tissue characterized by main urban transportation artery, linear commercial arcade and several floors of residential units. This urban street scheme is part of the modern vision enabling a vision for a continuously expanding city, without taking in consideration the economical and ecological effects of this expansion. However, these days, in the struggle to create a more sustainable environment, we must change our mindset and be more creative to design more compact, efficient, self sufficient, friendly and better ecological cities.

Tetris City provides a solution that is based on ‘Blue Economy’ principals:  working with what is already available and developing diverse urban system.

The scheme illustrates ideas for urban regeneration by interfering with the existing zoning and infrastructure, creating denser and locally productive streets. It repositions the different types of land use to create a new multi layered street scene. The additional public level at + 5 meters above street level accommodates a new public promenade with public enmities and urban agriculture zones for the benefit of the residents and local business. This allows fluidity of transportation with no interferences. Adding a pedestrian route at the second level allows zoning change from residential to public and communal institution, offices and commercial spaces. The residential units that were ‘subtracted’ are re-positioned on the roof as additional floor to the existing buildings. Semi public areas are located on the rooftops to maintain a productive space for urban agriculture, allowing more exposure to daylight.


Tetris City improves urban livability by suggesting the ‘productive city’, enhancing food security and employment while increasing access to recreation facilities and open spaces.