Street patterns of Israeli cities were investigated by comparing three time periods of urban development: (I) the late 19th century until the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948; (II) 1948 until the 1980s; and (III) the late 1980s until the present. These time periods are related respectively to the pre-modern, modern and late-modern urban planning approach. Representative urban street networks were examined in selected cities by means of morphological analysis of typical street pattern properties: curvature, fragmentation, connectivity, continuity and differentiation. The study results reveal significant differences between the street patterns of the three examined periods in the development of cities in Israel. The results show clearly the gradual trends in the intensification of curvature, fragmentation, complexity and hierarchical organization of street networks as well as the weakening of the network’s internal and external connectivity. The implications of these changes on connectivity and spatial integration are discussed with respect to planning approaches.
This study analyzes metropolitan dynamics in a small country with an “island state” context of closed boundaries, using commuting data and mobile phone tracking data. We examine whether the Israeli context encourages the formation of a monocentric “metropolitan state,” characterized by increasing links between localities throughout the country and its principal metropolitan node (Tel Aviv)—rather than with secondary metropolitan areas—and by fuzzy, overlapping metropolitan boundaries. Commuting data from the 1995 and 2008 censuses show that metropolitan expansion processes in Israel are gradual. Mobile phone tracking data for 2013 reveal similar patterns, confirming the urban structure’s stability and the reliability of tracking data as a means of assessing metropolitan processes. The “island state” context supports growing monocentricity, but, when it comes to commuting and travel for other purposes, Israel is not yet a metropolitan state; metropolitan boundaries are not as fuzzy and rapidly changing as expected.
The association between spatial patterns of retail activity and the spatial configuration of street networks was examined by means of the space syntax methodology in eight Israeli cities that represent two city types, characterized by different planning approaches and urban growth: (i) new towns, which were established according to a comprehensive city plan and modern planning concepts of “tree-like” hierarchical street networks and “neighborhood units”; (ii) older cities, where street networks and the spatial patterns of retail activity were formed incrementally during their growth. Unlike in older cities, retail activity in new towns concentrates in relatively less-accessible and intermediate locations. This is indicated by a weak correlation between retail activity and the street network’s Integration and Choice centrality measures. The comparison between Israeli cities illustrates the influence of urban growth and planning approaches on the formation of retail activity and its interaction with the structure of the street network.
`Haifa al-Jadida` (New Haifa) was erected in 1761 by order of the Bedouin ruler Daher el-Omar, governor of the Galilee. As part of the process of building the city, a wall was constructed to encircle it, with a tower overlooking it from above. After its establishment the ‘New Haifa’ became the urban core for the emergence of modern Haifa while the new city was gradually solidified and its characteristic outlines were moulded. From the end of the Ottoman period in 1918 until 1948, the urban expanse remained practically unchanged. In 1948 ‘New Haifa’ was almost destroyed except for the few ruins that were left. In spite of the centrality of the new city in the history of Haifa, very little is known about this area. This article reconstructs the image of ‘New Haifa’ by portraying the location of the city walls and the urban expanse. For the purpose of reconstruction, an 1841 sketch of the city is superimposed on an aerial photographmap of the area taken in 2008, and a map of the old city dated to 1937.