New Article: Omer & Zafrir-Reuven, The Development of Street Patterns in Israeli Cities

Omer, Itzhak, and Orna Zafrir-Reuven. “The Development of Street Patterns in Israeli Cities.” Journal of Urban and Regional Analysis 7.2 (2015): 113-27.





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.




New Article: Gonen, Widespread and Diverse Forms of Gentrification in Israel

Gonen, Amiram. “Widespread and Diverse Forms of Gentrification in Israel.” In Global Gentrifications: Uneven Development and Displacement (ed. Loretta Lees,Hyun Bang Shin,and Ernesto Lopez-Morales; Bristol, UK and Chicago, IL: Policy Press, 2015): 143-63.




My ongoing observations over the last three decades on patterns of gentrification in Israeli inner cities, suburban towns and rural communities have led me to view gentrification from a different geographical perspective to the one shared by many Western researchers writing on gentrification. Research on gentrification originated in the heart of some Western cities and, therefore, gentrification was often characterised as primarily an inner-urban phenomenon. It was first observed and defined in an academic fashion in inner London and subsequently studied in the 1980s and early 1990s in the inner city of some North American and British cities. Indeed, the settling of middle class households in lower-social class neighbourhoods of the inner city has achieved sizeable proportions in Western cities since the 1970s.


The Israeli experience raises the issue of the need to widen the scope of the term ‘gentrification’ beyond lower-class neighbourhoods. This definitional widening is especially relevant to middle-class neighbourhoods in the inner city that have undergone some social downscaling, later reversed due to the return of middle-class households. I suggest that this return of such neighbourhoods to being again solidly middle-class areas should be included within the definition of gentrification as a special category of ‘regentrification’, added to the one proposed as ‘supergentrification’ for the further gentrification of already-gentrified neighbourhoods by the very rich global elites.



New Article: Balslev et al, Climatic and Thermal Comfort Analysis of the Tel-Aviv Geddes Plan

Balslev, Yaron Jørgen, Oded Potchter, and Andreas Matzarakis. “Climatic and Thermal Comfort Analysis of the Tel-Aviv Geddes Plan: A Historical Perspective.” Building and Environment 93.2 (2015): 302-18.





This paper examines how the first urban plan of Tel-Aviv (the Geddes Plan of 1925) [18] affected outdoor human thermal comfort in two periods: at the time of its implementation (1920–1930s) and in the present day (2010s). Additionally, this paper questions which of the two – shade or wind velocity – has greater influence on outdoor thermal sensation in the urban areas along the Israeli Mediterranean seashore. In order to examine the thermal sensation at street level during the 1920s and 1930s, a series of summer and winter climatological measurements were taken in the years 2010–2013 and compared to historical climatic data from the 1920s–1930s. The historical city structure was then reconstructed virtually and the climatological measurements for 2010–2013 were fed into the RayMan model to produce thermal comfort information (PET, Physiologically Equivalent Temperature). A main finding of the study is that in summer the duration of “hot” and “very hot” heat stress was double in eastwest oriented streets compared to north–south ones. Furthermore, in the winter, higher H/W ratios can increase cold thermal sensation in streets with the same orientation by up to 10 °C PET, due to shading. Finally, the results show that solar radiation has a greater effect on thermal sensation than wind velocity both in summer and winter seasons. Consequently, the Geddes Plan created improved thermal sensation in the main streets of Tel-Aviv, which are north–south oriented, and provided for greatly improved micro-climate conditions, in spite of the critique that Tel-Aviv “turned its back to the sea”.

New Article: Golan, Resettlement of Former Arab Areas in West Jerusalem

Golan, Arnon. “The 1948 Wartime Resettlement of Former Arab Areas in West Jerusalem.” Middle Eastern Studies 51.5 (2015): 804-20.





The 1948 war resulted in a sweeping spatial transformation of areas included in the bounds of the newly formed Jewish state, including that of the western Jerusalem. Arab neighbourhoods were almost totally depopulated during fighting and shortly after resettled by Jews, most of which has been war refugees from Jerusalem’s Jewish neighbourhoods or newly arrived immigrants. The effect of war on human spatial structures is in many cases abrupt and sweeping. Yet, due to the limited use of heavy weaponry by both belligerent sides, the damage to built-up structures and infrastructure systems was not inclusive. Repopulation of former Arab areas by Jews was of large scale and carried out by different local and national institutions. Yet it seems as in many cases it was personal initiatives, especially of war refugees that sought for alternative housing that had a crucial effect over the newly formed settlement pattern. One way or another, the spatial structure of Jerusalem that was formed in decades of urban dynamic development was drastically transformed after a short period of fighting between December 1947 and early 1949, that affects the spatial structure of Israel’s capital city until now.

New Article: Safran, Haifa al-Jadida

Safran, Yair. “Haifa al-Jadida: The Surrounding Walls and the City Quarters.” Middle Eastern Studies 51.3 (2015): 452-61.





`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.