Public Assets vs. Public Interest: Fifty Years of High-rise Building in Tel Aviv-Jaffa

  • Talia Margalit Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Keywords: Public Interest, Urban Politics, Planning Deals, Periodization and Continuity, Local Conventions, Hegemony


In order to provide for public needs authorities collect capital assets and sustain fixed assets that house spatial facilities and infrastructure. However, as structural and urban regime scholars showed, this inherently compromises public interest, while authority’s enslavement to capital increases social strata and limits development to market lines. In addition, these problems increased substantially since the cutbacks in national provision to cities in the late 1970's, as the rise of entrepreneurial urban regimes and the activation of conservative Post-Keynesian policies took hold. Accordingly, the main compromising planning practices found in the new era are ad- hoc flexible planning regulations, luxurious building projects and large-scale privatization of fix public assets. Planning deals that pack these practices together are the data of this article, but they were found as continuous planning convention in a tracing of the high-rise building activity in Tel Aviv-Jaffa since the 1950's. The consistency of privatization acts is related to the mere existence of many publicly owned lots in the city, yet this affluence does not explain the long-time compromising usage of such assets. For explanation, the article dwells on the subject of continuity and evolution in practice through structural periods, by readdressing urban regime principals as portrayed by Clarence Stone and hegemonic accumulation strategy as defined by Bob Jessop.


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