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Participatory planning in Israel: from theory to practice

Batel Eshkol (Conatusdesign, Tel-Aviv, Israel and School of Sustainability, Interdisciplinary Centre, Herzlia, Israel)
Alon Eshkol (Conatusdesign, Tel-Aviv, Israel)

Journal of Place Management and Development

ISSN: 1753-8335

Article publication date: 14 August 2017



This paper aims to investigate the gap between the declarations regarding participatory planning and its actual implementation in practice within the Israeli spatial planning context.


The paper explores the gap between theory of participatory spatial planning and its implementation in practice by a comparative analysis of three participatory case studies in the Israeli planning context. The data collected to analyze the case studies is secondary data, including previous research on the three case studies and their re-evaluation on the basis of indicators for participation.


Participatory spatial planning processes are not often implemented in the Israeli context, as they are not required by law. All the three case studies explored in this paper deal with local spatial plans at the neighborhood level, but each expresses a very different participation mode: one is a national, government-led program; the second is a residents-led opposition to a municipal plan; and the third is a third-sector initiative offering an alternative plan to an existing one. The findings suggest that there is a correlation between the initiating body, its commitment to participation and the level of success of the participatory process.

Research limitations/implications

This paper focuses on three specific participatory spatial planning projects in Israel. Further exploration of additional participatory projects may prove useful to verify or refute the conclusions reached in this paper.


There is very little exploration and evaluation of participatory spatial planning processes in Israel. This paper provides a valuable, although limited, analysis, linking participatory planning theory to practice within the Israeli context.



Eshkol, B. and Eshkol, A. (2017), "Participatory planning in Israel: from theory to practice", Journal of Place Management and Development, Vol. 10 No. 3, pp. 213-239.



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