A Comprehensive Approach to Urban Renewal: The Israeli Experience

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This article examines the implementation shortcomings of Israel’s Project
Renewal the major social welfare and urban renewal program of the Begin governments (I 977- 1984). Despite a government decision to have a unified comprehensive program, the process of implementation resulted in at least three separate and independent programs. Many modem nation states, including the United States, have implemented urban renewal and social welfare policies designed to deal with spatially based social inequality. The Israeli effort shares with them the participation of several autonomous agencies. The emphasis, therefore, focuses on those factors that either facilitate or constrain the coordination of the inputs of two or more separate agencies
in policy formulation and service delivery. The findings should lend themselves to a comparison of how the political institutions of different countries affect the implementation of similar policy efforts. The* findings suggest that the dichotomy between unitary and federal systems explains less about the causes of shortcomings in poky implementation than do other variables Each country has it's own political institutions and variables that help to explain policy implementation. There is an additional lesson for
public policy which this study underscores. Regardless of the formal structure of government proposals to achieve greater coordination in the formulation and implementation of national and urban policies assume incorrectly that there is either the existing capacity or the ability to impose coordination, or that all participants will "naturally" agree to coordinate. Reality was otherwise in the case of Project Renewal in Israel, as it was in similar programs in the United States including OEO and Model Cities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-87
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Urban Affairs
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Urban Studies


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