In January 1969, the Israeli minister of housing announced his intention of declaring a set of neighbourhoods in Jerusalem, known as Zikhronot-Nahlaot, an urban-renewal area. For the next seven years, the topic of renewal would be central in a public struggle led by two organizations of residents against a brace of establishment players. The resulting trail of documentation tells the story of a community struggle. By focusing on the role of the residents in shaping this transformation, we aim to uncover the residents' perceptions of the renewal plans, their actions to make sure their point of view would be taken into account, and the extent of their influence on policy-makers, planners and implementers. We claim that residents' ideas became part of the policy-makers' and planners' discourse. The internal discussions reveal a transformation from the 'bulldozer era' to the urban-renewal approach and then to first flickerings of equity planning.