Real-estate valuation and the organization of the city: a document-centred ethnography of Tel Aviv's planning in action

Uri Ansenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: The increasing financialization of urban organization has been well-documented over the last couple of decades. Nevertheless, the planning process has been seen as distinct from the financial. By questioning this assumption and examining where the two spheres interact, this paper argues that the enmeshment of finance and planning produces an overlapping of the two, which refuses any attempt of demarcation. Design/methodology/approach: By focussing on a specific type of document, the Standard-21, around which a large proportion of the Israeli construction is planned, assembled and committed, this article proposes a view of urban organization which highlights the centrality of real-estate valuation, as a practice of prediction and estimation, in the creation of the urban landscape. Findings: The rationale of city planning is reframed as a financial process, a representation informed by an ethnographic study of the valuation practice. Originality/value: The literature on urban financialization is rarely based on ethnographies. Answering the growing calls for an ethnographic perspective, this paper offers a novel account of the city and as a result produces a view of the interplay between finance and planning that was previously unnoticed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-63
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Organizational Ethnography
Issue number1
StatePublished - 4 Apr 2022


  • Financialization
  • Organization studies
  • Real-estate valuation
  • Urban governance
  • Urban planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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