|M.Sc Student||Amin Sahly|
|Subject||Urban Sprawl in Israeli Arab Towns and its Causes|
|Department||Department of Architecture and Town Planning||Supervisor||Professor Emeritus Frenkel Amnon|
|Full Thesis text - in Hebrew|
The "footprint" of the Arab settlements in Israel today is a result of the sporadic development of "historical built-up area patterns" combined with planning actions promoted by the government and other institutions. Arab settlements have recently begun to experience extensive expansion of the built-up areas, characterized by low densities and leapfrog development. These characteristics are identified with a very much debated phenomenon relating to the relatively new development form of cities and metropolitan urban areas in Western countries, called “Urban Sprawl.” In this study, a large sample of 57 Arab settlements in Israel were chosen for an empirical examination of the “Urban Sprawl” phenomenon and other spatial urban development characteristics from 1995-2006. The employment of different indices (density, leapfrog, shape, and fractal) enabled the intensity sprawl in each of the settlements to be measured and ranked along a comparative scale, from very compact to the highly sprawled. The study’s hypothesizes were tested by multiple linear regression models that examined the interconnections of sprawl intensity, as the dependent variable, and various socio-economic and cultural independent variables The results showed that the leapfrog sprawl pattern in Arab settlements was not a temporary phenomenon but long-lasting. Among other important findings were the following: a significant rise in the number of Arab settlements that became compact along the period investigated: from 9 settlements in 1995 up to 31 settlements in 2006.
Findings obtained from the general regression model testified to the fact that sprawl intensity was higher in settlements characterized by a high percentage of private land ownership and in small settlements. On the other hand, there were no relationship between socio-economic variables and sprawl intensity in Arab settlements.
The findings proved the hypotheses regarding the relationship of sprawl intensity to social, cultural, and physical land factors. Settlements with more refugees were found to be denser (more compact). On the other hand, the more private land held in a settlement and the older its population, the less dense it became (more sprawled). Both integrated and individual indices indicate that sprawl in Arab settlements in Israel has different and complex aspects; the characteristics making for sprawl in them are not unequivocal. Special attention must therefore be given to the unique characteristics of Arab settlements and to the issues discussed in this study, and taken into consideration in the planning process.