|Ph.D Student||Kainer-Persov Nava|
|Subject||Housing Regeneration Strategies|
Evaluation from a Social Equity Point of View
|Department||Department of Architecture and Town Planning||Supervisor||Professor Emeritus Naomi Carmon|
|Full Thesis text - in Hebrew|
My PhD research investigated strategies of housing renewal from the viewpoint of social equity. It aimed to: (a) enrich the theoretical and empirical knowledge of housing renewal; (b) develop tools for evaluation of housing renewal projects, emphasizing criteria of social justice; (c) use these tools for an ex-post evaluation of two strategies common in Israel: ‘demolition and redevelopment’ and intensification of housing via TAMA 38/1; and (d) offer conclusions and recommendations for Israeli decision-makers and planners.
On the basis of a critical review of the literature, intermediate products were created, to be used in later stages of the research: (1) The “space of possibilities” - building blocks of the urban renewal strategies; (2) A typology of three main housing renewal strategies: demolition and redevelopment, treatment of the existing physical and social fabric, and urban intensification, i.e., adding housing units for long-time and new residents in the area; (3) A unique definition of social equity in the context of urban housing renewal, comprised of three aspects: distributive justice - distribution of benefits and costs, emphasizing those for the “most vulnerable;” procedural justice - residents’ participation in decision-making processes and degree of their power; and mixed-housing - the degree to which members of different socio-economic classes reside in the renewed housing project. Measurements of outputs, outcomes and impacts were developed for each of these aspects of social equity. The study employed a mixed-methods approach, including interviews with 92 residents.
Housing renewal projects in Israel, in the current neo-liberal era, are kinds of ‘planned gentrification’. Results showed that in the ‘demolition and redevelopment’ project, only 40% of the long-time residents live in the new project. While apartment owners benefited from the renewal deal, mainly economically, all of the renters, about a third of the long-time residents, were displaced. They had to leave their apartment and find a substitute in a market in which the number of small and affordable apartments is decreasing and the price of housing is increasing. In the intensification projects of TAMA 38, the rates of renters were smaller; and again, almost all of them were displaced. An interesting finding was that in TAMA 38 projects, the former dwelling of 60% of the new residents was near the renewed building; thus, social mobility occurred without geographical mobility. In addition, we found that TAMA 38 supports regeneration of different types of apartments with a variety of housing prices, creating more options for living in the city. While the study found that a socio-economic mix was achieved by the renewal projects, no close social ties between long-time and new residents were found. Nevertheless, in the ‘demolition and redevelopment’ project, the long-time residents noted that the entry of the new residents to the site improved the image of the neighbourhood.
A main conclusion is that the renewal projects in Israel, all of which are taking place in high demand areas with high land value in the center of the country, widen the gap between the haves and have-nots, between residents in the center and those living in the periphery.