M.Sc Thesis

M.Sc StudentBleiman Merav
SubjectCommunity Organization for Service Provision and its
Implications for City Planning;
A Case Study: The Immigrant Community in
DepartmentDepartment of Architecture and Town Planning
Supervisors PROFESSOR EMERITUS Naomi Carmon


The research deals with the current trend of communities organizing to supply their own social services, a phenomenon that has received inadequate attention by urban planners.
The intent is to: (1) study the phenomenon by reviewing the relevant literature and empirically examine a selected city community; and (2) to discuss the implications for urban planning.
Research questions: (1) What are the community organization's characteristics and major functions? (2) What is the planner’s role in light of this increasingly evident phenomenon? 
The empirical research examines the services organizations established by Russian immigrants in Haifa, a city that has absorbed 70,000 immigrants from former U.S.S.R since 1990. Representatives of 25 community organizations were interviewed.
Findings: The organizations are concentrated in a city quarter, heavily populated by Russian immigrants. Most organizations have up to 50 members. Initially, the organizations focused on the immigrants’ needs, and later dealt with general social issues. The number and size of the immigrants’ organizations have increased, in accordance with their empowerment in the country, and with the aid of high-ranking community members in Haifa Municipality.
Conclusions: (1) Conditions for development of community organizations are related to the community characteristics and to the openness degree of the surrounding society. (2) The organizations’ main functions are: Enhancing social welfare, supplying socio-cultural services, protecting group interests, and strengthening civil society. (3) Urban Planning should be aware to this development and deal with the allocative dilemmas arising from it, by embracing a participative, local-knowledge based approach.