M.Sc Thesis

M.Sc StudentDekel Tomer
SubjectPlanning, Civil Society and Human Rights:
Analysis of a Non Governmental Planning
DepartmentDepartment of Architecture and Town Planning
Supervisors PROFESSOR EMERITUS Rachel Kallus
PROF. Nurit Bird-David
Full Thesis text - in Hebrew Full thesis text - Hebrew Version


This research presents an examination of the praxis of the non-governmental planning organization "Bimkom - Planners for Planning Rights", a civil society organization active throughout Israel in multiple issues connecting between planning and human rights, democracy and social justice. The study is based on participatory observation, in depth interviews and the analysis of organizational texts. The findings show two conclusions: The first one relates to the potential of manifesting radical and post-modern ideologies using professional planning, since it is usually regarded as a modern practice that is subordinated to the hegemony of the state and market. Bimkom planners are able to do so, mainly thanks to the organizational framework that isn't fully subordinated to the state or market. The second conclusion relates to the actual realization of this praxis, in which the practices used are determined mostly according to each certain context and less according to the ideologies that allegedly inspired the planner. The social ideology of the planner, and the planning theory that originated from it, are actually transformed into a changing mixture of practices. Choosing the appropriate practices corresponds pragmatically with the multitude of constraints and dictations, which are imposed by the complex web of interactions with other actors in the process. In order to reach concrete gains, no matter how small, the planners move flexibly and dynamically inside a wide spectrum of professional practices, make many practical compromises and some ideological ones, in order to maintain a practical and results driven attitude.