M.Sc Thesis

M.Sc StudentHefetz Shelly
SubjectImplementing a Community-Based Knowledge in Planning
Training Programs in Israel: Current and Future
DepartmentDepartment of Architecture and Town Planning
Supervisor PROFESSOR EMERITUS Rachel Kallus
Full Thesis text - in Hebrew Full thesis text - Hebrew Version


The paper reports the findings of a research that examined and evaluated the applicability and feasibility of community-based knowledge in Israeli planning education. The research examined how community-based knowledge is implemented in planning curriculum of the four leading programs in Israel, recognized by the Israeli Planners Association (The Technion, Tel Aviv University, The Hebrew University, and Ben-Gurion University).

Research included interviews with 12 key figures in these programs and analysis of the curriculum offered during 2015-2016, including catalogs and syllabi. This early analysis led to in-depth examination of syllabi found to have relation to community-based knowledge.  A keyword search led to an in-depth examination of 60 syllabi found to have relation to community-based knowledge. For each syllabus, five main characteristics were examined: hierarchy in the program; main subjects, pedagogical approach, knowledge and skills, and operative models. In a final iteration, experiential courses were identified and analyzed comprehensively. Findings showed the affinity between the challenges of integrating community-based knowledge into planning practice and the academic dilemmas in attempting to include this knowledge in planning curriculum.

Based on research findings, the paper explores different approaches and attitudes to community-based knowledge in planning, and discusses the opportunities and challenges of implementing community-based knowledge in planning education. The potential of community-based knowledge in planning, considering the demands of academic systems, and planning education programs more specifically, are explored in light of the need to update planners’ tool box and prepare students to a changing world and its growing demands.