This article examines the roles of municipalities in Israel’s national, state-led urban regeneration program, contributing to the scholarship on the varied agendas of municipal entrepreneurialism. The Israeli urban regeneration program promotes the densification of private residential properties by incentivizing property deals between homeowners and developers. It has been criticized for attracting predatory practices and spurring conflicts between state, market, and community stakeholders. New intermediary bodies—Municipal Regeneration Agencies—were established as an effective policy response to both criticisms. We rely on 36 interviews and extensive document analysis to examine the roles and agendas of Municipal Regeneration Agencies, vis-à-vis the equity concerns associated with state-led urban regeneration. Municipal Regeneration Agencies support homeowners, increase regulation over private deal-making, and in two cases, direct entrepreneurial development of urban regeneration projects. We argue that these roles represent a model of equitable entrepreneurialism that attempts to reconcile the neoliberal logic of urban regeneration with a municipal commitment to social equity. This model allows municipalities to reassert their position in Israel’s centralized housing and planning policy but faces limitations due to municipalities’ varying capacities and continued reliance on market relations.
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- local government
- social equity
- urban regeneration