‘So long, and thanks for all the fish?’* Examining the built and cultural heritage of the Jaffa port redevelopment

Nufar Avni*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


‘Heritage’ is a term that is ambiguous in the best of circumstances; however, it becomes even more so in urban environments where conflicts of identity and culture are pivotal, as in Israel’s mixed Israeli-Palestinian cities. In this paper, I examine the recent redevelopment of the Jaffa port, Israel. Jaffa’s ancient port has had a significant role in facilitating industry, commerce and social ties in the area, and it has recently been remodelled by the city as a cultural and entertainment hub. Through interviews with key stakeholders and observations, I examine the role of heritage in the redevelopment using two broad categories: heritage of the built environment and cultural heritage, including the practice of fishing. I argue that while efforts have been made to conserve the waterfront’s heritage, the redevelopment has resulted in an artificial space that does not speak to the local culture of Jaffa as it is interpreted by the port community, including the fishermen. The Jaffa case study suggests that more attention should be paid to the delicate role of urban planners in facilitating change in a politically and culturally contested environment.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)679-694
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Heritage Studies
Issue number8
StatePublished - 14 Sep 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Nufar Avni. Published with licence by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Heritage
  • Jaffa port
  • fishing
  • mixed city
  • waterfront redevelopments


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