The planned, the unplanned and the hyper-planned: dwelling in contemporary Jerusalem

Michal Braier*, Haim Yacobi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


In this paper we examine the production of two dwelling configurations which have developed concurrently in Jerusalem over the last two decades against a background of continued ethno-national contestation and extensive colonization of the city’s spaces on one hand, and of growing liberalization of planning processes on the other. The first housing pattern is the planning and construction of luxury apartments in the form of gated communities in West Jerusalem’s city center. These compounds mainly house religious Jewish immigrants from Western countries. The second housing activity is the recent proliferation of local zoning plans submitted by Palestinians in East Jerusalem to the Israeli planning authorities, plans whose purposes are to legalize, expand and save their houses from possible demolition. Though at first sight the hyper-planned compounds of West Jerusalem and the unplanned neighborhoods of East Jerusalem seem fully antithetical to each other, we argue that both are an outcome of the same tensions between neoliberalization of the Israeli planning system, especially in the realm of housing development and ongoing colonization of the city’s urban spaces. We conclude that the privatization of space and spatial planning is integrated into and complements the older patterns of organizing the ethno-national space.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)109-124
Number of pages16
JournalPlanning Theory and Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • colonial urbanism
  • ethno-nationalism
  • gated communities
  • Housing
  • Jerusalem
  • neoliberalism
  • spot zoning

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