Fields of Research

Overview

Social justice as a leading goal of urban planning

Housing policy and neighborhood planning

Urban renewal and neighborhood regeneration

Immigration and integration

Disadvantaged groups in Israeli society

WSP – Water-Sensitive Planning and Sustainable Development

 

Overview

Naomi Carmon’s research deals mainly with socio-urban issues. Naomi had the privilege of being a pioneer in introducing sociology and social considerations, particularly social-justice-related considerations, into Israeli urban and regional planning. Throughout her career, she felt committed to enriching the international community of knowledge by critically analyze social aspects of planning processes and outcomes, as well as to developing research-based practice for the benefit of urban planning in Israel.

Naomi and her students use a variety of research methodologies. Most of the studies include collection of primary data in the Israeli field. Quantitative analysis has been frequently used; in recent years, the studies have also integrated qualitative methodologies, at times, side by side with the quantitative analyses. A large share of the studies may be classified as evaluation research, mainly ex-post evaluations, and some are post-occupancy evaluations. The empirical data are usually collected in Israel, but Naomi’s writings makes the analysis relevant to many other countries.

Naomi Carmon’s academic endeavors fall under the general title of: Sociological Aspects of Urban Planning. The topics of her research and teaching – in the classroom, while advising graduate students and when conducting research – can be divided into six main areas that will be reviewed below. In each area, several of her above 200 publications will be cited (E next to a year in the citation stands for an English publication, while H signifies a publication in Hebrew).

 

 

Social justice as a leading goal of urban planning

Enhancing social justice has been the leading theme of Naomi’s teaching and research throughout her academic career. Almost all her research works, whether dealing with housing policy or urban renewal, and espeially those directed at understanding under-served groups in the Israeli society, were related to issues of Social Justice and investigated variables that are associated with it and ways to enhance it.

Planners, who study social justice, often concentrate on ‘procedural justice’, on including those whose voices are seldom heard in the procedures of planning and decision-making. While Naomi was involved in such resident’s participation studies (Carmon, Yonish et al., 1992-H), her main focus has been on ‘distributive justice’, on asking who pays and who benefits from planning policy and projects, and on measuring actual planning outcomes (Carmon and Hill 1988-E; Carmon 1989-H; Yunger, Carmon and Shamir 1993-H).  She is particularly interested in translating principles of social justice into the language of urban planning deeds: deeds to improve the quality of life of underserved and discriminated-against people and social groups, and deeds to reduce the disparities between the haves and have-nots (Carmon 2013-E).

An extensive project on the topic of planning and social justice was “The Social Alternative” for Israel’s future that Naomi headed (Carmon et al. 1993-H), in the framework of a research and planning effort led by Adam Mazor: Israel 2020 – Master Plan for Israel in the 21st Century. In this effort, which was supported in the first half of the 1990s by 11 governmental ministries – The Office of the Prime Minister and the Ministries of the Treasury, Interior, Housing, Environment, Transportation, Energy and Infrastructure, Education and Culture, Agriculture and also the Ministry of Defense – approximately 250 researchers and planners participated. Looking 30 years ahead (from 1990 to 2020), four main alternatives for the future of the country were developed: social, economic, physical-environmental and the alternative of “business as usual”. Naomi led the team that developed the “social alternative”, which chose as its goal the enhancement of Quality of Life for All. The meaning given to this term by Naomi and her colleagues included two principles. The first: a multiplicity of opportunities for all, i.e.,  provision of a variety of settlement (urban, semi-urban, rural), housing, employment, social and public services, which sould be accessible in terms of distance and price for the different groups in Israel. The second: a decrease in the economic and social gaps between different regions and different communities, between men and women, Jews and Arabs, healthy and handicapped people (Carmon 1996-H). The principles of the “social alternative” and the proposal for the creation of “spaces of choice” found expression in the View of the future, the summary volume of Israel 2020. This “view” and spatial plan had a great impact on the national and local programs and plans that were developed in the 2000’s, following this comprehensive research-planning project.

In 2009, Naomi invited about 40 colleagues from several countries and Israel, leaders of the international research in advancing social justice by means of urban planning, to a four-day workshop at the Technion. Some of the articles that were submitted to the workshop, after they were subject to strict academic review, were published in a book edited by Naomi Carmon and Suzanne Feinstein (Harvard University) – Policy, Planning and People: Promoting Justice in Urban Development (2013-E).  This unique book, written by the most experienced scholars and writers in the field, deals with the theory and the practice of social justice in urban planning and development. In its opening chapter, Naomi discusses the mission of urban planning, its societal mandate and its values. She suggests “planning with and for people, to enhance ‘quality of life for all’ in the built environment,” as both the mission and the expertise of the urban planning profession. Based on her research experience, she offers planners to use “evidence-based best practices” to realize the suggested mission, and provides a detailed exampel for the field of housing and neighberhood renewal and regeneration (Carmon, 2013-E). Most of the other chapters of the book relate to issues of social equity in various fields, including: the network society, transportation, elderly population, migrant workers, housing and community development.

 

 

Housing policy and neighborhood planning

Housing policy is analyzed by researchers as a component of the economics of state and city, as part of real estate development and management, or as welfare policy for needy populations . In contrast, Naomi Carmon analyzes housing policy as a powerful tool in the hands of national and local authorities that use it in order to advance their national and political goals, by allocating scarce resources to the population groups they prefer. She formulated this approach during her doctoral research, which examined changes in housing policies in a number of Western countries, and evaluated the use of housing policy by the Israeli government to achieve the goal of nation building – one nation out of waves of immigrants arriving from dozens of countries, and the goal of population dispersal throughout the country (Carmon & Mannheim 1979 – E; Carmon 1981 – E). This critical approach was further developed by Naomi and served her and the colleagues who worked with her on later studies: in the review and evaluation of Israel’s housing policy during the first 50 years of the State’s existence (Carmon 1999 – H; 2001 -E ; lecture 2012 – E), the Israeli mortgage policy (Benchetrit and Carmon 2006 – H; 2010 – H; lecture 2005 – H), as well as the affordable housing policy in the country (Tamar Lanir’s thesis, 2003 – H). More recently, this approach was used for examining affordable housing in London and New York as examples of housing policy of neo-liberal governments in global cities (Marom and Carmon 2015 –E).

Housing policy is often related to neighborhood planning (Carmon and Eizenberg 2015 – E), especially to the subject of social mix in residential areas. Carmon and her students have extensively studied issues of “socially-mixed housing”, i.e., the relational fabric in places of residence in which inhabitants come from diverse socio-economic groups, in terms of ethnic origin,  and/or religious belonging and/or household income. They investigated social relations between old-time residents from the lower socio-economic class of the city Rosh Ha’ayin and the new residents in the municipality, members of the middle class (Rivka Ventura Farchi’s thesis 1997 – H); between secular and religious residents in the city of Ra’anana  (Hadas Druker’s thesis 1988 – H); between new members/residents of the “expansion” of a Moshav in the Negev to the old-time residents in this rural locality (Tlila Uzan’s thesis 2002 – H); and between Jewish and Arab residents of Nazareth Ilit, a development town that was built for Jews but Arabs gradually migrated into it (Hana Haj Yichya’s thesis 2003 – H).

Naomi also examined the inter-ethnic relations between Arabs and Jews in a study she undertook with Oren Yiftachel, during his post-doctoral period. The focus was on the attitudes of the Jewish population in the Galilee towards Arabs in neighboring villages and towns and towards Arabs in Israel in general (Yiftachel and Carmon 1997 – E). It was found that the Jews who came to live in new communities that were established in the region of the Galilee, a regions with a clear Arab majority, tended to have more  positive attitudes toward their Arab neighbors and toward Arabs in general, compared with the Jewish public in Israel. These results, which supported findings from Naomi’s previous studies, led to an interesting unconventional conclusion/hypothesis, which deserves further study, that is, there is a difference between two kinds of socially-mixed neighborhoods: the first– a minority group immigrates to an area in which the dominant/majority group resides, and the second – members of the dominant/majority group immigrate to a space in which the minority group is the majority. In the first case, the attitudes of residents from the dominant group toward the minority will tend to be negative (leading to strengthening of negative stereotypes and prejudices), while in the second case – the case studied by Oren and Naomi – the attitudes will tend to be positive.

Naomi Carmon’s unique contribution to the literature on socially-mixed housing can be found in her recommendation to create homogeneous clusters of residents within large heterogeneous neighborhoods. This recommendation is grounded in her earlier and later findings (Carmon 1976 – E; Lecture 2007 – E; Marom and Carmon 2015 – E) and is also based on the insights of well-known sociologists, such as Herbert Gans and Pierre Bourdieu (ibid, pp. 1007-1008). An important argument behind this recommendation – homogeneous clusters within an heterogeneous neighborhood – is that living in a homogeneous residential area allows for the development of “bonding social capital” that is needed for everyday life (especially among poor families and new immigrants), while heterogeneous housing encourages the growth of “bridging social capital”, which has the potential to support social mobility of the persons who have such capital; both types of social capital can exist side by side and provide crucial support to individuals and communities (Amoyal and Carmon 2011 – H).

 

Urban renewal and neighborhood regeneration

Naomi Carmon’s contribution to the field of Urban Renewal in general, and Neighborhood Regeneration in particular, is focused on the sociological aspects of these complex urban processes. As a pioneer in this field in her country, she worked to internalize social considerations, especially social equity concerns, into policy and planning in Israel, while also publishing extensively in English for the benefit of the international community of knowledge.

Since the days of Napoleon III and architect Haussmann in the middle of the 18th century, and throughout the first half of the 20th century, slum clearance and urban renewal were studied and practiced in Western countries. The emphasis was, first, on architecture and urban design, the focus moved to physical aspects of housing conditions, and then, economists added cost and benefit calculations. It was not until the second half of the 20th century that sociologists and psychologists joined the field of urban renewal, saying that the welfare and well-being of people, particularly users of the built environment, should be a main purpose of urban intervention. A leader in this discourse was Herbert Gans, Naomi’s teacher at MIT, who wrote about poverty and inequality as principal targets pf public policy and urban planning. Naomi followed him and added her share to understanding decline and regeneration processes and to research-based practice. Her work in this field has developed in three stages: an Israeli stage, a comparative international stage, and a stage of evaluation of regeneration strategies.

During the first stage (mainly in the 1980s), Naomi focused on Israel’s Project Renewal, a comprehensive physical and social governmental project that encompassed 90 distressed neighborhoods around the country with some 15% of Israel’s citizens. Close to its beginning, Naomi and her colleague architect Robert Oxman, exposed a process they named “self-help housing rehabilitation” in low-income urban areas, a phenomenon that had been completely ignored until that time by researchers and practitioners alike. Within the plots of government-built housing of the 1950’s and 1960’s, which often consisted of two story buildings with four to eight tiny apartments, the architects left small pieces of land; they thought that the residents would use these to grow vegetables for themselves at that time of austerity. Tomatoes did not grow there; however, as soon as the new immigrants who were settled in these houses could afford it, they built rooms and enlarged their tiny apartments (Carmon and Oxman 1981-H; 1986-E; Carmon and Gavrieli 1987-E). The main conclusion of this research pointed at two closely related potentials: one is attached to people and their continuous motivation to improve their living conditions, and the other one is hidden in old buildings that can be renovated and updated in accordance with current standards, by means of an institutional assistance to carrying out that individual/familial motivation. Due to the discovery of this interconnected potentials and a deliberate effort to influence relevant decision makers, a new program was added to Project Renewal; as a result, about 50,000 households in Israel’s distressed neighborhoods were able to extend their homes and make them compatible with their needs and aspirations. A later development of the same discovery serves as the basis of a present program to add rooms and also additional housing units to existing urban neighborhoods in Israel, which is promoted by the Ministry of Housing and Construction, as well as to the current Outline Plan (TAMA) 38/1, which is currently promoted by public and private bodies.

Back to the 1980’s, Naomi and her colleagues, mainly Moshe Hill, Rachelle Alterman and Arza Churchman, led a comprehensive evaluation study and additional four funded studies that focused on Project Renewal. The first large-scale evaluation research was based on a three year detailed field work in ten case studies, ten carefully selected neighborhoods throughout Israel. It produced an abundance of findings and conclusions, which were published in the leading international literature, as well as in Hebrew, including: an article that presented the Integrated Evaluation – a unique approach we developed for the evaluation of Project Renewal – a multi-aim urban plan (Alterman, Carmon and Hill 1984-E), and several articles and books presenting the inputs and outputs, processes and outcomes of Project renewal. Naomi was responsible for evaluating the Project’s outcomes and published her findings in a series of articles and a book (Carmon and Hill 1988-E; Carmon 1987-E; Carmon 1988-H; Carmon 1989-H). The latter – a book in Hebrew – won the Ruppin Award for the Best Book in the Social Sciences in 1990. A second extensive evaluation study examined several dozens of neighborhoods that were included in Project Renewal; it was a before-after type of research that used data that had been collected by the Central Bureau of Statistics in the Project’s neighborhoods in comparison to a similar number of control neighborhoods, using advanced statistical methods (Baron, Carmon and Ben-Zion 1990-H; Carmon and Baron 1994-E).

Naomi’s studies of the outcomes of Project Renewal showed that the beneficiaries of Project Renewal were mainly “stronger” persons and households, those with more education and/or better employment and income, while the weakest ones did not have the complimentary resources (awareness, time, access to babysitters) that were necessary to benefit from the Project programs. Yet, the studies also showed that numerous individuals and families in the neighborhoods derived significant benefits from the comprehensive project, which created conspicuous improvements in housing, education and community activities in its neighborhoods and reduced the discrepancies between the living conditions in them and in middle-class residential areas. In addition, the project facilitated social mobility of individual residents, though not of many. These changes are probably good enough to justify the Project.  However, an unexpected major finding of Naomi’s evaluation studies was that in spite of the many improvements that Project Renewal brought about, it neither succeeded in alleviating the inferior status and image of the urban areas that carried the reputation of “neighborhoods in distress”, nor in stopping the tendency of households, who had managed to make progress, to leave these neighborhoods. If raising the neighborhoods’ status is a goal of such a project (and this is a big ‘if’), then the stated policy of Project Renewal was probably mistaken. The policy makers wanted to avoid gentrification, and therefore, prevented construction of new housing that might have attracted higher status residents; they wanted to avoid “budget displacement”, and hence, allocated the Project resources only to residents of the selected distressed neighborhoods, to the extent that prevented any social mix of children and adults from those neighborhoods with their parallels from higher status neighborhoods. As sociologists have discovered long ago, a neighborhood status is determined by the status of its residents, and the good intentions of Project Renewal mothers and fathers prevented the change they aspired to achieve in the neighborhood reputation and status.

While the first stage of Naomi’s research on urban renewal focused on activities in Israel, the second stage – mainly in the 1990s – focused on international comparative investigation of processes of governments’ initiatives to achieve urban renewal and neighborhood regeneration. This stage began with an international workshop that Naomi organized at MIT, to which she invited researchers from the United States, Great Britain and Israel, who studied neighborhood/area-based programs as tools for the improvement of quality of life of poor and moderate income households. Following this workshop, Naomi edited a book (Carmon 1990-E) that became a textbook in courses on neighborhoods and their rehabilitation/renewal in the US and in Israel. In 1997, the book won the Aaron Wildavsky Award from the American Organization for Policy Studies. At that time, Naomi also extended the knowledge on self-help/user-controlled housing renovation (Carmon 2002B-E), and after more international comparisons were collected, it was recast as the “Phoenix Strategy,” for renewal and updating of the existing stock of housing (Carmon 2002A-E).

A well-known and cited article from this research stage analyzed the history of urban renewal in Western countries, including Israel. It identified, in all of the countries, three “generations” of deliberate interventions in urban areas “in distress”. The first generation – the generation of the bulldozer – engaged in physical solutions, eliminated slum areas and constructed modern towers and roads in their place. The second generation (Project Renewal belongs to this generation) emphasized social goals and worked for the existing residents in the existing housing units, while having the residents participate in the decision-making for improving their condition. The third generation put economic considerations at the top of each urban/municipal action and developed the concept of public-private participation; in practice, the authorities remained responsible for regulating the processes, while the initiative, the funding and the implementation moved from the public to the private sector. Each one of the three generations is unique in terms of the main “players,” kinds of programs that were run, the results that were measured and the insights that Naomi extracted from them, mainly in terms of the creation of the benefits to people (residents) and to places (neighborhoods) (Carmon 1999-E). Trying to summarize the main conclusion would say: the “second generation” of large-scale central government programs of housing and neighborhood improvement benefitted people but not their places, while the “third generation” that is characterized by public-private partnerships benefits places but usually not incumbent residents. In this article, Naomi suggests a “forth generation” that combines considerations of economic growth and social equity. A partial version of this article was published also in Hebrew (Carmon 1997-H).

The third stage (in the the 2000s) is comprised of a series of studies, all conducted with graduate students. Each one of these has examined one or more of the strategies of urban renewal identified in the earlier stages. All these M.sc. theses snd PhD dissertaions (mostly in Hebrew with an English abstract) are available in PDF format in the Technion Graduate School website. Together with Eyal Ofek (2005-H), and with Nurit Tsafrir and Emily Silverman (2011-H), the strategy of demolition and redevelopment was studied. Together with Yulia Ziflinger (2005-H), the question whether development in a place is also development of the place, was examined; specifically, we asked if urban renewal using the real estate-business strategy (public-private participation in developing real estate) creates benefits not only for the entrepreneur and his/her tenants, but also for the city, in general, and for the poor original residents, in particular. Together with Elvira Molin (2010-H; Molin and Carmon 2014-H), culture-led strategies of urban renewal were identified and their influence on communities that live adjacent to them was studied.

A few of Naomi’s publications on urban renewal and neighborhood regeneration were translated and published in French, and recently, also  in Chinese.

Some of Naomi’s current research with graduate students is focusing on urban renewal. Together with Nava Kainer-Persov (2017 – H), the variety of strategies for housing renewal employed by public authorities in Western countries in the twenty-first century have been classified and studied. Nava’s empirical research is the first of its kind in Israel; a post-occupancy evaluation of both the process and the results of housing renewal projects of the two most active programs in the country: demolition and redevelopment (Pinui – Binui) and National Outline Plan 38 (TAMA 38). A social justice perspective that asks “who benefits and who loses” guided the questions and the analysis. The results – outputs, outcomes and impacts – are evaluated using the 3SP (3 Spatial Perspectives) Model, which requires analysis from the neighborhood residents’ point of view, and also, from the perspective of the city and the Israeli society as a whole.

Another study in the series of urban renewal research is being funded by the Ministry of Housing and undertaken by Naomi in collaboration with Yechiel Rosenfeld, the head of the Israeli National Building Research Institute at the Technion, and the planners Tami Gavrieli and Inna Burstein (PP Presentation 2016). It focuses on the feasibility of processes of strengthening, shielding and upgrading of old apartment buildings in Israeli towns in the periphery of the country. These towns are located in high risk areas for earthquakes and/or rocket attacks; in addition, they are in great need of upgrading their old housing complexes. However, up until the present, they have not benefited from the many projects for housing renewal that have flooded Israeli cities in the center of the country, for the last few years. The research reviews and analyzes the Israeli and international relevant experience, engage in interviews with various stakeholders, and is intended to offer practical recommendations concerning the implementation of housing strengthening and upgrading in towns in which real estate prices are low, but the seismic and/or rocket threats are high. The northern town of Kiryat Shmona serves as the test case in this study.

Naomi’s extensive work in the field of housing and urban renewal has been used to promote research-based practice. The table below (taken with some modification from Carmon 2013) demonstrates the idea: it presents a strategy of neighborhood regeneration built of recommended policies and practices, all of which are derived from Naomi’s research works reviewed above.

 

Social-justice-oriented neighborhood regeneration strategy: evidence-based policies and practices

The statements in the table are based on studies (cited in the table and below it), which were conducted by Naomi Carmon, in collaboration with colleagues and graduate students, over a period of 35 years. The table draws on her studies only, but partly similar conclusions and recommendations were proposed by others, including contributors to the edited book by Carmon and Fainstein (2013): essays by George Galster, by Dennis Keating, by Lawrence Vale, by Susan Fainstein and Norman Fainstein.

Policies Practices
related to policies on the left and grounded in the same studies
Work simultaneously for social equity and economic   efficiency; work simultaneously to benefit people (residents) and places (neighborhoods) (1)  The public partner in PPPs, PCPs and PPCPs should construct the “rules of the game” so that they benefit the main stakeholders, with special attention to the less affluent among them  (1) 
Regeneration through partnerships (1) (7)  Public-Private-Partnerships (PPPs), Public-Civic Partnerships (PCPs) and Public-Private-Civic-Partnerships (PPCPs) (1) (7)
Prevent segregation of the lower classes in the renovated residential areas (3) (5) (7) (9) (11) Careful, evidence-based “social mix”; wherever possible, plan for side by side homogeneous clusters of residents within a heterogeneous residential area that includes joint social services(3) (5) (7) (9) (11)
A gradual and “soft” approach to housing and neighborhood improvement (2) (4) (10) Wherever possible, plan for gradual regeneration of old neighborhoods rather than demolition and redevelopment(2) (4) (10)
Differential intervention in different deteriorated  residential areas (1) (4) Poor neighborhoods in “hot demand areas” need different intervention compared with “less-viable” areas (1) (4) 
Preventive Planning (2) (8) (10) Identify neighborhoods on the verge of deterioration and encourage “self-help/user-controlled housing renovation”, which is a leverage for better housing conditions and housing maintenance, place attachment, and stronger motivation to work and increases the income of the household (2) (8) (10)

 

 

Immigration and integration

Some of Naomi’s research over the years dealt with issues of immigration and absorption, mainly in the context of absorption of immigrants in Israel. This began with her doctorate (1976-H), in which the research population was new immigrants in development towns, whose social and economic absorption were analyzed (Carmon 1981-E). Carmon later studied migrants (and Olim) as carriers of urban renewal (Amir and Carmon 1996; Carmon 1998-E). Together with the doctoral student Einat Amoyal, she researched social capital and its place in immigrant absorption processes, while discriminating between personal social capital and community social capital, and between  bonding social capital and bridging social capital, studying the relationship between these and components of neighborhood planning (Amoyal and Carmon 2011–H).In 1993, during the large wave of immigration from the former Soviet Union, Naomi Carmon organized an international workshop of international experts on immigration and integration. The articles submitted to the workshop were read and discussed at the workshop by the experts and a large group of Israeli decision-makers. Later, they were edited by Carmon and published in a book that was titled: Immigration and integration in post-industrial society. The articles shed light on the phenomena, from the macro level of policy through the personal level of the immigrant (Carmon 1996-E). In the opening chapter of this book, Naomi identified and characterized two main flows of international migration: a flow of migrants with high levels of education and skills that comes from the east to the west, mainly from the former communist countries, but also from the Far East to Western countries, and a flow of migrants with a few resources that comes from the south to the north, from Africa to Europe and from South America to its north. In spite of the big differences between them, the two flows were creating significant economic benefits for the migrants themselves and for the countries in which they settled, but the cultural difficulties in integrating them into the receiving societies were not getting easier with the passing years.  When this chapter was written in the middle of the 1990s, Naomi dared to hypothesize that in a future global world, people will be able to freely move between countries, and instead of being tied to civil rights in their countries of origin, they will carry with them, wherever they go, their human rights and social rights (Carmon 1996A-E).  Twenty years later, the chances of this hypothesis to be supported by developments in the real world are sinking.

 

 

Disadvantaged groups in Israeli society

Poor people – There is widespread poverty in Israel. One of Naomi Carmon’s first studies dealt with the Culture of Poverty, its existence and meaning in Israel. While the empirical study found that a Culture of Poverty, as characterized by Oscar Lewis, did exist in Israel, as opposed to Lewis, this culture was not necessarily transmitted from generation to generation (Carmon 1985–E). Naomi’s other studies, and mainly the major research collection that addresses Project Renewal (see above), deal with poor and slum neighborhoods and evaluates deliberate efforts to alleviate poverty and improve housing and services for poor residents.

Elderly people – All the developed countries are concerned with their rapidly growing aging population and the provision of planned responses for the special wishes and needs of their elder citizens. A post-occupancy evaluation study by Naomi and a graduate student included identification of the needs and wishes of elder inhabitants in a senior citizens’ home and found a discrepancy between the perceptions of the inhabitants and the perceptions of the planners. While the planners imparted great importance to the public spaces in the senior citizens’ home and allocated large spaces and many resources for these, the elder inhabitants rarely used these public areas. On the other hand, the elder residents complained about the minimization of the private space in their housing, the area in which they spent most of their evenings and nights, as well as a large part of their day (Eyal-Elimilech and Carmon 1993-H; Carmon 2010-E).

Israeli Arabs – Among the theses that Naomi supervised, more than a few focused on Arab citizens of Israel: the loyalty to the clan (Hamula) and its influence on the dispersion of housing in Arab settlements (Liora Erlich-Hai’s thesis, 1995); residents’ participation – various ages –  in the planning of their Arab village (Jacob Yonish’s thesis, 1992); social services for Arab youth in Nazareth (Samahir Abu-Sharkia Doula’s thesis, 2001); migration of Arabs to Jewish development towns: the case of Nazareth Ilit (Hana Haj Yichya thesis, 2003); and the attitudes of the Jewish population in the Galilee towards their Arab neighbors and Arabs in Israel (Yiftachel and Carmon 1997–E).Two of the studies relate to Arabs that live between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, outside of Israel. One addresses place attachment of Palestinians, who are residents of east Jerusalem (Muhammad Kimmeri thesis, 2005–E). The second one was Yosef Jabareen’s doctoral dissertation that included a comprehensive empirical study of Gaza city. Here, the theoretical concepts of “culturally sustainable development”, “space of trust” and “community of trust” were investigated and conceptualized. Practical recommendations concerning the planning of housing in traditional communities were made (Yosef Jabareen dissertation, 2002-H; Jabareen and Carmon 2010-E).

 

 

WSP – Water-Sensitive Planning and Sustainable Development

Water-sensitive planning (WSP) list of publications of the research group headed by N.carmon and U.Shamir at the Technion
רשימת פרסומי תכנון רגיש למים (תר”מ) של קבוצת המחקר בטכניון בראשות נעמי כרמון ואורי שמיר

Water-sensitive planning (WSP) is a branch of sustainable development that combines urban and regional planning with management of water resources, in order to improve people’s quality of life and to preserve water and natural resources. The development of this new scientific-professional branch in Israel was led by Naomi Carmon and Uri Shamir from the Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Following the demographic forecast that Naomi made for the master plan “Israel 2020,” according to which, during the years 1990-2020, approximately one million additional people would be living along the coastal plane, she presented the following question to Uri Shamir – at the time, the Head of the Grand Water Research Institute at the Technion: What are the implications of this addition in terms of the amount and quality of water in the coastal aquifer, the largest water reservoir in the country? As a result of this question, in the beginning of the 1990s, the scientific-professional branch of WPS was established (Carmon and Shamir 1997-H; Shamir and Carmon 2007-H; Carmon and Shamir 2010-E).Along the lines of this question, the first studies of Carmon, Shamir and their students dealt with the protection of Israel’s coastal aquifer and, more specifically, with issues of stormwater and drainage management and their connection to the planning of land-use and infrastructure, and planning of the urban landscape and land-cover. The main goal of the first studies was to make possible infiltration of good quality runoff water to the groundwater in the coastal aquifer, while achieving additional social and economic goals (Meiron-Pistiner, Carmon and Shamir 1996-H; Carmon, Shamir and Meiron-Pistiner, 1997-E; Katz, Carmon, Burmil and Shamir 1998-H; Burmil, Shamir, Carmon and Be’eri 2003-H).The findings and conclusions of these studies, in addition to the numerous meetings that Carmon and Shamir held with professionals, academics and administrators, who deal with the management of stormwater and drainage in Israel (see, for example, a lecture in Hebrew given at the Israeli Building Society, which summarized the state of the knowledge as of 2003) led to a paradigm change in the area of urban drainage in Israel: from a definition of stormwater runoff as “damaging water,” a nuisance that needs to be removed from settled areas as quickly as possible, to an approach that sees runoff as a resource to be managed in order to achieve a variety of goals in open spaces and built-up areas.In the last decade (as of this writing, in 2016), more research and publications have extended the field of WSP. From the point of view of WSP goals, the emphasis moved from concentration on quantity and quality of water resources, mainly runoff and groundwater, to a wide range of ecological and environmental goals, as well as social and economic goals that benefit both people and nature (see YouTube, 2012 and the slides from Naomi’s lecture that summarizes 20 years of WSP in Israel, 2016). From other points of view, the extension includes a move from the urban to both urban and regional watersheds and exploration of alternative water sources, such as the use of grey water and water saving in the urban sector (Be’eri, Carmon and Shamir 2005-H). It is related also to rehabilitation of urban and regional streams and to uses of stormwater in the planning of inter-city highways (Markus, Gasith and Carmon 2014-H). Furthermore, the researchers examined the organizational and legal structure of stormwater management in Israel, and they published a document on the topic, which serves as part of the Master Plan of the Water Sector in the country (Carmon and Shamir 2011– H). Carmon and Shamir (see their full list of publications WSP at the Technion) personally assisted the process of creating a National Outline Plan that integrates water considerations with land-use planning (TAMA #34/b). In recent years, water considerations are being gradually assimilated into the work of the regional and municipal planning committees and WSP “best practices” are currently found in projects – mostly projects of neighborhood and park planning – throughout the country.The two latest developments in this field: First, in the spring semester of 2016, for the first time in Israel, a full academic course on the topic of WSP – Water-Sensitive Planning – was delivered to students in the urban and regional planning track and students of landscape architecture in the Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning at the Technion, together with students of environmental studies in the Faculty for Civil and Environmental Engineering. Second, a new study by Naomi and her colleagues, undertaken together with researchers from Monash University in Australia, evaluates projects for stormwater management that use the WSP approach, which have been implemented in urban communities in Israel. The study examines the simultaneity and synergy in achieving the diverse goals of WSP. This research also deals with aspects of policy and regulation, with the intent of assisting in removing obstructions on the way to fuller realization of Water-Sensitive Planning in Israel (Alon-Mozes, Portman, Carmon, Goulden and Shapira

2016-E).