Challenges in the legal representation of homeowners in processes of urban renewal (March 2020)
Based on the work of students at TAU's Housing, Community & Law Clinic; Supported by the Center for Ethics at the Law School of the College of Management.
Background: Urban renewal projects often involve conflicting interests and legal confrontations among homeowners in the relevant building or neighborhood. These legal clashes, often conducted by lawyers hired by the adversaries, can considerably delay a project, or even stop it altogether.
IAHC study: This paper examines various aspects of legal representation of residents in areas of urban renewal: how the lawyers work with these clients and view the challenges involved; the residents' expectations from their lawyers; and various obstacles and failures in legal representation. The study includes an in-depth review of existing literature and 24 qualitative interviews with lawyers and homeowners. Ultimately it will present a comprehensive picture of the current situation combined with a series of recommendations for improvement.
Measuring Urban Regeneration Impact on Disadvantaged Population Groups' quality of life: Development of an Assessment Model (Publication expected in 2021)
Funded by the Research Fund of Israel's National Insurance Institute
Background: As urban renewal processes gain momentum throughout the country, and their impact is felt by growing numbers of Israeli citizens, we feel that the time has come to provide policymakers at all levels with research-based tools for assessing this impact and responding to possible negative affects – especially on disadvantaged populations.
IAHC study: This pioneering project aims to develop the first set of tools for continually evaluating and measuring the contribution of urban renewal processes in Israel to the quality of life of those affected by them, with a focus on disadvantaged populations.
The model, based on a methodology used by both the Israeli authorities and the OECD for measuring quality of life, will examine a vast range of objective and subjective parameters. Ultimately, it is designed to assist policymakers at both the local and national levels in setting and attaining goals – not only with regard to housing, but also in the spheres of social and welfare policies.
Role of Residents in the Advancement of Urban Renewal (April 2015)
Survey of selected models from around the world
Collaboration with the Engineering Administration of the City of Tel Aviv-Yafo
Background: Urban renewal processes in Israel are greatly challenged by the reciprocal relations among three main players: residents, developers and the local authority. Tensions among them negatively affect the ability of these processes to provide fitting solutions to current needs. Consequently, even officially approved plans are often difficult to implement and processes of planning, licensing and construction can be greatly delayed.
IAHC study: In an effort to discover how issues of urban renewal are dealt with in other countries, and possibly learn from their experience, we conducted a survey of urban development models around the world – specifically selecting models in which the roles of the residents and municipality differ significantly from those known in Israel today. In the paper, the theoretical description of each model is supplemented by a case study from overseas, as well as a concrete example of how it can be implemented here in Israel.
Social housing in Neve Ofer – tools for preventing the displacement of the original residents (January 2018)
Collaboration with Tel Aviv-Yafo's Municipality
Background: In December 2017 the Tel Aviv-Yafo's Local Planning & Building Committee approved a Policy Paper for the urban renewal of the Neve Ofer neighborhood in the south of Tel Aviv. Parts of this Paper, including recommendations for the prevention of gentrification, were formulated by IAHC and then published separately.
IAHC paper: The paper contains analysis-based tools and recommendations for incorporating social aspects and considerations into the planning process, especially the prevention of the displacement, due to gentrification, of vulnerable populations such as public housing residents, renting tenants with low/middle income and elderly individuals. Proposed tools allow decision makers to enable vulnerable populations to remain in their home neighborhood and enjoy the urban renewal process, while examining options for creating affordable housing as part of urban renewal.
Advancing urban renewal in Arab communities in Israel – Policy Paper (Publication expected in 2020)
Collaboration with Sikkuy (a shared nonprofit of Jews and Arabs) & the Arab Center for Alternative Planning
Background: Despite a great need and considerable pressure for development, urban renewal projects gain no momentum in Israel's Arab cities, towns and villages.
IAHC paper: This paper examines barriers and obstacles that currently prevent the advancement of urban renewal projects in Arab communities, making recommendations for improvement and proposing practicable options and viable alternatives.
Developing a tool for impact investors – to evaluate the social impact of their investments in urban renewal (Publication expected in 2020)
Funded by a matching grant from the Edmond de Rothschild Foundation, the Jewish Funders Network and Noa Yuval
Immediate and viable urban regeneration is critical given Israel’s rapid population growth, decaying housing stock built in the 1950s/60s, and limited vacant land within cities.
To respond, we seek to develop and launch an impact due diligence tool for donors and investors, serving as a key impact market enabler within an already accelerating non-impact urban regeneration market. The evidence-based tool will provide theme-based guidance, empowering investors to make initial assessments and compare competing investment opportunities.
IAHC study: This work develops a first-of-its-kind tool for measuring the social and environmental impacts of urban renewal initiatives and providing a comprehensive picture of their outcomes. The tool specifically targets potential impact investors, as part of an effort to attract them to these important projects.
The Elderly Population and Urban Renewal (March 2018)
Collaboration with the Ministry of Welfare & Social Services
Supervised by a Government Steering Committee
Background: Processes of urban renewal in Israel encounter numerous challenges, which all too often cause considerable delays or even prevent their ultimate implementation. One major challenge is the adverse effect that these plans can have on the lives of the original residents – especially on the more vulnerable populations like the elderly, who have specific needs in the context of urban renewal.
IAHC study: Our research examined the gaps between the regulatory, economic and social mechanisms used to advance urban renewal in Israel and the distinctive needs and characteristics of the elderly population. In addition, we proposed tools for minimizing the possible negative impact and enhancing the benefits for this group.