Social impact assessment of rebuilding an urban neighborhood: A case study of a demolition and reconstruction project in Petah Tikva, Israel
By: Trop T.
Published in: Sustainability (Switzerland)
SDGs : SDG 11 | Units: Social Sciences | Time: 2017 | Link
Description: The rebuilding of deteriorating residential areas is being replicated rapidly throughout Israeli cities despite limited assessment of the social consequences. This paper presents the findings of a social impact assessment (SIA) applied to a demolition and reconstruction case study carried out in a low-income neighborhood in Petah Tikva. The project represents a typical example of developer-led removal of low-rise, mixed tenure housing replaced by privately owned high-rise housing. A mixed-methods approach was used to explore the actual and potential social implications from different points of view held by the various public and private actors in the project. The research was based on the analysis of official documents, field observations, and semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders involved in the rebuilding process, and with affected community representatives. The case study was analyzed with regard to three components: the public engagement process, financial well-being, and community cohesion and stability. The assessment revealed insufficient public and municipal involvement, the displacement of the majority of low-income households, disregard for the provision of community infrastructure, and the weakening of community stability. The paper suggests various ways to improve the outcomes of the project for all the affected parties, and argues that incorporating the SIA mechanism in this particular form of urban renewal might improve strategic decision-making and promote urban sustainability. © 2017 by the author.