Development Towns and the Central Place Theory

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Development towns, about two dozen new urban centers, established in Israel in the 1950s, were one main civil project of Israel in its first score, and continue to be in the center of the discussion about ethnicity, spatial justice and so on. The main theory that justified and explain the establishment of Development Towns in Israel is the Central Place Theory. According to this theory, Development Towns in Israel, which were built between 1949 and 1964, were urban settlement that served as center for the surrounding rural settlements. These towns were founded in an area with many Moshavim or Kibbutzim, and meant to serve as the place for services, commerce, culture and administration for the region. They were planned by city planners based on the theory and on the lack of this stratum of district city in Israel. Examining the actual function of many development towns, it seems that this theory had little to do with the reality. Towns that were established as "Central Place" in the region inhabited by Kibbutzim (Sderot or Beit Shean for example), were never able to fulfil their purpose as central place. These Kibbutzim were establish prior to the founding of the development town and in many cases, before Israel's independence. They were self-sufficient and the development town was not needed as a central place. Even more so – the old timer Ashkenazy Kibbutz members felt superior on the development town's population – new immigrants from North Africa Some towns were established in this period and were part of the development towns, had no surrounding rural area (Mitzpe Ramon, Yerucham, Dimona and Arad). There were built in a desert area with almost no agricultural settlements or any other settlements surrounding them. Other development towns were established in an area surrounded by Moshavim that were inhabited with new immigrants (like Kiryat Gat or Netivot) in in some case did serve as central places.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - 2018
EventIsrael – A case Study - Sede Boker, Israel
Duration: 14 May 201816 May 2018


ConferenceIsrael – A case Study
CitySede Boker


Dive into the research topics of 'Development Towns and the Central Place Theory'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • Israel – A case Study

    Avi Picard (Participation - Conference participant)

    14 May 201816 May 2018

    Activity: Participating in or organizing an eventOrganizing a conference, workshop, ...

Cite this