Interest in the role of large urban development (LUD) projects in regeneration efforts of cities has risen in recent years. Studies of their planning process have often focused on global cities, examining challenges associated with their joint (public–private) governance structure, as well as those emanating from the need to balance local and global needs and interests. With few exceptions, the ways in which these projects fit in with metropolitan aspirations of small and medium cities were largely overlooked. In this article, we explore how a large-scale project was used by local authorities to reposition a secondary city as a sub-metropolitan center. Using the case of the 1000-District (Mitcham HaElef) in the Israeli city of Rishon-Lezion, it argues that while the project was originally designed to resolve the city’s scarce employment problem, it was gradually used to endow it with higher-order urban qualities, re-situating it as a sub-metropolitan center in the Tel-Aviv area. To support our argument, we focus on the project’s housing and employment components, including changes they were subjected to along the planning process, as well as the marketing campaign, which sought to re-present the city as a viable sub-metropolitan alternative. Drawing on qualitative methods, including personal interviews and content analysis, the article illustrates how one city’s large project is in strumentalized to attain metro-scale objectives. In so doing, it contributes to a nuanced understanding of the complexity of LUD planning, its stated objectives at various scales, and implications for actors in and beyond metropolitan jurisdictions.
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© 2019 by the authors; licensee Cogitatio (Lisbon, Portugal).
- (sub) metro politanization
- Large urban development
- Mixed-use planning
- Secondary cities