cities. Our study examined place attachment at the neighborhood and city scales in Tel
AvivJaffa. It is based on 22 interviews in five neighborhoods with diverse social backgrounds
and an analysis of 4 Facebook neighborhood groups as a virtual space for expressions
of place attachment. The study shows that despite globalization, the neighborhood
and the city remain significant for people. Poorer neighborhoods are objects of emotional
attachment that form place identity, whereas affluent neighborhoods are objects of functional
attachment leading to place dependence (local trust). Unique local narratives can
create, however, place dependence in disadvantaged neighborhoods and place identity in
affluent ones. Concerns of exclusion and displacement can lead to a loss of local trust, not
necessarily because of in-migration of edge-groups, but because of the "threat of the rich"
that leads to an identity loss in both disadvantaged and affluent neighborhoods. At the city
scale, the unanimous responses in all neighborhoods reflected a high level of attachment,
linked to “the Tel Aviv ethos”. Conclusions of the Facebook analysis confirmed the findings
that emerged from the personal interviews.
The democratic function of local authorities is often disregarded in the public discourse on local government and needed municipal reforms. This deficiency characterizes countries, including Israel, in which local government is not perceived as a cornerstone of national identity. Local democracy has three major functions: representation, consolidation of democratic values and pluralism. This book focuses on the democratic objective of local government in Israel. Its twenty-two chapters review key trends in local democracy and discuss its position in the public and political systems, in civil participation, management of civic life at the local level and local government elections. Four features of local democracy in Israel revealed in the chapters of the book are: distinction, centralization along with neglect, fragility and exploitation, and suspicion and protest. The challenges facing local democracy in Israel are manifested in several courses of action: from below – awakening of the local civil society; from within – adoption of new public management principles by elected politicians and bureaucrats in local government; from above – genuine decentralization of powers by the central state; and from outside – direct interaction with states and international movements, organizations and corporations.