UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Neighborhood self management :a study of the role of local communities in the revitalization of metropolitan areas Ragetli, Rene Francois


Traditionally observers of the urban scene have held that by unilaterally shifting the balance between central and local control over urban management, conditions within cities could be improved. More recently a theoretical synthesis has been advanced which advocates the decentralization of some urban functions to the neighborhood level and the centralization of others to a metropolitan wide authority. Adherents of this latter position hold that healthy cities operate best on the principle of a “federation of neighborhoods”. Following a review of the construction of modern society, this thesis considers the theoretical benefits of dividing responsibility for four categories of urban functions between local and central authorities. The ideal theoretical division of various environmental, economic, social and political functions has subsequently been tested against an implemented form of neighborhood self management in Jerusalem. The results of this comparison confirm that properly constituted neighborhood authorities can indeed deliver human services more effectively and with considerable financial savings. It has also become apparent that social cohesion is enhanced by recognizing and legitimizing local communities. The Jerusalem experience further reveals that a strong metropolitan wide authority is crucial in securing the judicious use of natural resources and preventing environmental degradation, thereby ensuring long-term economic well being. The considered balancing of urban functions between central and local control would benefit metropolitan areas worldwide, particularly those considering a comprehensive revitalization.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


For non-commercial purposes only, such as research, private study and education. Additional conditions apply, see Terms of Use https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms_of_use.