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Achieving population dispersal through tailor-made community planning: an Israeli experiment in the Galilee region

  • Economics


Public programs for population dispersal are usually based on macro approaches to economic development in the target area. Such programs have failed to reach their goals in many countries, and, therefore, there is a demand for knowledge regarding alternative forms of intervention. In this paper an innovative micro approach is suggested, the principles of which are based on findings reported in the economic and sociological literature on individual migration decisions. This approach was implemented in the central Galilee region in Israel. In the early 1980s fifty-two small communities were established in the Galilee, each with a unique organizational, social, and economic structure suited to the specific requirements and expectations of its settlers. The plan succeeded in attracting the desired type of population (young, highly educated) to the region, and the newcomers viewed the new communities as their permanent homes. Based on this experience and on the analysis of relevant literature, a development strategy of tailor made community planning is hereby recommended for future projects. It is especially appropriate in the context of developed countries with a slow to zero population growth and with spreading social norms of the postindustrial society.

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