From Homes to Assets and From Pioneers to Shareholders: An Evolving Frontier Terminology

G. Schwake

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
26 Downloads (Pure)


Frontier settlements played a key role in the formation of Israeli society and its territorial project. In the pre-statehood years and during the first decades after the establishment of the state of Israel, settling the frontiers formed one of the main national objectives, securing the nation’s control over space while promoting a unified local identity. Appropriately, settlement practices and discourse focused on pioneer rural communities and industrial towns, with a clear emphasis on housing units and residential estates. With the privatisation of the local economy, the national settlement development mechanism was privatised as well, the former state-led enterprise was harnessed to the interests of the market, and the earlier focus on housing was thus replaced by a property-oriented approach. This article studies the transformations in Israeli frontier settlement practices while analysing their changing modes of spatial production and the terminology they relied on. Studying the development process of Tzur-Yitzhak and Harish, two Israeli localities on the border with the occupied Palestinian West Bank, this article demonstrates how they first emerged as small-scale rural settlements and eventually turned into corporate-led projects. Presenting the geopolitical and societal interests behind both case studies, as well as the manner their proposed planning altered over the years, this article illustrates the transforming modes of production and the evolution of the local settlement terminology, demonstrating the shift from a pioneer-oriented to a market-led frontier settlement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-253
Number of pages13
JournalUrban Planning
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • frontiers
  • housing
  • Israel
  • Palestine
  • pioneers
  • privatisation
  • terminology
  • territoriality


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