Metropolitan dynamics in Israel: An emerging "metropolitan island state"?

Eran Razin, Igal Charney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study analyzes metropolitan dynamics in a small country with an "island state" context of closed boundaries, using commuting data and mobile phone tracking data. We examine whether the Israeli context encourages the formation of a monocentric "metropolitan state," characterized by increasing links between localities throughout the country and its principal metropolitan node (Tel Aviv)-rather than with secondary metropolitan areas-and by fuzzy, overlapping metropolitan boundaries. Commuting data from the 1995 and 2008 censuses show that metropolitan expansion processes in Israel are gradual. Mobile phone tracking data for 2013 reveal similar patterns, confirming the urban structures stability and the reliability of tracking data as a means of assessing metropolitan processes. The "island state" context supports growing monocentricity, but, when it comes to commuting and travel for other purposes, Israel is not yet a metropolitan state; metropolitan boundaries are not as fuzzy and rapidly changing as expected.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1131-1148
Number of pages18
JournalUrban Geography
Issue number8
StatePublished - 17 Nov 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Taylor and Francis.


  • Tel Aviv
  • commuting
  • fuzzy boundaries
  • metropolitan state
  • mobile phone tracking data
  • polycentricity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Urban Studies


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