Tel aviv: Center, periphery and the cultural geographies of an aspiring metropolis

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The aspiration to make Tel Aviv a great metropolis of world-renown and the awareness of its provincialism have figured prominently in the city's public discourse and cultural history. The paper explores the cultural positioning of Tel Aviv as a city of distinction and fame in different scales of center-periphery dualisms and through successive phases of its history. The analysis is divided into four parts. The first focuses on the 'First Hebrew City' phase, which lasted from its founding in 1909 through the 1950s, when the notion of Tel Aviv as a unique Zionist creation reigned supreme. The second part deals with the 1960s and the 1970s, when Dizengoff Street epitomized the reputation of Tel Aviv as a large and modern city. The third is devoted to the 1980s and the 1990s, when the celebration of Tel Aviv as a 'Nonstop City', a vibrant cosmopolis on a par with New York. The fourth addresses the 'White City' as a contemporary expression of the distinction of Tel Aviv in terms of the built heritage of its International Style architecture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-318
Number of pages16
JournalSocial and Cultural Geography
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2008


  • Aspiring metropolis
  • Center-periphery
  • Modernity
  • Provincialism
  • Tel Aviv

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Cultural Studies


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