Planning Discourse versus Land Discourse: The 2009–12 Reforms in Land‐Use Planning Policy and Land Policy in Israel


Land policy and land‐use planning policy are two types of public policy pertaining to space. In general, land‐use planning policy deals with land‐use allocation and property rights, whereas land policy defines the land regime of a society. These differences have shaped a unique discourse for each of these policy types. The purpose of this article is to examine the differences and similarities between the land discourse and the planning discourse by analyzing two public campaigns conducted in Israel against two proposed reforms: the 2009 reform of the Israel Land Administration and the 2010–12 reform of the Planning and Building Law. The findings reveal substantive differences between the two campaigns, manifested in the nature of the leading players, the types of public activities they chose, and most notably in the discourses and the hierarchy of considerations they addressed. The findings raise profound questions regarding universal trends in spatial policy reforms; their influence on the activities of public coalitions and the discourses they adopted; possible future effects of these trends on the differences between the land discourse and the planning discourse; and the impact of these trends on the ability of groups and individuals elsewhere to influence spatial policies (such as planning and land policies).