Current Team

Cecille Bernstein
Cecille Bernstein earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science with minors in archaeology and geography from the Macaulay Honors College and Hunter College at the City University of New York in 2013. Her MSc research in the Planning Policy Lab is focused on the engagement of non-profit organizations in knowledge transfer between cities, using park and open space development as a case study. She previously worked at The Trust for Public Land and Buro Happold Engineering.

Iris Brodkin is a MSc student studying gentrification and displacement in urban renewal processes. Her research in the Planning Policy Lab focuses particularly on the relationship between gentrification and ‘construction & evacuation’ projects (known as `Pinuy-Binuy`). The main research goals are to assess whether ‘pinuy-binuy’ projects expedite gentrification, comparing the socio-economic profiles of tenants before and after construction, and how the urban renewal process affects the ‘native’ residents of the neighborhood. In addition, the research aims to shed light on additional pertinent factors in urban renewal processes (e.g., planning authorities, Entrepreneurs and municipalities).

Iris holds a B.A. in Psychology and Political Sciences from the University of Haifa.

David Max
David Max is a graduate of the Technion’s Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning, with a MSc in Urban and Regional Planning. His research in the Planning Policy Lab included an examination of the 2011 Israeli Social Protest Movement and its demands as they related to planning and housing, and how the Israeli government attempted to respond via various statutory measures. In addition, he worked with Dr. Nir Mualam and Dr. Eyal Salinger on “vertical allocations” of public services in mixed-use high-rises in Israeli cities and around the world. Today he works for a project management company that oversees the planning of a portion of the Jerusalem Light Rail’s Blue Line. Max holds a B.A. Hons. in History from Toronto’s York University.

Eynat Mendelson Shwartz
Eynat Mendelson Shwartz is a PhD candidate in the Urban and Regional Planning track. Eynat’s research in the Planning Policy Lab focuses on mural related practices and policies. As part of this research she is conducting a cross-national comparative policy analysis on the management of murals in the city. Eynat holds a MSc. in Urban and Regional Planning and is a certified and registered architect with extensive experience in urban planning and urban design.

Tal Elal
Tal Elal is the Deputy Mayor of the city of Beer-Sheva. Among other duties, he is responsible for Planning, Engineering & Transportation. He is also Chairman of the Municipal Urban Planning Committee, an active member on the Southern District Planning Committee and the National Planning Board.

Tal earned a Bachelor and Master of Arts in Geography and Urban Planning from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. He is currently a PhD candidate at the Planning Policy Lab. His research focuses on Hybrid Multiple Land Uses (also known as Multiple Intensive Land Uses). The research focuses on the definition and characteristics of the phenomenon, as well as on the practical ways in which it can be applied in urban areas.

Gilat Lovinger
Gilat Lovinger is a certified and registered Landscape Architect; she earned her B.L.Arch from the Technion and a M.A in Public Policy from Tel Aviv University. She has extensive experience working with Landscape Architecture firms in Israel and in the U.S.A, in central government agencies and municipalities. Her exploratory research in the Planning Policy Lab, with Dr. Nir Mualam, focuses on surveying and conceptualizing elevated public spaces in high-density areas.

Other Collaborators (Past & Present)

Amir Dominitz
Amir Dominitz earned his B.Arch from the Technion at 2010, and since then has journeyed throughout the world of planning and gained experience in various fields. Amir’s research in the Planning Policy Lab entitled ”The National Committee for Preferred Housing Plans (NCPHP) – The Last Supertanker?”, aims at evaluating the goals and influences of one of Israel’s main housing policies since 2014. The committee, also know by its Israeli acronym VATMAL, seems to epitomize a highly centralistic approach towards housing by the Israeli government. Using coded data from semi-structured interviews with planning experts and other stakeholders, the research provides an in depth analysis of the VATMAL policy, highlighting its perceived goals, its network of stakeholders and its perceived influences.

Gal Noihaus-Feurstein
Gal Noihaus-Feurstein is an urban planner, currently working in the engineering department in Shfaram Municipality, leading urban planning schemes and other public spatial projects. She earned her MSc (with honors) in Urban and Regional Planning at the Technion’s Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning.
Gal’s research in the Planning Policy Lab, with Dr. Nir Mualam and Dr. Eyal Salinger, on ‘Vertical Allocations’ – (i.e., allocation of public utilities in multi-purpose buildings) was recently published as a book. Throughout this research, Gal focused on surveying and analyzing global trends and local planning aspects of vertical allocations policy in Israel.

Nir Barak
Nir Barak received his Ph.D. from the department of political science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; his training is in urban politics, environmental politics, and political theory. His current research in the Planning Policy Lab, with Dr. Nir Mualam, focuses on the relationship between national citizenship and urban citizenship (city-zenship) in light of the rising power of cities in international politics (e.g., supranational city-based networks) and growing instances of cities’ demand for more political autonomy vis-à-vis the state (e.g., regulations which challenge national laws). Nir’s Ph.D. dissertation analyzed philosophical, political, social and policy-related aspect of transitioning cities to sustainable patterns. In 2017, Nir received a Fulbright-ISEF Scholar award and appointed as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Columbia University. In 2018, Dr. Barak received the Aly Kaufmann Fellowship at the Technion. In 2020 he was appointed as a lecturer in Ben Gurion University, at the Department of Politics and Government.
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