10 November 2009

The study presented here deals with measuring peripherality of a local authority, meaning its geographical position with respect to the centers of economic activity. This study was commissioned by the Ministry of the Interior, in the framework of a more extensive project that aims to characterize the local authorities by a variety of indicators, relevant to providing the municipal services to the local authority population. Characterization of local authorities by the dimension of proximity to the economic activity in the country enables a comparison between development potentials of different regions, especially an identification of regions with low development potentials, and serves a helpful tool for allocation of resources.

This paper presents the Peripherality Index constructed for 252 local authorities in Israel: 198 municipalities and local councils and 54 regional councils, according to their municipal status at the end of 2004, not including the regional council Hof Azza. The local authorities are ranked by the Index in increasing order of centrality, and are classified into 10 clusters, starting from cluster 1 which includes the most peripheral local authorities, and ending in cluster 10 which includes the most central local authorities. The Peripherality Index value for a given local authority is calculated as the average of the standardized values of two components: 1) Potential Accessibility Index based on the gravitation concept accepted abroad for measuring peripherality, which combines the proximity of the local authority to all the local authorities in the country with the size of their population; 2) proximity to the boundary of the Tel Aviv District, which reflects the specific structure of the country and emphasizes the proximity of the local authority to the region that serves as the country’s economic and business center located close to its geographic center. The proximity between the geographical units is measured by the shortest distance in the road network, under the constraint of the roads closed due to construction or security reasons.  ​



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