Spatial inequality in the context of city-suburb cleavages–Enlarging the framework of well-being and social inequality

Amnon Frenkel, Emil Israel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Suburbanization has been accused of imposing a significant cost on spatial equity. The study examined suburbanization (as a form of urban sprawl), not necessarily as the primary driver of fundamental social inequalities, but as an important vehicle by which inequalities might be extended over time and as an important product of fundamental social inequalities. It suggests an innovative measurement that relies upon Amartya Sen and Pierre Bourdieu's theoretical conceptions. The current study suggests that economic, cultural and social forms of capital, formed in an individual's living environment, determine a space's equality of opportunity. The paper examines this theory by means of a case study that includes a medium sized city and eight of its suburbs located within Israel's central metropolitan region. By using diverse statistical methods, data from 1063 sampled households is analyzed in new indices that measure spatial inequality. The results reveal that suburbanization is related positively to highly unequal patterns of social stratification. Social groups in the suburbs were found to benefit from better life-chances than their urban counterparts. This inequality is positively related to the accumulation of capital forms and the formation of the physical environment. We conclude that urban residents would not be able to fulfill their freedoms to do and to be, a situation that could hurt the distribution of real equal opportunities in space.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)328-339
Number of pages12
JournalLandscape and Urban Planning
StatePublished - Sep 2018


  • Capabilities
  • Capital forms
  • City-suburb
  • Life chances
  • Social inequality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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