TEL AVIV-YAFO UNVEILES NEW RESILIENCE STRATEGY TO TARGET RISING TEMPERATURES, COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT FOR THE ARAB POPULATION IN JAFFA
TEL AVIV-YAFO – Yesterday, Mayor Ron Huldai, Chief Resilience Officer Efrat Makin-Knafo, and President of 100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation (100RC), Michael Berkowitz, released Tel Aviv-Yafo’s first Resilience Strategy at the Arab-Jewish Center in Yafo. The inaugural strategy provides a roadmap for preparing the city for new challenges and promoting actions related to inclusive growth, climate, and inclusion.
Tel Aviv-Yafo joined the 100RC Network in 2016 and is the only Israeli city that is a member of the global network. 100RC’s work helps global cities better prepare for and respond to physical, social, and economic challenges in the 21st century.
Tel Aviv-Yafo Mayor, Ron Huldai said: "Today’s launch of the Tel Aviv-Yafo Resilience Plan is the culmination of our city’s participation in the 100 Resilient Cities network, pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation. The issues we discuss concern the entire world, and Tel Aviv-Yafo is proud to be a member of these international networks. This is born out of the commitment and sense of responsibility that mayors around the world feel - not only for the welfare of their own city’s residents but also for the wider world in which we live. Tel Aviv-Yafo selected five discovery areas for the strategy, and I requested that we focus on Yafo, where we launch the plan today. In Yafo, the objective of the program is to develop tools to strengthen the trust between the residents of Yafo and the Municipality, a trust that is not yet complete, as well as encourage cooperation, improve community life and social cohesion.
"I wish us all success and would like to thank Michael Berkowitz, President of 100 Resilient Cities, who in the last two years, since Tel Aviv-Yafo joined the international project, has accompanied the program from beginning to end and has helped with funding and knowledge."
“We are thrilled to join Mayor Huldai and other officials from Tel Aviv to release the city’s first Resilience Strategy, a forward-thinking roadmap that will help all members of this community thrive in the face of change,” said Michael Berkowitz, President of 100RC. “This strategy stands out as both comprehensive in its scope and innovative in its approach – tackling longstanding and persistent challenges, such as climate change and inequality, while simultaneously preparing the Tel Aviv for emerging and future challenges. This strategy positions Tel Aviv as a leader for the nation and for other global cities around the world.”
Chief Resilience Officer Efrat Makin-Knafo said: "The resilience of any society is reflected in its ability to include and strengthen its diverse population groups, empower the powerless, and create opportunity for disadvantaged communities. Resilience strengthens the human spirit and helps paves the way for a brighter future."
Berkowitz, who is visiting Israel for the first time, participated in the Tel Aviv Pride Parade with Deputy Mayor Itay Pinkas; spoke at a Municipal Forum on Sustainability; toured the city with Tel Aviv-Yafo Council member Motti Reif, the southern beach with Atarim CEO, Yaron Klein, and Yafo with Council member Abed-Abu Shehadeh; and enjoyed a taste of the Nonstop City's nightlife.
The new Resilience Strategy focuses on five ‘discovery areas’, based on the City Vision:
Yafo – developing tools to strengthen trust between Yafo’s residents and the Municipality; fostering collaborations; and improving community life and the public and social order.
The Southern Coast and Beach – upgrading Tel Aviv-Yafo’s southern coast and beach; leveraging them to build capacity and develop community identity among the local population; cultivating and enhancing existing natural resources and the environment, and improving the quality of the public space.
Complementary Economy – developing and boosting the city’s local social-economic potential, particularly for disadvantaged groups, small businesses and local initiatives, in Yafo and the southern part of the city.
Sustainability in the Community – encouraging residents to lead a sustainable lifestyle in order to lower the cost of living and achieve a better quality of life and resilience.
Social Responsibility through Volunteering – fostering volunteer opportunities as a tool to strengthen social responsibility, develop social cohesion and solidarity, and build trust.
The focus on urban and community development in Yafo includes a unique leadership program for young members of the Arab community; improving community consultation with the Arab population; revamping the southern beaches and green spaces; establishing an educational marine center; undertaking a feasibility study for an ocean pool; and more.
Other projects within the Resilience Plan include encouraging local and cooperative initiatives to empower the community and local businesses; a review of food suppliers and distribution centers for school; and the development of a city volunteer platform.
The Municipality of Tel Aviv-Yafo is already working with The Tel Aviv Foundation and Colu to pilot the use of local currency as a complementary tool to promote local businesses and lower the cost of living.
The Municipality will also specifically examine the issue of urban heat islands, a phenomenon of rising temperatures due to construction, transportation and other urban activity. This process commences this week with a delegation from Columbia University through the 100RC Resilience Accelerator program.
About 100 Resilient Cities—Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation
100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation (100RC) helps cities around the world become more resilient to the physical, social, and economic challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century. 100RC provides this assistance through: funding for a Chief Resilience Officer in each member city who will lead the resilience efforts; resources for drafting a resilience strategy; access to private sector, public sector, academic, and NGO resilience tools; and membership in a global network of peer cities to share best practices and challenges. For more information, visit: www.100ResilientCities.org.
Head of International Press
Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality