"Mayors Institute" Model Comes to Israel (With a Little Help from CNU)
Aiming to import the success of the Mayors Institute on City Design — the National Endowment for the Arts program that has helped prepare more than 800 US Mayors over 24 years to be the "chief urban designers of their cities" — the Movement for Israeli Urbanism hosted the inaugural class of the Israeli Mayors’ Institute on City Renewal from June 1-3 in Tsefat and Tel Aviv.
The mayors of Tsefat, Ashkelon and six other cities were represented and CNU President/CEO and former MIlwaukee Mayor John Norquist and CNU-member urban designer and Torti Gallas principal Neal Payton were there as headliners. "When I was a mayor, the US version opened my eyes to ways to improve Milwaukee. Now Israeli Mayors will have the same opportunity," said Norquist, whose opening night presentation was coveredin Tel Aviv's Globe newspaper.
Shown above are Mayor Ramiz Jaraisi of Nazareth (pop. 80,000) and Mayor Yaakov Asher of Bnai Brak, Tel Aviv's biggest suburb (population 165,000). Jaraisi is of Arab descent and Asher is a rabbi. The Movement for Israeli Urbanism adopted the Mayors Institute model after concluding that the most effective way to promote sustainable Israeli urban development and local economic development is through mayors. According to the news release from the MIU:
The primary tool of the Mayors’ Institute that MIU is developing is to hold a series of intense 3-day workshop sessions in which a small group of mayors (8 in each session) and a similar number of professionals (in urban design and planning, architecture, local economic development, transportation, environment, law) analyze specific urban projects presented by each mayor. Through the sessions, the mayors undergo a significant learning process, open up to new conceptions of urban planning, and come out with knowledge and applicable tools to help them promote the best projects for their community’s long-term economic development and urban quality of life.
Norquist and Payton also spoke at an Movement for Israeli Urbanism chapter meeting on May 31 at Tel Aviv's old City Hall. Norquist showed slides to a group assembled on the rooftop of the art deco landmark.
Payton also treated the group to an educational lecture and a constructive critique of Israeli projects.
And John Norquist congratulates MIU chair Irit Solzi and Dror Gershon on the successful launch and accepts a framed certificate from them for participating.
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