The City of Jerusalem is proud of its membership of the ICLEI (Local Governments for Sustainability) global network of cities. Inherent in our membership is a firm commitment to ICLEI’s goals, based on the premise that cities around the world can together play a significant, if not decisive role in combating climate change and addressing global environmental challenges.
Unsustainable patterns of urban development are making cities focal points for emerging environmental health hazards. Jerusalem identifies with and abides by the Healthy City Criteria which require monitoring and improving our urban environment. A healthy city is democratic, accessible, safe, green, clean, sustainable, a good place for residents to live in that cares for all sectors of the population, promoting transparency and public engagement.
In 2010, Jerusalem qualified to join Phase 5 of the WHO (World Health Organization) Network of Healthy Cities, of which it had been a founding member in the 1980’s. The City’s leadership has committed to taking system-wide action for health development by creating innovative strategies and policies to assure a healthy quality of life and sustainable future for all its citizens.
Jerusalem is taking bold steps to improve its footprint, first and foremost through the new City Master Plan (currently in the final stages of approval); secondly through assessment and implementation of new measures and legislation to reduce carbon emissions, and thirdly through partnerships working together with government, business and NGO initiatives throughout the city.
The current administration, voted into office in November 2008, has defined as a strategic goal the promotion of mechanisms for participatory democracy and transparency of process. We are encouraging collaborative projects that bring academic institutions, NGO’s, government ministries and the business sector together.
Jerusalem has entered into additional international partnerships, such as ICLEI LAB, focusing on the integration of urban nature and biodiversity management in the city’s strategic planning. Some of the projects currently underway in Jerusalem, helping to make our capital city more sustainable, are presented in the pages of the Green Jerusalem brochure.
As Deputy Mayor for Planning and Environment, I will be seeking opportunities for Jerusalem to work with other cities in the different global networks, as we strive towards a more sustainable urban environment.