Cities are at the forefront of the climate crisis

The climate crisis is the central global challenge of the 21st century.

In Israel, this challenge is intensified by a significantly high rate of population growth (highest in the OECD countries). Cities in Israel will have to accommodate twice and thrice times the number of residents than today – within the same municipal boundaries. As a result, Israel is undergoing a dramatic extent of new construction and urban renewal projects in Israel's cities.

Notwithstanding the greater challenge these trends pose for Israeli cities in their attempts to adapt to climate change, climate change can also present opportunities for cities – sustainable growth and urban development, enhancing trust in local institutions, boosting quality of life, etc. High level of density and diversity enable more efficient use of resources, compact planning, creating cooperative solutions and services, providing better public transportation, etc. Cities in Israel are actively increasing their resilience to climate change, By creating quality urban environments, with sufficient and diverse services within walking and cycling distance,  engaging the civic and community organizations in bolstering local resilience and well-being, managing the urban groundwater, etc.

Cities have an additional advantage in meeting the challenges of climate change – municipalities have a comprehensive acquaintance with the city and its residents, and are naturally more adapted to provide them with the most accurate and rapid response and solutions. Moreover, the city routinely operates networks and has technological management systems that can provide a better, faster and more efficient response in times of crisis.    

This urban empowerment vision leads Forum 15's activity for promoting sustainable urbanism and climate protection. For achieving these goals, the Forum has initiated the Forum 15’s Climate Convention (2008), Forum 15’s Green Building joint policy (2013), Cities Alliance for Quality of Life & Environment (2018) and the Urban Resilience document (2020).These days, and throughout the Covid pandemic, which presented complex challenges to the world and to cities in particular, Forum 15 has concentrated its activities on preparing cities for the climate crisis and in building urban resilience by strengthening urban life and improving quality of life for residents and the city's visitors.