Goals & Missions

Forum 15 acts to reorganize the relations between national and local governments in Israel, aiming to empower major cities, and provide them with greater managerial autonomy. To further this goal, Forum 15 encourages urban initiatives and cooperation between municipalities, reinforcing urban services.

We live in an urban world. Over 50% of the world’s population lives in cities and even more depend on them for services. In recent decades, metropolitan centers have become the primary arena for economic, social and cultural development, creating opportunities and bringing about social change. These developments have made municipalities central players in shaping the reality in which we live.
Forum 15’s goal is to lay the groundwork to enable Israel’s major cities to become high-quality, advanced cities: possessing quality public spaces; lively, vibrant urban streets; excellent social and community services; an efficient, diverse, convenient and rapid transit system; a high standard of education; housing possibilities; leisure and entertainment facilities; diverse populations, communities and cultures; innovation and renewal capabilities; a healthful, high-quality environment; and more.


Main fields of activity

Legislation and regulation - a primary field of activity for Forum 15 is the reorganization of the relations between national and local governments in Israel, to empower major cities, and provide them with greater managerial autonomy. To further this goal, the forum is promoting a Self-Government Cities Act, aimed at granting greater authority to cities which have proven capable of autonomous management, as well as a new, modern Municipalities Act to replace the archaic legal framework which constrains municipalities today. Such a law is vital to providing municipalities with the legal and economic tools needed in order to run a modern city. Forum 15 also advocates for greater powers for cities in fields such as planning and construction, law enforcement, education, transport and the environment; represents major cities to the government and Knesset; and acts to prevent legislation and regulation detrimental to the independence of local government.
Construction and planning - Forum 15 is involved in the development of national outline plans affecting the urban sector in Israel, and in following up on their implementation. Forum 15 was involved in preparing the strategic plan for Israel’s spatial organization in coming decades (National Master Plan 35). Concurrently, Forum 15 is active in preventing suburban sprawl, removing impediments to urban renewal, promoting legislation enabling affordable housing, and more.
Climate & Environment - In 2008, Forum 15 launched "Forum 15's Climate Convention", a local version of ICLEI's international convention for climate protection. The 18 major cities signatory to the convention commited to cutting their GHG emissions by 20%, mointoring their emmissions, as well as creating and implementing a local climate action plan for the reduction of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions within their boundaries. Entering the convention's implementation stage provided the signatory cities with significant new challenges, which required the development of new tools, a more profound integration of sustainability into internal municipal practices and discourse, and investment of extensive resources in reaching out to citizens and effecting behavioral shifts, such as sustainable commuting, waste reduction and recycling, retrofitting and energy conservation, etc. In 2018, Forum 15 launched the second phase of this joint framework "The Cities Alliance for Quality of Life and Environment" - a blueprint for extensive and comprehensive local action for climate protection, integrating the key goal of urban wellbeing. The program addresses both the need for meanstreaimg climate action in local processes and plans as well as incentivizing behavioral shifts among citizens, aiming at impacting local wellbeing and quality of life, as well as the environment and climate in Israel. 

One of the main achievements of the Forum's climate programmes was the introduction of a Mayors' resolution on adopting the Israeli Green Building Standard as a mandatory planning requirement in Israel's large cities. .

Green Building - In June 2013 the 15 Mayors of Israel's large cities accepted a joint municipal policy to implement Green Building in all member cities, and resolved to adopt the Israeli Green Building Standard (IS 5281) as a mandatory planning requirement. The decision was based on the findings from the GHG emission surveys, conducted by the signatory cities to Forum 15’s Climate Convention, which indicated that the greater part (averagely 72%) of GHG emissions in these cities originate from energy consumption in buildings. In order to provide cities with an effective tool to reduce their emissions, our taskforce developed policy instruments to enable cities to implement measures for Green Building. The first instrument was adopted as a Mayors’ Resolution in 2011 (aka “The First Mayors’ Resolution”), and provided a preliminary statutory basis for the integration of green building in planning requirements. Two years later, in June 2013, a second resolution was accepted - to adopt Green Building as mandatory municipal policy and to integrate the Israeli Green Building Standard (IS 5281) into mandatory planning requirements in all member cities. In 2020, the state of Israel adopted Forum 15's Green Building Policy as a national statutory requirement, following which Forum 15 upgraded it's policy, and in Januaery 2022, a third Mayors' resoluton was adopted - to adopt a higher level of green building standard within the existing framework of the Forum's mandatory requirements. 

Transportation - A healthy metropolis utilizes diverse means of transportation, reducing private vehicle use and encouraging the use of alternative forms of transport. Smart transport planning at a regional level can improve health and quality of life, reduce emissions, minimize social inequality and increase face-to-face interaction, contributing to the city’s liveliness. Forum 15 is active in promoting urban planning policy and embedding transport solutions with a view to this goal, as well as in promoting the establishment of metropolitan transport authorities.

Education - Forum 15 is at the forefront of the struggle to defend the quality of public education in Israel. The forum has struggled against budget cuts in education and succeeded in preventing those cuts. Forum 15 is also a partner in the effort to promote equal access to education. Moreover, the Forum has led the public campaign against financing unofficial educational institutions.
E-government - In today’s world there is greater demand for accessible, up-to-date information. At the municipal level, improved access to information will enable residents to know about, participate, intervene and affect decision-making processes. Forum 15 is active in developing a uniform model for municipalities to promote transparency and encourage public participatory processes.
Innovation - “The smart city” - cities are living laboratories and an optimal arena for the testing of innovative and groundbreaking ideas, concepts and technologies, which may have a dramatic effect on city life. Forum 15 actively seeks to learn about developments in the world’s leading cities and examines the possibility of adapting these to Israeli cities. The Forum has promoted advanced technology projects such as free public wi-fi, cellular parking, mechanized law enforcement, online learning systems, and more.
Representation of major cities in Israeli courts, regarding crucial issues and promoting public struggles in favor of the cities and their residents.