Tel Aviv receives international recognition while winning the first prize in the World Smart Cities Award at the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona. 250 cities competed in the competition.
The Smart City Expo World Congress is considered the leading conference in the world of city innovation. Tel Aviv is hosting an extraordinary booth displaying the city’s smart technologies with companies such as Motorola Solutions Israel, TSG (Ness) and Microsoft.
Tel Aviv, the startup city, has embarked on a strategy to leverage the city’s high-tech ecosystem to facilitate its transformation into a smart city. Tel Aviv was ranked one of the most innovative cities in the world by Citibank and the Wall Street Journal, and as such is leading the world in innovative technologies.
The Mayor of Tel Aviv-Yafo, Ron Huldai expressed his gratitude towards the recognition that the municipality received for its use of technology and for the creativity that exists in the city. These are used to improve the services the residents receive and develop the municipal facilities to be more advanced, efficient and transparent.
In the last two years, the city underwent a digital revolution, via the Digi-Tel platform: the city residents’ membership club Digi-Tel, free Wifi across the city and more. As a leading technology hub, Tel Aviv has developed advanced solutions for urban administration and, more importantly, civic engagement.
In smart Tel Aviv, engagement is a key value in implementing smart city principles, while the goal is to create a city for all its residents and a resident-oriented government. The city actively involves residents in the urban experience and urban development, while emphasizing engagement in decision-making processes and wisdom of the crowd as a means for smart municipal management in the new age.
Digi-Tel Residents’ Club and city App as key projects, are personalized web and mobile communication platforms which provide residents with individually tailored, location-specific information and services. The platform facilitates a direct and holistic connection between the city and residents, from alerting residents to neighborhood road works or informing them of the nearest bicycle-sharing station to sending targeted reminders for school registration or cultural events and offering discounts which facilitate access to the many cultural events taking place in the city. DigiTel encourages residents to proactively engage the Municipality as well: residents can locate cultural events and activities as well as report hazards and follow up on their handling.
As part of the effort to increase accessibility and transparency of information along with civic engagement, municipal databases were opened to the public, followed by a competition in which residents developed mobile apps for public use based on open databases. The city also actively employs social media as a platform for involving the public in municipal decision-making and community improvement initiatives, and the iView system renders geo-spatial information readily available and easily usable for all. All these initiatives are facilitated by free citywide WiFi in public areas.
These initiatives improve municipal services, enhance residents’ quality of life and create the conditions for sustainable urban development. Above all they exemplify the city’s active, intelligent role in employing technology to heighten civic engagement and ensure a city which is accessible and responsive to all.
The city persistently acts to create a climate that facilitates the formation of collaborations between residents, business establishments, third sector organizations and the Municipality, while making use of cutting-edge technologies that enable learning, creativity and sharing to achieve social and economic prosperity.
The technological and social tools available to the city enable better use of information and communication technologies to streamline the management of existing resources, save energy costs, provide improved service, enhance the quality of life, and fulfill the ‘sustainable city’ concept.
Source: Israeli MFA, Nov. 28, 2014