A short film and a KKL-JNF poster presenting Beersheba River Park as an example of waterway rehabilitation and the creation of a green urban environment were among the exhibits in the Israeli pavilion at the UN-Habitat Conference. Anat Gold, Director of Planning for KKL-JNF's Southern Region, attended the Forum and showed visitors something of KKL-JNF’s activities nationwide and in the Negev in particular.
The theme of this year’s UN-Habitat Conference was urban renewal, with the emphasis on cultural equality, closing gaps and human dignity as both a value and a compass for a new road ahead. During the conference, which was held in the Colombian city of Medellín – and also on the tours that accompanied it – participants were shown a large number of plans for the city, which were implemented in all their physical and social aspects only after a prolonged process of exploration in which the needs of the various different communities were identified, in an attempt to reduce gaps
and strengthen weaker sectors of the population.
The projects presented in the course of the conference focused on the major guiding influence that an economic company has had on the city. Its activities have transformed Medellin, within less than two decades, from a crime-stricken city rife with drugs and serious violence to a thriving community that is safe, clean and accessible to all. It now has a positive population balance, its residents are proud to live there, and, overall, it can serve as a model for the rest of the country.
The UN-Habitat Conference is held every two years, and once every twenty years, a major conference is held. The next major conference is scheduled for 2016, and it will likewise be attended by an Israeli delegation.
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