Nation’s first institute for mayors to teach urban renew

If accepted, each mayor will have to present a municipal problem from their city that is giving them trouble.

March 29, 2010 00:38
1 minute read.
Former Milwaukee mayor John Norquist.

john norquist 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Israel is set to have its first-ever institute for the training of mayors, as part of efforts to improve their performance.

The Israel Mayors’ Institute for Renewed Urbanism will hold conferences and offer lectures by experts on municipal theory, to give municipal leaders the tools to incorporate new models of civic planning and of cooperation with residents.

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The institute’s inagural conference will be held over two-and-a-half days at a hotel in Safed at the beginning of June. The conference will host eight Israeli mayors who will receive instruction from eight experts. The conference will be opened with remarks by former Milwaukee mayor John Norquist, a one-time chairman of the Congress for New Urbanism. Norquist is expected to tell attendees about his success in fighting crime and poverty over 16 years as “Brew City’s” mayor.

The conferences will reportedly have a very strict selection process, and mayors who want one of the eight spots will have to apply and meet a series of criteria for acceptance. If accepted, each mayor will have to present a municipal problem from their city that is giving them trouble. The matter will then be discussed by the experts and the other mayors in attendance.

The experts will include architects, city planners, traffic engineers, legal advisers and city budgetary planners.

The conferences will cover subjects as varied as public buildings, urban renewal, employment and trade, and infrastructure.

Architect Dror Gershon, one of the founders of the Israeli movement for urban renewal and a key supporter of the mayors’ institute, has said the project will be based on Mayors’ Institute for City Design, an American initiative that, as of today, has trained more than 800 US mayors in urban renewal.

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