How Israel can learn from Milan

Israel could learn from two major projects in which Milan boasts considerable success, The Jerusalem Post learned in an interview with Mayor Gabriele Albertini, who came to meet with local political leaders and to promote his city. One is the cleaning of graffiti from city walls and the other is reducing pollution by encouraging drivers to rent cars for specific use rather than to own them. "The campaign is a race between the graffiti vandals and the cleaners," said Albertini, who is also a member of the European Parliament. Before the program was initiated, the tendency was to leave the graffiti on the wall, on the premise that if was removed the perpetrator would return and daub the walls again. Now that the campaign is properly organized, the work of the cleaners acts as a deterrent. "Knowing that their work will quickly disappear, the daubers are less inclined to be active, he pointed out." The anti-pollution program is also working well. Called car-sharing, it involves moderately priced, short-term car rentals from a company owned by the municipality. The company owns a thousand cars, and drivers use them only when they absolutely need them. This changes habits, Albertini noted, because people get used to living without a car at their constant disposal, and therefore drive less. This in turn reduces pollution. Milan is the economic, fashion, industrial and sporting capital of Italy. It is the laboratory for new initiatives in Italian enterprise. Successful experiments are then adopted by the rest of the country. Although Tel Aviv and Bethlehem are are twin cities of Milan, the city's official spokeswoman is Haifa-born resident of Milan, model, actress and former beauty queen Moran Atias. In fact Atias is not only active in the city's campaign to eradicate rampant graffiti and a prominent figure in the drive against cruelty to animals, but she is also a bridge in the enhancement of relations between Milan and Israel. Atias was the prime organizer of a Milanese fashion show in Tel Aviv on Friday in honor of Albertini's visit.