The economy of Israel is growing rapidly and is technologically advanced by global standards. Israel ranks high on the UN’s Human Development Index, and enjoys quality education, relatively low unemployment rates, and has contributed tremendous innovation in all areas.
However, not all parts of Israel society benefit from these trends. Over the last decade, we are finding increasing societal gaps between the center of Israel and the Negev and Galilee.
Israel’s population is growing at an incredible rate and by 2048 – the 100th anniversary of the State of Israel, we are expected to number about 17 million residents; 13 million of them will live between Nazareth and Kiryat Gat, while only about 4 million are expected to live in the Negev and the Galilee. In other words, the Negev and the Galilee, which comprise 75% of Israel’s territory, will occupy only 25% of the population and the entire country will depend on one economic center.
An economy and population of 17 million dependent on one small state center will cause overcrowding, prohibitive housing prices, immovable traffic, and an overall loss in quality of life. If the situation continues, along with the state’s forecasted population growth, the problems will be exacerbated, and the Gush Dan region will be one of the most densely populated regions in the world.
How can we change the future?
The time to act is now. For the first time in Israel’s history, we have adequate time to research, plan, and execute this major national change – which is why we have established a vision and a plan for the future of Israel.
Israel is a unique country in terms of demography, geography, culture, and population growth. In order to define the key components to achieve this vision, we examined and learned from a variety of examples who were successful in other parts of the world. In partnership with TASC, an international management consulting firm and our Century Group, we have started developing the master plan.
One Country – 3 Centers
Currently, only one center serves the State of Israel. The Negev and Galilee are vital components of the plan, as these regions both have the potential to become centers of life and prosperity. Without their development, we won’t be able to create a healthy demographic spread and offer incredible opportunities and quality of life to the future generations.
We must focus on utilizing the potential of these regions and create these opportunities to attract a quality, successful population and close the socioeconomic gaps that are anticipated to increase if we stand by and do nothing.
To achieve this vision, the desired future map of Israel will have 3 strong economic, independent centers: The Center (Gush-Dan Region), The Negev, and The Galilee.
Our plan allows us to act as a small flywheel with many projects that will move the larger flywheels that are the government and major partners to implement the 2048 Vision and create these 3 centers, with a plan to develop the main areas of life: Housing, Environment, Transportation, Attractions (culture, leisure, etc.) and Growth Engines (economic).
The Century Group
The “Century Group” is a partnership that combines key figures from all sectors that will help promote government commitment through long-term spatial and social planning for the country and take the 2048 vision to new heights over the next three decades. The forum members will take an active part in the vision by formulating action plans, implementing projects, periodic meetings, promoting initiatives of think tanks, building a new national story for the Negev, Galilee – including the 3 centers vision, creating the “future map of Israel” and more.
The group is open to any member from any part of Israeli society who connects to the values and the vision, has knowledge to contribute, and has the ability and desire to influence.
As part of the “Israel 2048” vision, led by the OR Movement, the “Equitable Cities” program was conceived as a joint national project of the OR Movement, the Ministry for Social Equality and the Ministry of Housing.
The program is a multi-channel accelerator aimed to reduce gaps between development towns and the cities in the center of Israel, to strengthen the cities in the periphery, and as a result affect the whole region
The program will launch in four cities in the Negev and the Galilee, Akko, Kiryat Shmona, Ofakim and Dimona, chosen by a joint committee based on specific criteria.
The Equitable Cities Project contains the following programs:
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