Rethinking Israeli Streets: complete streets research begins to take hold in Israel

Flyer advertising the conference in Tel Aviv

NITC researcher Marc Schlossberg is bringing his work on complete streets to a new, international audience: planners and practitioners in Israel.

On Thursday, January 21, a national “Rethinking Israeli Streets” workshop held at Tel Aviv University was attended by around 100 academics and professionals – a significant turnout for this first-of-its-kind event.

Experts gathered at the conference to present their ideas for lessening automobile dependency in Israel’s future, a vision that the Jerusalem Post described as “blissful.”

Schlossberg, who co-organized the conference, is currently working in Haifa under a Fulbright scholarship. As part of his earlier NITC research he co-authored the book Rethinking Streets, an evidence-based design guide for complete street transformations.

The book’s message promoting safe, bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly street environments is a timely one for Israel. In the Tel Aviv metropolitan area, which houses 42% of the country's population, a cycling revolution is well under way.

At the Technion–Israel Institute of Technology, a public research university in Haifa, Schlossberg is working with faculty to promote more sustainable urban forms. This winter, a class at Technion was adapted to follow the format of Rethinking Streets, and students collaborated to develop their own ideas for roadway reform.

“While tensions here in Israel have been very high and escalating ever since we arrived, it was really nice to engage with these students who represented a much more hopeful path forward than what is usually presented,” Schlossberg said.

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