A strategic partnership for families in Tel Aviv

Young children have become a cross-cutting strategic priority for the city of Tel Aviv, following a strategic partnership agreement between the municipal government, the Bernard van Leer Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Tel Aviv Foundation.

A trendsetter among cities

The Foundation’s Urban95 programme argues that a focus on young children and families can bring a new strategic perspective to issues of wider concern for a city, such as community building, quality of life, traffic, mobility and public space. But aligning broad municipal agendas is difficult. It requires high-level commitment and will from a city’s leaders.

Being able to showcase success stories from trendsetting cities will be helpful in getting the attention of other cities’ leaders. Tel Aviv has a proud reputation as a trendsetter among cities, within Israel and around the world.

A testing ground for practical solutions

The partnership grew from research by Tel Aviv Bloomberg Innovation Team into the rising cost of living in the city, which identified childcare as a significant popular concern. The Foundation funded follow-up research and meetings for municipal staff, childcare operators and parents to explore ideas for solutions. These meetings attracted the interest of the city’s mayor and CEO.

The stragetic partnership that emerged will have the opportunity to influence the spending of a budget set aside for investment in public spaces, such as playgrounds and parks. It is piloting innovations in areas such as childcare management, play-space design, biking and walking paths for families, and digital platforms for parents to access services and advice. The long-term vision is that the city itself will scale those pilots that prove most cost-effective.

The Foundation is investing EUR 1 million over three years, while the Tel Aviv Bloomberg Innovation Team brings human resources and analytical skills, and the city of Tel Aviv has committed to co-invest.

Tel Aviv is always interested in implementing new ideas that could improve the quality of life for our residents, and we are excited to be among the first cities in the world to be thinking seriously about how addressing the issues faced by our youngest citizens could have wider ramifications for making the city a better place to live.
(Ron Huldai, Mayor of Tel Aviv)