1. MIU Beer-Sheva
12-13 December 2005
2. The soundtrack was recorded during the
performance, at the MIU Conference, of
Singers of the Beer-Sheva chapter of
3. The first conference of Merhav – the
Movement for Israeli Urbanism (MIU),
was held on 12-13 December 2005 in
Beer-Sheva with the theme of
"Urban Renaissance in
4. The first day included 40 presentations in 14
information packed sessions that covered many
of the key issues facing urbanism in Israel.
6. A special focus was given to Beer-Sheva, the
hosting city, by examining its urban history,
discussing current challenges and presenting
the potential for renaissance in this biblical city.
7. Speakers included MIU board members;
8. …Dr. Yodan Rofe, Dror Gershon,
9. … Hillel Shocken,
10. …Tamir Ben Shachar and
11. … MIU chair Irit Solzi.
12. Guest speakers from the CNU (Congress for
New Urbanism) and CEU (Council for
European Urbanism) provided the conference
an important international perspective.
13. Neal Payton Principal at Torti Gallas and
14. ... and Dhiru Thadani from Ayers Saint Gross
and a CNU board member
15. ... brought not only their vast experience as
planners but also their understanding of the
challenges facing a fledgling organization such
as the MIU.
16. Harald Kegler an urban planner and a CEU
board member from Germany added
insights regarding the localization of
urbanism to the specific needs of a region.
17. These honored guests brought examples of
urban renaissance from around the world
and excited the conference participants with
their visions regarding different urban
18. Neal – using the break to make some last minute changes
to his presentation
19. Thirty additional speakers presented on the
first day of the conference: Prof. Naomi
Carmon from the Technion, Dr. Raseem
Hamaisi from Haifa University, Prof. Yoram
Shiftan from the Technion, Benny Shalita
from NTA, Amiti Har-Lev from Mekomot and
Prof. Yehuda Grados from Ben Gurion
20. 350 participants from all over Israel arrived
for the first day of the conference.
21. They packed the main auditorium for the
22. … and filled the breakout sessions to capacity.
23. Leaving “standing room only” (actually –
sitting on the floor).
24. Participants included; political leaders,
developers, business leaders, city planners,
architects, traffic engineers, sociologists,
historians, economists, political scientists
and other urban professions, NGOs and
citizens who are concerned about the future
of their towns and neighborhoods.
25. Mr. Jacob Turner, Mayor of Beer-Sheva
26. Mr. Tzvi Wiseler, Chair of Neighborhood
Councils Forum of Beer-Sheva
27. The outgoing City Planner of Beer-Sheva
28. The incoming City Planner of Beer-Sheva
29. The future of planning in Israel was
represented by 90 architecture and planning
students from the Universities of Haifa, Tel-
Aviv, Ariel, Jerusalem and Beer-Sheva.
30. Local events accompanied the conference:
students from schools in Beer-Sheva drew
the city and their dream city…
31. … these drawings adorned the entrance to
the conference center.
32. Local ethnic groups sang
33. …and danced
34. … and provided lunch.
35. Heated discussions on Israeli Urbanism spilled
over to the breaks between the sessions.
36. The cocktail party was just one more opportunity
to make your point regarding Israeli Urbanism…
37. The most important event was the planning
workshop - Charrette, which took place on
the second day of the conference.
38. Residents, architects, planners and the
guests from overseas participated.
39. These planning workshops culminated an effort
that spanned the months prior to the conference.
40. Local residents and planners from all
over the country exercised participatory
planning and by doing so, learned about
the promise and challenges of such a
process, which is relatively new to Israel.
41. Three projects in the older and more neglected
neighborhoods of the city center were chosen.
42. During this final day of the conference, the
vision, objectives, planning options, time
table and actions needed to make progress
with these three projects were detailed.
43. Sponsors of the Conference
44. MIU Beer-Sheva