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About the Institute

The Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research, which was established in 1978, is a leading and influential research and thought institute that issues from Jerusalem a sustainable social, economic, and spatial doctrine. The Institute is where reality shapers turn to in order to promote and define policy issues in Israel in general and in Jerusalem in particular. The Institute’s activities and researches help institutions and bodies to shape and implement innovative and effective policy and bring Jerusalem, with all its various components to the world—and the world to Jerusalem. Jerusalem is a source of inspiration for the Institute, a research field, a laboratory, and a space of influence. Developing the city for the benefit of its residents, lovers, and believers, strengthening its global standing and leveraging it—all these head the Institute’s agenda. The Institute’s activities set forth from Jerusalem into broader circles throughout Israel and the world and come back to it, contributing to the city and its residents.

The Institute’s mission

The Institute’s mission is to influence policy design, decision making processes, planning processes, and strategy. The primary target audiences that the Institute works with to realize this mission are decision and policy makers on the local and national level, civil society organizations, the private sector, and the general public that is interested in urban planning, public policy, and human geography. The Institute produces in-depth, informed products that enable these audiences to form their positions and activities in a rational manner, based on understanding broad contexts and implications.

The Institute and its employees: How we go about realizing our mission

We at The Institute manage databases, initiate and conduct research and training, hold events and study days, consolidate policy papers and make them accessible, and generate a public discourse. Our researchers work closely with our clients and partners out of an understanding and familiarity with their needs. The researchers identify and develop social, economic, spatial, and environmental models and leverage them for the benefit of defined target audiences and Jerusalem.

The Jerusalem Institute: Our areas of expertise

The Institute’s areas of expertise are urbanism & sustainability, economy & innovation, and society and populations, all of which are inter-related. The Institute promotes informed policy-shaping, decision making, and planning processes in these fields in the Jerusalem, Israel, and global arenas.

Promoting urbanism & sustainability:

Fifty-four percent of the global population lives in cities and this number is constantly rising. In Israel, 90% of the population already resides in cities. The world-wide trend of urbanization is unequivocal, which gives cities and urban spaces a critical role in the functioning of national and global economies. Urban space has a dramatic effect on environmental and social issues, quality of life, and power relations in space. Urbanism and sustainability are strategic holistic approaches that combine social, economic, and spatial aspects and provide principles for laying out policy. The implementation of these approaches is manifested at the local/municipal level and at the regional/national level, and all the Institute’s areas of expertise are relevant for promoting them, with a significant potential for contributing to Jerusalem, Israel, and the world. Projects in this area include, for example, the Urban Sustainability Project, environmental policy and policy tools, the Sharon Authorities Sustainable Transportation Project, the Administrative City, and Shared Spaces.

Society and populations research:

The Institute has a great deal of experience in identifying and understanding the characteristics of distinct populations, in evaluating the effect of policy decisions on these populations and in developing policy tools to promote and integrate them in the urban and social fabric. Examples include the work that has been conducted on the research of the ultra-orthodox society, which has helped create the higher education tracks for this population; the research of East Jerusalem society, which serves decision makers in the government and the municipality regarding the social and economic development of this population. Other populations that have been and continue to be researched by the Institute include those ‘returning to God’ (‘baalei teshuva’) and those leaving Him, the third age population, Arab Israelis, and others.

Economy & innovation:

In the age of information, technological and business innovation and economic development go hand in hand. Decisions about the location of firms and businesses are affected by quality-of-life considerations and accessibility to information and not only to markets and raw materials; also, academic and research institutions have become important economic players. The role of the public sector in economic development has changed, as has the array of partnerships between sectors. In this reality of competition over numerous and complex information resources for the purpose of forming and implementing policy, it is important to develop innovative tools of thinking. Administrative and financial innovation create business models, partnerships, and support systems that make economic development and its products accessible to a variety of locations, communities, and population. Thus, for instance, the Institute is consulting on the establishment of a community bank for excluded populations in Israel, on constructing a platform for international funding of development, and on creating joint projects between California and Israel in the field of innovation.