The Urban Innovation and Sustainability Laboratory

The Urban Innovation and Sustainability Laboratory, at the Department of Environmental Studies, Porter School of Environmental and Earth Sciences, conducts research and advances knowledge of urban sustainability, resilience, quality of life and sustainable development. 

Facilitate collaborations between students, researchers, municipalities, businesses, organizations, entrepreneurs and residents, develop and promote public actions for innovation and sustainability, conduct research and teaching in order to generate knowledge and tools for the use of local governments, decision makers, planners, civil society organizations, individuals and communities.

Climate change mitigation and adaptation - municipal strategies, policies and initiatives for promoting sustainability through innovation. Practical actions to increase urban resilience to climate change and to turn challenges into opportunities to improve the quality of life in cities. 
Innovation at the service of urban resilience - smart cities, resource management and environmental assessments at the municipal level, maintaining sustainable growth, facilitating innovative industry, municipality and communities synergy to implement sustainable practices and solutions. 

Sustainability at your doorstep - transition to sustainable and smart urban communities, sustainable quality of life through personal initiatives and lifestyle.


Research and Study 

Joint research across academic institutions

Urban sustainability seminar (4 credits). Students admitted to the seminar participate in research and laboratory collaborations

Masters studies - the laboratory is a framework for students who choose to focus on issues of innovation and urban sustainability.

Internship Program with Forum 15 organization of municipalities  - An internship program in participating municipalities 

PlanNet Zero Climate initiative - PlanNet Zero is Tel Aviv University's Climate Crisis Initiative to tackle the climate crisis. The aim of the Initiative is to serve as a comprehensive, multidisciplinary think tank, bringing together dozens of researchers from units across campus – together with private, industry and government partners – for candid discussions and novel collaborations.

The SME4SMARTCITIES action research project - Mediterranean SMEs and municipalities working together to make cities smarter. Facilitating co-creation and collaboration between innovative small to medium sized businesses and local authorities in the Mediterranean Basin to promote sustainability and cope with climate change through innovative environmental and technological development in local authorities. 

The SME4SMARTCITIES project explores the needs and challenges of local authorities and their readiness to adopt innovative solutions. It facilitates methods for smart urban procurement to help accommodate innovative solutions and services. An open call for SMEs was launched to address the challenge of the growing urban heat island. For these purposes, the project was awarded a European Union grant. 

for more details, see SME4SMARTCITIES - Mediterranean SMEs and municipalities working together to make cities smarter

The laboratory is led by Dr. Orli Ronen. Dr. Ronen founded the Heschel Center's Local Sustainability Center, a joint project with the Porter School, the Ministry of the Environment and ICLEI. In 2015, Dr. Ronen drafted the Tel Aviv Yafo Declaration on Civic Engagement and Smart Cities, which is part of the Habitat III New Urban Agend. She is also drafting Israel's National Report to Habitat III. Orli holds a PhD in Urban Planning from Tel Aviv University and a Master's Degree in Public Administration as well as a Master's in Business Administration. She is the 2009 recipient of the Green Globe for Local Sustainability.

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