Seminars on Urban Sustainability

The Center holds regular seminars mainly in Hebrew on urban environmental and sustainability from a multidisciplinary perspective, and lecturers from different fields.

Registration for future seminars can be completed through the link bellow.  Past seminars can be viewed through the links supplied after each lecture.

Trust in the Planning Process | Dr. Orr Karassin & Dr. Shula Goulden's lecture

The seminar was held on 15.2.2024. The lecture delivered by Dr. Orr Karassin, the center Chair and Dr. Shula Goulden, senior research fellow at the Center, on the subject:

"How good it is that you came back home?

Satisfaction with the place of residence: predictive factors and the importance of environmental aspects"

In preparation for the upcoming elections for the local authorities, we will present a new study that deals with the factors that affect residents' satisfaction with their place of residence. Examining the factors related to the individual's perception of the quality of the place of residence provides an essential point of view for managers in the local government in setting priorities in providing services, improving planning and construction processes, as well as setting priorities in state support.

The study is based on two identical statistical models, and on an extensive representative sample of over 7000 people for the years 2014 and 2021. The model included four groups of variables in different categories: the quality of community and neighborhood relations; environmental quality; the quality of the transportation infrastructure; and personal security. Each of the groups separately, and all of them together predict the dependent variable - satisfaction with the place of residence. The study examines not only the attitude of individuals, but also the differences between different population groups, including religious, secular and Arab Jews.

The research findings provide many insights. First of all, that of all the variables examined, certain environmental aspects (open spaces and cleanliness) are the most influential factors in shaping satisfaction with the place of residence. A second striking finding refers to the size of the settlement, and shows that the chance of a resident living in a small settlement to be satisfied with his area of residence is twice that of a resident living in a medium or large settlement. A third finding (but not the last) indicates that the degree of satisfaction with the nearest neighbors is a very significant factor in the chance of being satisfied with the place of residence, this is in contrast to community diversity, which is almost unrelated to satisfaction.

The researchers will present all the findings in detail and discuss the implications and conclusions that can be drawn from them for the local and state government, with reference to the entire population and with reference to the specified population groups.

For more details

      Download Invitation >>

      Watch seminar 5 recording >>

Walkable Cities | Dr. Yodan Rofe's lecture

The seminar was held on 22.1.2024, the lecture delivered by Dr. Yodan Rofe, Senior Lecturer for Urban Planning and Design at Ben Gurion University of the Negev, was delivered, on the subject:

"Walkable Cities"

The transformation of the transportation pyramid that has recently begun at the Ministry of Transportation and among a large number of local authorities places pedestrians at the top of the list of priorities. To implement this, concrete planning and implementation tools are required. The work presented in this lecture presents practical principles and tools for walkable cities in Israel. It was made for the Ayalon routes company that operates in existing urban spaces on a variety of advanced projects that promote sustainable transportation.

According to processes taking place in the world today, the city of the future in the 21st century will be primarily a pedestrian city. When the additional means of transportation will allow movement over longer distances. The city will be planned so that its main public space - i.e. the network of streets - will be comfortable, interesting, pleasant and safe for walking. Therefore, the transportation and urban planning should be aimed at a walkable city.

Collaborators: Dr. Yoav Lerman, planner Lior Steinberg and planner Adir Cohen.

For more details:

     Download Invitation >>

      Watch seminar 4 recording >>

Trust in the Planning Process | Dr. Benny Furst's lecture

The seminar was held on 4.12.2023, the lecture delivered by Dr. Benny Furst, a senior research fellow at the Center, was delivered, on the subject:

"No one is trusted - can and how can public trust in the planning system be strengthened?"

One of the main challenges faced by Israel's planning institutions in the last decade is the rise in the number of public objections to construction and development projects. A main driving force for this is the lack of trust in the governmental planning process.

This situation in which the public's trust in the planning establishment is getting weaker produces a phenomenon known as "democracy deficit" as part of this process the individual and the community lose their faith in their ability to influence their lives, and a strong emotional resistance arises and an aggressive discourse is born hindering development.

The lecture presents the findings of an empirical study that analyzes the problem and offered a new applied mechanism that can improve public participation processes in planning. The goal is to create a cultural change in planning processes, which it would promote and further trust in institutions in post-war Israel.

For more details

      Download invitation >>

      Watch seminar 3 recording >>

Environmental Behaviors and Attitudes | Dr. Shula Goulden's lecture

On November 6, 2023, Dr. Shula Goulden, a senior research fellow delivered a lecture, on the subject:

"The climate crisis and the role of the public: a multidisciplinary view of behavior and mobilization in routine and emergency moments"

The climate crisis, which exposes countries, communities and individuals to a variety of risks and challenges, requires action on several levels. Is it possible to learn and draw conclusions from the mobilization of the public to act in response to security emergencies, such as the one in which Israel finds itself these days, in relation to what can and should be expected from the public in extreme climatic situations?

After decades of scientific, political and economic efforts to understand and develop solutions to man-made climate changes, to the question "What should I do about the climate crisis?" There is no clear answer. There are few areas in which there is a mandatory policy for changes at the individual level, and most initiatives still rely on voluntary actions related to lifestyle choices (for example in the areas of transportation, energy consumption, food, etc.). These require a commitment that on the face of it is almost unattainable among many. Therefore, the question arises, what is possible and what should citizens be expected to do in response to climate change? And what will ultimately be their contribution in dealing with the crisis?

The scientific literature offers a variety of answers to these questions, reflecting different disciplinary positions. In this lecture we will review different approaches and studies to try to expand the canvas regarding personal decisions and behavior in the context of the climate crisis. We will examine theories and data regarding the motivations for behavioral change and other courses of action, their impact, and the politics and ethics of placing responsibility for behavioral change on the public.

For more details

      Download invitation >>

      Watch seminar 2 recording >>

Mathematical and Statistical Methods in Environmental Studies | Prof. Ofer Levi

On May 8, 2023, Prof. Ofer Levi from the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at the Open University delivered a lecture on the subject:

"Incorporating advanced mathematical and statistical methods in studies in the field of environment and sustainability"

The first seminar of the Environment and Sustainability Research Center was given by Prof. Ofer Levi on May 8, 2023, a senior research fellow, on the subject:

"Incorporating advanced mathematical and statistical methods in studies in the field of environment and sustainability"

The effective analysis of data and the production of information from different types of raw data are both topics of great importance in almost every field and discipline today, especially given the breadth and quality of data available in the information age alongside the development of new imaging and measurement techniques. In many applied studies in the fields of environment and sustainability, photographs and various sensing tools are used to measure factors such as air pollution, noise, vegetation cover, heat maps, vehicle traffic and more. Integrating advanced and effective data analysis tools for these types of data can lead to breakthroughs and improved capabilities for monitoring and tackling environmental problems and challenges.

This lecture reviewed several studies from the fields of agriculture and biotechnology in which Prof. Levy participated, covering advanced computational and statistical tools that were developed and implemented to decipher various types of data. These included methods for analyzing multi-spectral satellite images to map soil according to nitrogen level and developing computational methods for deciphering the molecular composition of samples from magnetic resonance scan data for the purposes of testing raw materials for biofuels.

For more details

       For the event invitation >>