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Who are we? – Vision, targets and goals

MERCHAV – The Movement for Israeli Urbanism (R"A), was established in 2004 with the aim of changing the built urban environment in Israel, and providing a forum to promote the ideas of "New Urbanism".

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MERCHAV promotes the understanding and importance of urbanism in Israel, to improve regional planning, and advocate for smart growth. About 93% of Israeli residents live in urban settlements. The impact of the urban environment on our quality of life therefore affects most of the Israeli population. Most of the cities in Israel are planned and built so that residents have limited economic, social and cultural opportunities. Their potential as individuals or as a community is not being realized.

MERCHAV works in parallel with similar organizations around the world, and is considered to be one of principal organizations promoting environmental quality and the protection of open space in Israel. MERCHAV focuses solely on the built urban environment. MERCHAV activists are urban-planners, economists, architects, entrepreneurs, landscape architects, academics, community workers, transport planners, environmentalists, sociologists, attorneys, appraisers, public workers, and non-professionals. All who love urbanism and believe that the city is an essential concept for social and economic development, will find in MERCHAV fertile ground to collaborate, and promote their urban agenda.


An urban living environment which will provide a variety of opportunities of employment, housing, leisure, education and services within a walking distance; creating a balance between uses; sustainable renewal to reduce social and economic gaps will be promoted; a sense of belonging, identity and involvement will be promoted; conducted with transparency, containment and trust.



The MERCHAV Association will promote an urban living environment as a quality, diverse, accessible, fair and empowering space, which places the person in the center while taking into account the environment and the living necessities of future generations.


Modes of action

The MERCHAV Association has several avenues for activism:

1\ Making knowledge of planning, urban economics, legal structures, and community engagement tools accessible.

2\ Influencing public officials, decision makers and professionals.

3\ Impacting the public discourse, attitudes, regulation and planning processes.

The Team >