Forum 15 – The Israeli Forum of Self-Government Cities
Forum 15 is an association of Israel’s fifteen self-government cities, whose municipalities are fiscally autonomous and not dependent on national balancing or development grants.
The forum represents most of Israel's major cities, including the metropolitan centers of Haifa, Tel Aviv and Beer Sheva. These cities are home to over 3 million people and most of Israel’s public institutions, including academic centers, cultural institutions, advanced industry and high technology centers, medical facilities, etc. Thus, the population served by the cities of the forum every day amounts to more than 80% of Israel’s population.
Forum 15’s goal is to empower major cities, and provide them with greater managerial autonomy. To further this goal, Forum 15 acts to reorganize the relations between national and local governments in Israel. In addition, Forum 15 encourages urban initiatives and cooperation between municipalities, reinforcing urban services.
Forum 15 aims to lay the groundwork enabling Israel’s major cities to become high-quality, advanced cities: possessing quality public spaces; lively, vibrant streets; excellent social services; an efficient, convenient and rapid transit system; high standards of education; housing possibilities; leisure and entertainment facilities; diverse communities and cultures; innovation and renewal capabilities; a healthful, high-quality environment; and more.
The extent of Israel's population served by the Forum's cities, as well as their national standing, place them in the forefront of Israel’s national challenges. Among these challenges are economic development and employment, R&D, health, education, culture, transportation, environment, sanitation, infrastructure and urban planning. In the face of these challenges and straits, and despite the lack of national funding, Forum 15’s cities have become in recent years an island of stability and success in the local arena.