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Tel-Aviv will host a Thematic Meeting as part of the Habitat III preparatory process which will result in concrete points of discussion incorporating unique perspectives on urban challenges.

The city of Tel-Aviv grapples with a variety of challenges, and has formulated innovative solutions to many of them. Challenges the city faces include population growth, absorbing migrant populations, building sustainable infrastructure, encouraging active civic participation and ensuring that all sectors of society benefit from the city's thriving high-tech industry, among other issues.

The Thematic Meeting will then discuss such issues at the global level in preparation for Habitat III that ensures to address them in Quito, in October 2016. Tel-Aviv’s Smart City initiatives prioritize civic engagement and public participation. The city has been recognized for its unique approach to open data, transparency, citizen engagement and collaboration among public, private and third sector organizations.

In this regard, the theme of Civic Engagement linking to the smart cities has been proposed for the meeting. Today cities attempting to incorporate technology into civic administration are at a crossroads – they can choose to implement technology which will merely streamline urban administration but not give a voice to their citizens, or they can choose to use technology to advance the values of democracy, engagement and inclusiveness.

Tel-Aviv is committed to open, transparent government and to an engaged citizenry, and to using technology to promote these values. Discussions are expected to center on the challenges and opportunities posed by information and communication technologies for cities, and to result in the formulation of appropriate guidelines for the implementation of smart technologies in the urban sphere.

Proposed Theme: Civic Engagement and Public Participation