We’ve described before (here and here) our efforts of bringing deliberative and participatory democracy methods to solve everyday problems in Jerusalem’s Gilo neighborhood, thanks to the assistance of the UJA-Federation of New York. Recently, we’ve been helping to lead a new process of community initiatives, concentrating on two streets – Tirosh and Odem. This is done, of course, through our partner in Gilo, Gilo Community Council.
What? Only two streets? Bear in mind that Gilo is a huge neighborhood, both geographically and demographically (some 30,000 residents). Thus, Tirosh and Odem streets comprise more than 2,000 residents, according to the Jerusalem Institute of Israel Studies.
We held our first meeting on January 29, 2014, with about 30 residents, which raised initial concerns and issues that the residents sought to solve. Two weeks after that a number of residents toured the neighborhood together with the city planner assigned to southern Jerusalem, to go over the complaints and issues that were raised in the meeting.
On March 9 a second meeting was held, encouraging residents to take the lead in solving problems that are important to them. Seven initiatives were born at this meeting; a follow-up meeting to see how they are progressing is scheduled for next week, May 19. The initiatives included:
- Creating a recycling / composting center on the street;
- Safety of pupils going to school;
- Improving the public garden on Tirosh St.
- Sanitation on the street;
- Deal with issues of traffic and road safety;
- Cultivating greenery and plants in the neighborhood;
- Improving signage on Odem and Tirosh Streets.
Stay tuned for more updates!