Mayor Nir Barkat shared his vision for the next five years, including plans to make Jerusalem a world-class cultural, medical and hi-tech destination.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat on Sunday unveiled his agenda for Israel’s capital, which he hopes to have in effect by the year 2020.
The five-year plan includes a 30-billion-shekel (approximately 8-billion-dollar) investment in the development of the city’s transportation infrastructure, an investment fund for entrepreneurs, a new high-tech industrial park, a campaign to boost employment and more.
The plans will be presented to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is expected to authorize the financing on Yom Yerushalayim, or Jerusalem Day, celebrating the anniversary of its reunification during the Six Day War. Yom Yerushalayim begins this year on Saturday night, lasting throughout Sunday.
“After we have set Jerusalem on the path of success and have retrieved the faith in the city, Israel’s capital is ready for the next stage in actualizing its vast potential so that it can stand proudly in the front line with the world’s leading capitals,” Barkat stated.
The mayor has enlisted international experts for the ambitious project, including former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Professor Michael Porter of the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness, based at Harvard Business School.
The plans underscore Jerusalem’s edge in the spheres of culture, biomedical sciences and technology.
“Jerusalem is a magnificent city in many aspects,” Porter stated. A city must develop its existing assets, and Jerusalem’s cultural and tourism industries are the city’s “key assets,” he said. “They are successful and must be upgraded to develop Jerusalem as a real international brand name to such an extent that people from around the world will not be able to resist.”
Barkat has also focused on Jerusalem’s hospitals and intends to establish a world center for fertility and genetics.
Cultural plans include a vast media complex that would house television and cinema studios in conjunction with Culver Studios.