International Case Studies of Smart Cities - Tel Aviv, Israel

Authors: Eran Toch and Eyal Feder 

Date of publish: June 2016

Why did we select this research?

Tel-Aviv's initiative DigiTel launched five years ago has been worldwide acknowledged as a turning point for smart cities. Many preach that this huge success is due to Tel Aviv's bottom-up approach to building and constantly improving the city: getting its citizens to be an asset of the city, and to take ownership and take part by engaging. The paper navigates through the main steps that the city has taken in order to be a leading smart city nowadays.

Key findings:

  • Unique approach: focus on residents instead of physical infrastructure.
  • Close collaboration with start-ups (After Silicon Valley, Tel Aviv has the highest concentration rate of start-ups per citizen) and the private sector, which allow them to receive continuous feedback.
  • Its success might be due to the fact that projects started at the small scale, by implementing specific plans with the trust of all stakeholders involved.
  • One of the most pressing challenges for the city though, follows from the previous point: lack of integration among projects. 


Toch, E., & Feder, E. (2016). International Case Studies of Smart Cities: Tel Aviv, Israel. Inter-American Development Bank.