Tel Aviv Named World's Second 'Most Innovative City' in Wall Street Journal Poll

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Tel Aviv can boast of more than just a beach. The city is also a hub of innovation.Credit: Ofer Vaknin

Tel Aviv was ranked the world's second "Most Innovative City" in an Internet poll sponsored by the marketing department of the Wall Street Journal.

First place went to the Colombian city Medellin, while third place went to New York City. To reach the final three, these cities beat out 22 other cities including London, Copenhagen, Berlin, Chicago, Singapore, Hong Kong, Sao Paolo, Vienna and Toronto.

More than 980,000 Internet users participated in the poll, conducted by the Washington D.C.-based research institution The Urban Land Institute and financed by financial services giant Citi. ULI provides advice and services on issues such as sustainability, urban development and real estate projects. The competition results were determined by both by the nonprofit institute's judges and Internet users, with the results of each given equal weight. Every online participant in the poll was able to vote once a day from mid-October until the end of December, when the poll was closed.

The Tel Aviv municipality made an effort to promote its bid for "Most Innovative City." Among other things, the municipality publicized information about the poll on its website and asked visitors to the website and its social media followers to vote for it. While still in the early stage of the competition, even Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was enlisted to support Tel Aviv's effort and called on his Facebook page for people to vote for the city in the competition.

The city welcomed its second-place result. In an announcement issued by city hall, Mayor Ron Huldai said that Tel Aviv was a leader in innovative thinking and that in recent years it had solidified its position as one the biggest centers of technological innovation in the world.

"Alongside the city's being home to many diverse technological ventures, the municipality is investing great effort in cultivating entrepreneurialism and innovation," said Huldai. "Already today we are seeing the clear results in the economic blossoming [of the city] and the growth in investments flowing into the city."

Tel Aviv has won a whole slew of international titles in recent years. A New York Times writer crowned Tel Aviv the "capital of cool" in the Mediterranean region. Forbes determined that Tel Aviv is one of the fastest growing cities in the world. National Geographic ranked Tel Aviv as one of the world's 10 best beach cities in the world. The apartment subletting website Airbnb put Tel Aviv in second place on its list of chosen travel spots. Last but not least, the website GayCities crowned Tel Aviv the best gay tourism spot in the world.

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