Urban Regeneration In TLV – Jerusalem Boulevard

Tel-Aviv Case Study: Colu supports 100 small businesses hurt by road construction

1. The Challenge

Jaffa is an ancient port city that is now a southern borough of Tel Aviv, Israel’s largest city. It is characterized by a rich mosaic of population groups who come from diverse and unique ethnic and cultural backgrounds. A key component of this mosaic is Jaffa’s mixed Jewish-Arab population.


Despite the significant economic improvement of this area in recent years, Jaffa is ranked at the bottom of Tel Aviv’s socio-economic index, below the city center and northern neighbourhoods, located a few miles away.

Recently, as a light-rail construction began on Jaffa’s high street, small businesses located in that area experienced a significant reduction in footfall as a result of closure to private cars, rerouting public transportation and limited connectivity for pedestrians.

With the crisis reaching a rate of five stores closing each week, and the construction expected to last for three more years, business owners and other community members went out to the streets in protest, demanding a solution.

2. Colu’s Initiative

Colu partnered with Tel-Aviv Municipality and several other anchor institutions such as the Tel Aviv Foundation, a major non profit organization, to launch an initiative that will support the local businesses located along Jr. Blvd., Jaffa’s high street.

The campaign improved the awareness in Tel-Aviv for the Green Label Initiative and drove 50k USD to the business with 2,600 transactions in one month.

The initiative goals were to boost the local economy in the area by increasing customer footfall to local businesses and to strengthen collaboration and sense of community among residents, small businesses and city institutions. 

While tackled in the context of Jr. Blvd “crisis”, these goals are aligned more broadly with Tel Aviv’s strategic plan to boost street commerce with a focus on local businesses that preserve the ‘spirit of place’ and to develop means to ensure that the fruits of economic activity will trickle down to all population groups.

3. Methodology

There were three building blocks to the initiative:

A. Creating awareness and engagement with residents

Colu communicated the story of the local merchants to thousands of current and potential users through its mobile app, out-of-app social channels as well as traditional offline channels such as billboards. 

B. Engaging with local businesses and onboarding them to the platform

In order to allow them to benefit from the financial assistance aspect of the campaign.

C. Devising a reward scheme to drive convergence to action

Colu offered a 30% cashback as a benefit for every purchase will be performed in the app’s local digital Tel Aviv Coin, thereby creating a strong incentive for residents to visit the Jr. Blvd and shift some of their shopping habits to the neighborhood. The rewards budget of 150,000 USD was funded by Tel Aviv Municipality.

4. The Impact

Read more in Cities Today!

January 1st, 2020