Cities Connected in Friendship – Driving Forces for Local Development

Six panel discussions, six main themes and participants from a total of over 150 partner towns and cities in Germany and Israel: the Israel-Germany Sister Cities Mayors’ Conference brings together the main players in municipal politics and administration on a grand scale. The goal is clear: to give a concrete boost to relations between German and Israeli partner towns and cities. How can a suitable framework be created to this end? How can mutual prejudices be removed and interest in the respective partnerships be intensified, in particular at the level of decision-making? And above all: what is it that connects towns, cities and communities both here and there and what are people’s actual concerns to this end? Some important keywords here include multiculturalism and social diversity, green cities and the role of young players in the community. It is they in particular who will be shaping urban developments in the future, whether economic and political, social or cultural.

This is where the German Israeli Future Forum Foundation comes into play: by funding a series of discussions on “Strengthening Cities via Young People”, it seeks to set some important impulses as regards content and present itself as a partner in future developmental processes in the field. This encompasses both its invaluable experience in cooperating with project organisers and institutions in the two countries as well as its own role as a funding institution which supports projects primarily concerned with young professionals and opinion-makers. The conference itself is also about this very target group, with its conclusion being intended to mark the beginning of increased cooperation on concrete projects between young people in leadership positions from Israel and Germany. A corresponding agreement, which includes plans for a pilot project and initial talks in 2013, will be signed at the end of the conference.

The Israel-Germany Sister Cities Mayors’ Conference “Cities Connected in Friendship – Driving Forces for Local Development” is a conference organised by Union of Local Authorities taking place from November 11 to November 13, 2012. The participants are mayors and members of municipals administrations from 51 partner towns and cities in Germany and 110 partner towns and cities in Israel. Six panel discussions form the core of the conference, each of which take increased cooperation in different social fields as their theme, including culture, economics, multiculturalism and youth. These discussions are intended to create a framework for a city partnership pilot project involving young people in leadership positions in Germany and Israel.