The cities of Pittsburgh and Dortmund, Germany are partner participants in the International Urban and Regional Cooperation Program. The partnership involves developing localized policy based on gathering and sharing information with one another as part of the Sustainable Agriculture: Food Systems, Urban Gardens cluster.
“Partnering once again with Dortmund will allow us to share and identify sustainable, long-term solutions to urban challenges,” Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto said in a press release. “We have a lot to share and a lot to learn for addressing the resilience of local food systems.”
The two-year IURC Program allows cities to work together and share information about municipal policies, programs, and initiatives relating to sustainable food systems.
“Almost all issues involving equity and sustainability are happening globally, but are most effectively handled through policy and programs made on the local, grassroots municipal level,” Peduto said.
The overall goal of the program is to develop partnership between European and non-European cities in order to improve and implement European cities’ practices of sustainable urban developments, according to Eurocities. Pittsburgh and Dortmund’s partnership provided by the Sister Cities Association of Pittsburgh will allow access to other similar cities and organizations with goals to develop urban agricultural solutions.
This is not the first time Pittsburgh and Dortmund have worked with each other. The two cities have previously worked with one another on climate, sustainability, and resilience exchanges.
Pittsburgh’s work in urban agriculture and food systems includes the Pittsburgh Food Policy Council and adopting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals on Zero Hunger, according to a press release.
According to the IURC’s website, numerous other cities in North America have paired with European cities in the program including San Diego and Strasbourg, France; Baltimore and Turin, Italy; and Ottawa, Canada, and Malmo, Sweden.
Pittsburgh and Dortmund’s cooperation was made possible through SCAP, a local organization that develops, maintains, and expands current and future Sister City relationships to bring cities together to discuss and resolve global issues pertaining to the region’s economic, educational and cultural sectors.