This year, Gothenburg city and Nelson Mandela Bay municipality celebrates 20 years of partnership. It is one of the longest partnerships within ICLD and together the partners have carried out more than 10 different projects, mainly linked to sustainable urban planning and urban development.
In both Nelson Mandela Bay municipality and Gothenburg, many people care deeply about their cities. All of those involved in the partnership have been inspired and driven by one common goal: to ensure that more people can enjoy a better quality of life in their cities! Both project leaders Staffan Claesson and Dawn McCarthy agree that there are many benefits of having a longterm partnership:
"With each successive project you can dig deeper, get better understanding for each others cities and you can start working on a higher level of complexity", says Dawn McCarthy.
"For the city of Gothenburg, this partnership is a eyeopener and brings up a lot of new perspectives and complex situations for us to deal with", says Staffan Claesson.
Since the beginning, the partnership has evolved and developed to the point where it can showcase success particularly in the areas of strategic focus and project identification, partnership management, project team arrangements, and dissemination. Among other things, the partners have developed a “toolbox” for local authorities to better implement policy and strategy.
Apart from the value of the project to the cities over the 20 years of partnership, there have been a number of "spin-offs" that have further cemented the relationship between the two cities. this in addition to the important creation of longstanding personal and professional contacts between municipal officials, politicians, individuals and businesses in both countries. Read more in the booklet"20 years of partnership"
The benefits of their longterm partnership are clear especially since all partnerships are built on trust and mutual understanding, which is created over time. For the future, we hope the cities are committed to ensuring that the momentum of the partnership continues and that the work done continues to evolve and produce even better quality results for both cities.