city diplomacy

Esri, the global leader in spatial analytics, announced today that Smart Dubai, the government agency leading Dubai's smart city transformation, has signed an enterprise agreement (EA) providing ArcGIS technology to 44 entities across the government. The EA will be used by Smart Dubai for its smart city platform, called Dubai Pulse, to integrate and map data for better decision-making.

Empire State Building

Nicholas Cull discusses the growing role of city diplomacy and the emergence of the global city.

Cities are the primary building block of organized human existence. The concept of civilization – as its etymology suggests – rests on the phenomenon of the city and its distinctiveness from life lived beyond its walls. There has always been a powerful identification between a city and an individual inhabitant. It is the oldest bond in organized politics and hence appropriate that the term “citizen” should have been shared with the larger scale polities as they have emerged.

In postwar France, two men had a bold, even utopian idea: a peace-loving network of ‘world cities’. [...] The symbol of the global city remains an effective one. As the idea of globalisation falters and tensions between nations ratchet up once more, is the world ready to revisit the older idea of global cities?

The relationships between San Antonio and its international counterparts go far beyond ceremonial exchanges of trinkets and the signing of sister-cities proclamations. [...] San Antonio’s first sister city is Monterrey, Mexico — a relationship that predates the creation of Sister Cities International. Since then, the Alamo City has forged sister-city and friendship-city relationships with a dozen others in India, Japan, China, Taiwan and Spain. Tel Aviv, Israel and Darmstadt, Germany, are both “friendship cities.”

For the next 18 months, Bloomberg Philanthropies, in partnership with the World Health Organization and Vital Strategies, will be working with cities across the globe to tackle the different factors contributing to noncommunicable diseases. [...] The program will be very much city-driven; local governments will have leeway on what intervention to prioritize and work on. WHO and Vital Strategies, meanwhile, will provide assistance and help them make use of data to guide their decisions as well as in developing their work plans.

On June 22, 2018 the spotlight will fall on Newcastle and Gateshead – or NewcastleGateshead if you prefer – as it becomes the global showcase for the great contributions of the North of England in art and culture, design and innovation.

To their credit, some cities are also investing heavily in diplomacy. The most effective of them are mapping their civic and commercial assets to determine their comparative advantage. They are also charting out a global vision that is linked to local interests and capabilities. Early adopters of city diplomacy such as Chicago, London, Montreal, Rio de Janeiro, Singapore and Toronto are teaming up with think tanks and private entities to build political, economic, cultural and security ties overseas.

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