city diplomacy

Since the fall of communism, nations around the globe have worked not only to distinguish themselves, but to market themselves as well. Now cities are the new nation-states, and competition for markets and dollars is fiercer than ever. Urban centres face enormous opportunity – and pressure – to sell what makes them unique.

Cities in Fukushima prefecture struggle to cope with the stigma of becoming as synonymous with nuclear crisis as Chernobyl. Even areas that have lower radiation readings than many of the world’s major cities, are finding everything from their goods to their tourist spots — and even their people — shunned.

Seven years later, Jankowski’s vision of a collaborative cultural exchange between the sister cities is finally about to become a reality, as the Jakarta-Berlin Arts Festival kicks off in Germany on Saturday.

Washington, D.C. and Rome make what could be described as a historic “power couple.” Throughout world history, some of the most significant events have happened in these two cities. Moreover, both capitols are beacons of culture and diplomacy for their respective nations.

The international sister city movement was established by President Eisenhower in 1950s to promote the idea of citizen diplomacy. Citizen diplomacy is the concept of bringing people together outside of traditional bureaucratic diplomacy to build positive and productive relationships amongst citizens of the world.

Tunisia and Ishinomaki, one of the hardest hit towns, have over the past two decades developed a strong bond, albeit an unusual one in being between a country and a small town. Ishinomaki has named three streets after Tunisia, and as one Japanese blogger put it, the relationship is like "true love between lovers hailing from different classes."

Tel Aviv Municipality's stand at Europe's largest gay pride parade, set to take place in Berlin in June, won't include any Israeli symbols or markers in an attempt to blur the connection between the city and the state – a problematic brand to market, especially these days.

The basis for a majority of city websites is to disburse information to citizens in a timely matter. Though information distribution is the foundation behind implementing a city website, the design can in some cases, have as much impact as the information itself.