On April 26, the cities of Florence and Chicago signed an accord that makes them ‘sister cities,’ a partnership to further economic development, education, art, culture and more in both municipalities. The agreement came about through a program called Chicago Sister Cities, aimed at developing international partnerships.
Florence mayor Matteo Renzi sealed the deal with Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley at the Chicago cultural centre while Renzi was in Chicago to participate in the Richard J. Daley Global Cities Forum, along with 40 other mayors from around the world.
At the forum, titled ‘New Partnerships for a New Economy: Driving Innovation in Cities,’ the mayors discussed the future of their cities and the challenges of infrastructure, schools, libraries, ‘green’ buildings, safety and urban renewal.
Renzi presented three of Florence’s recent urban renewal projects to his international counterparts: the pedestrian-only Piazza Duomo; the late-night hours of the Oblate Library; the city’s latest contemporary art project, Le Murate; and the extended hours at Palazzo Vecchio (open until midnight), which began on May 2.
‘These agreements represent the beginning of what I hope to be a long and meaningful relationship between our cities,’ said Daley, after signing the sister city pact with Florence.
Along with Florence, Chicago’s other new ‘sisters’ are Glasgow, Scotland and Quebec City, Canada.