On April 8, an online meeting of the municipalities of Birmingham (USA) and sister cities from Ukraine, including Vinnytsia, was held. Our city was represented by Mayor Serhii Morhunov and his Deputy Andrii Ocheretnyi.
During the online meeting, topical issues of cooperation were discussed. Andrii Ocheretnyi presented the projects that are actively implemented in the community, namely the development of the infrastructure of industrial parks, the launch of the reconstruction of Crystal Technology Park premises, as well as the reconstruction of the premises in 89, Soborna St. to accommodate a tourist hub, etc.
"... In this difficult time it is very important not to stop communication with partners, and the city of Birmingham is our true friend and partner. Since 2014, Birmingham community has been regularly collecting humanitarian aid for Vinnytsia hospitals. Since 2008, it has been accepting Vinnytsia residents into its families under the Open World program. Thanks to Corlette Stuart Burns's initiative, Executive Director of Birmingham Sister Cities Commission, we are developing a joint annual action plan for strategic partnership between our cities and are confident that implementing this plan will benefit our communities," Olena Orlenko, Deputy Director of the municipal enterprise Institute for Urban Development, said.
During the meeting, almost 50 proposals in various areas and activities for cooperation between the cities were suggested. They were received from different departments of Vinnytsia City Council, including the Department of Economy and Investments, the Department of Healthcare, the Department of Education, the Department of City Marketing and Tourism, the Public Association CSO Network City of Contents and the municipal enterprise Institute for Urban Development. They concerned, in particular, the involvement of Birmingham experts in the dissemination of experience and best practices, joint trainings and the organization of events. Following the meeting, it was agreed to continue cooperation in economic and cultural areas, exchange experience on functioning of local self-government, etc.
"...Under usual circumstances, we would definitely meet in person, but unfortunately, due to COVID 19 pandemic, we have to adapt to other conditions. It was the reason for today's event. In these challenging times, we need to think about networking, building dialogue, hearing the thoughts of our sister cities on how to strengthen our relationship, and move forward, adapting to a rapidly changing world. Our cities must learn from each other. It is the main message of today's event. Please take this valuable opportunity to learn, build bridges, and make relationships and new friends. We are starting to change right now and only together ..." Mayor of Birmingham Randall Woodfin said.
Vinnytsia has been establishing relations with cities around the world for almost 12 years. Currently, there are 7 sister cities in Vinnytsia. All of them are located in different countries, between which there are constant friendly relations for mutual acquaintance with life, history and culture. All this is to achieve better mutual understanding, strengthen cooperation and friendship between people of different countries, as well as to share the experience in solving similar problems facing the city authorities and organizations.
More about Birmingham and the City of Birmingham Government - a sister city of Vinnytsia - https://bit.ly/3qvcKPw.