The «Zurich International» newsletter brings you five to seven times yearly all the latest information from other cities and reports on how the various international relations which the City of Zurich maintains are developing
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Newsletter «Zurich International»

June 2019
The «Zurich International» newsletter brings you five to seven times yearly all the latest information from other cities and reports on how the various international relations which the City of Zurich maintains are developing. Please feel free to recommend the newsletter to your colleagues. 

SSLCC Closing Conference in Kunming
SSLCC Closing Conference in Kunming

The Zurich-Kunming city partnership celebrates its 37th anniversary this year. Over the past two years, the technical cooperation between the two cities has revolved around the SDC’s Sino-Swiss Low Carbon Cities (SSLCC) programme. Born out of the strategic partnership on climate change between China and Switzerland that was established in May 2013, the goal of the SSLCC is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Chinese cities and thus contribute to a more climate-friendly and sustainable process of urbanisation. The City of Kunming carried out two projects under the SSLCC umbrella. One was to draft an overarching development strategy with a time horizon up to 2050 that considers environmental and climate policy aspects of urbanisation alongside the usual planning and social aspects. The second project focused on piloting the construction and implementation of a low-CO2 city district in Kunming. The Guanshang district has a residential population of around 35,000 and borders on the northern edge of the former Wujiaba airport. Both projects sought to gain fresh insights in the field of innovative technologies, contribute to the capacity building of urban planners and stimulate political dialogue at all levels. The Chinese authorities in the cities were advised on the relevant planning, research and implementation steps based on the experience of the Zurich experts. With the SSLCC programme finishing at the end of 2019, the closing conference was held in Kunming on 22 May to allow results and findings from three cities to be presented.

Anna Schindler, Director Urban Developement Zurich

Zurich meets Seoul for the first time
Opening of the Swiss Embassy in Seoul

At the heart of a densely populated residential neighbourhood of the megacity Seoul and surrounded by high-rises, it is something of an oasis: Burckhardt+Partner’s new Swiss Embassy is the only building in the traditional style in this once historic district. Inspired by a traditional South Korean hanok, the two-storey courtyard building is made of wood, glass and concrete – shapes and materials that are intended to represent the bond between the two cultures. The opening ceremony on 17 May 2019 was attended by many prominent guests. Following a meeting with her South Korean counterpart Cho Hyun, Pascale Baeriswyl, the State Secretary of the FDFA, also attended the ceremony, as did Zurich’s Cantonal Councillor Ernst Stocker and his Basel colleague Conradin Cramer. And in the supporting programme for the event hosted by Ambassador Linus von Castelberg, the city of Zurich presented itself as a modern metropolis and party city: DJ Bit-Tuner kept the tunes spinning all evening – in the new embassy’s underground garage, proving it would make a great club venue. This provided a foretaste of the «Zürich meets Seoul» festival, which is set to take place in Seoul in late September/early October.

Anna Schindler, Director Urban Developement Zurich

European exchange on the subject of sans-papiers
C-MISE-Work Group

The Integration Office of the City of Zurich joined ten other cities in the European C-MISE project titled «City Initiative on Migrants with Irregular Status». Led by the University of Oxford, the project examined challenges and solutions that cities face in dealing with migrants without formal residence status (sans-papiers). The project was launched in 2017 and concluded in spring 2019 with the publication of a guidance document. This guidance manual addresses key areas such as healthcare, education, justice, housing, etc., showing measures that local authorities can take to ensure as efficiently as possible that sans-papiers have access to basic rights and services. One contribution by the City of Zurich, considered as good practice on the issue of governance, was the Position Paper published by the City Council in September 2018 (see Integration Office website). A video offering a summary in the form of excerpts from interviews was also produced and made available as part of the C-MISE project.

Christof Meier, Head of Integration Office Zurich

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Music School Conservatory Zurich in international educational exchange
The delegation of MKZ teachers, left Erich Zumstein, Director

Many international exchange opportunities exist for pupils, students, orchestras, bands, etc., but for teachers? Thanks to the Federal Government’s MOVETIA Foundation, this is indeed possible. This April, a delegation of 15 MKZ teachers paid a visit to the Espoo Music Institute (EMO) in Finland. The MKZ teachers were keen to observe lessons by their Nordic colleagues («job shadowing») and to build on the personal contacts established during the Finns’ first visit to Zurich in November 2018. The exchange project is scheduled to run for two years.

The visit also included presentations on the Finnish education system and talent development, plus pedagogical demonstration lessons followed by didactic/methodological discussions, as well as a recording session with student bands and many workshops in smaller mixed teacher groups. Topics included inner motivation, communication, nurturing aspiring music talents and amateurs, working for society, running the music school as a «business» and making a success of it.

EMO presented its musical creativity at evening concerts: Monday’s superb big-band concert was followed on Wednesday by a concert with a cross-section of the entire music school, from parent-child groups to young virtuoso instrumentalists, featuring many Finnish compositions as well as traditional Finnish instruments.

Rainer Fröhlich, Head of Corporate Communications, Music School Conservatory Zurich 

Zurich Youth Guitar Ensemble: Poland tour
The Zurich Youth Gittar Ensemble

In February of this year, the Zurich Youth Guitar Ensemble of the Music School Conservatory Zurich (MKZ) set off on another tour abroad. In recent years, the eight young guitarists and their leader Jens Stibal had already given concerts in Germany, Spain and Holland; this year took them to Krakow, Poland.

After three days of rehearsals and a bit of sightseeing, their first concert took place in a school about an hour from Krakow. It was a morning concert and lessons were cancelled to let the children attend. Besides Bizet’s Carmen Suite, the programme included works by Dyens, Piazzolla, Gershwin and Pujol. Following the performance, the pupils asked questions about the guitar and Switzerland, which the ensemble was happy to answer.

After a performance in Zakopane, the tour had its final engagement in Krakow. The last concert of the tour in a beautiful historic villa outside the gates of the city was also the musical climax of the tour: outstanding acoustics, a wonderful audience and a well-rehearsed ensemble. The audience included some guitar teachers from the region, with whom a lively exchange about the concert ensued.

This tour was a fantastic experience for those involved: besides the musical experience, the members of the ensemble got to know each other better and were able to explore an unknown country.

Rainer Fröhlich, Head of Corporate Communications, Music School Conservatory Zurich


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