Zurich – Vinnytsya: a special friendship
Since as early as 2010, there has been a lively exchange with the Ukrainian university town Vinnytsya, which is a similar size to the City of Zurich with almost 370,000 inhabitants. This exchange originated in a project developed by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), which involved the Zurich transport company VBZ donating 25 trams, previously in service in Zurich, to the Ukrainian city. In the course of mutual visits, specific topics were identified where cooperation would be meaningful.
Vinnytsya is regarded in the Ukraine as being particularly innovative: its modern, citizen-friendly urban development, customer-oriented city administration, good social services and energy efficiency are among the main concerns of Vinnytsya’s city government. Zurich’s expertise is therefore particularly sought after at the level of process.
The exchange with Vinnytsya is, in each case, thematically focused and limited in time. For example, a joint workshop on “urban strategies” was held in autumn 2011. In 2013/2014, specific cooperation in socially-related matters (use of public space, participation of the population) followed. Joint workshops focused, for example, on the renovation, re-design and upgrading of the Druzhby Narodov Park with the participation of the population. In parallel, SECO carried out a large-scale energy efficiency project in Vinnytsya, aimed at introducing the “Energy city” logo and the modernisation of the district heating system. In 2015, Vinnytsya was the first Ukrainian city to be certified with the “European Energy Award”.