IG Grosse Kernstädte
In September 2014, the ten largest core cities in Switzerland joined the IGGK, the internal body of large core cities. The IGGK works as an internal body of the Swiss Cities Association to strengthen the Association’s identity and implement its objectives in the interests of all members. The IGGK is a relaunch of the IG Kernstädte, the internal body of core cities, which ceased its activities in 2009.
The primary function of the IGGK is the informal sharing of experience, the deepening of knowledge on topics of particular interest to the large core cities, networking and the joint implementation of projects.
The current members are Basel, Bern, Biel, Geneva, Lausanne, Lugano, Lucerne, Winterthur, St. Gallen and Zurich. The City Mayor as well as the Director of the Cities Association take part in the meetings of the IGGK as associates.
Study: “The Benefits of Immigration to Swiss cities and Switzerland”
On 9 February 2014, the Swiss people and the cantons voted in favour of the initiative against mass immigration. On the other hand, however, the initiative was clearly rejected in the 20 largest cities in Switzerland. Owing to the particular way in which cities are affected by national migration policy (the majority of the foreign population lives and works in urban areas), the IGGK commissioned INFRAS, in the spring of 2015, to examine the usefulness of immigration, particularly in relation to Swiss cities.
The final report of the study, presented in November 2015, clearly shows that recent immigration has strengthened economic power, increased social diversity, and fostered research and innovation, while the large cities are capable of managing the challenges posed by immigration.
Ten cities for a national Expo
The ten current Swiss member cities are launching the idea of jointly organising the next national Expo, across all parts of the country and all language borders.
These cities, as important drivers of social development and centres of social and economic exchange, have been constantly engaged with the issue of how we can live together harmoniously amid constant change. The largest Swiss cities would like to share ideas about this issue with the whole nation at the next Expo.
The cities involved have summarised their ideas in a memorandum. The next Expo could take place in 10 to 15 years’ time. A draft procedural plan is intended to set the basic parameters for the next step – in particular, sponsorship, decision-making processes, financial frameworks, and the intended deadline for implementation. The cities will provide information about the results of these investigations in the spring.