Urban cooperation with Tyre, Lebanon
In view of the refugee situation as a result of the Syrian war, the Zurich City Council launched an action programme in September 2015 that includes local and international interventions. In this context, the city of Zurich maintains a city cooperation with the southern Lebanese port city of Tyre (since 2017).
Zurich's international commitment aims to sustainably support a so-called "first flight city" in Lebanon in coping with municipal challenges. Zurich's commitment does not focus on supporting Syrian refugees, but takes into account the entire local population – of which the refugees are a part.
At the heart of the temporary partnership is the exchange between experts from Zurich and Tyre. Their knowledge benefits both the two city administrations and, indirectly, the urban population. In terms of content, the exchange of experts relates to the topics of mobility and refugee reception.
In the field of mobility, concrete projects are planned and implemented. In April 2021, for example, the city of Tyros opened two bike rental stations with the support of the City of Zurich. The aim is to improve the traffic situation in Tyre and to simplify access to the city centre for those residents who do not own a car. The project lays the foundation for a future with more sustainable transport options. As a further project in the field of mobility, a bus transport system is planned for the city centre and four suburban communities of Tyre. This pilot project is intended to give new impetus to barely developed public transport.
In the area of refugee reception, experts are to get to know and discuss the other situation on the ground. For this purpose, a regular exchange takes place in the form of study trips, which lead alternately to Tyre or Zurich.