Town twinning is the concept of creating a partnership between cities. The main goal for the cities is to work together in cultural and economical sectors as well as to inform about city structure related issues. Most town twinnings are arranged between cities in different countries that face similar social, economical and political situations or share historical links.
The city of Dusseldorf currently supports six town-twinnings. The international commitment started in 1988 with treaties of partnership with the city of Reading (UK), Warsaw (Poland), Haifa (Israel) and Chemnitz (formerly GDR). In 1992 Moscow (Russia) joined the list of twin towns. The youngest relations are held to Chongqing (Chunking, China) that became a partner city in 2004.
The city of Reading has a population of 148,000 inhabitants and is located on the confluence of the Thames and the Kennet, approx. 60 km west of London, in the county of Berkshire. The relations between Reading and Dusseldorf are stamped by educational and personal exchanges. Meetings of sports clubs and church groups as well as pupil exchanges are held annually and the universities of Reading and Dusseldorf are closely connected with information and research.
Warsaw is the cultural and economical centre of Poland. The city is with a population of 1,7 million people, one of the major cities in eastern Europe. The capital city of Poland and the capital city of NRW are operating together in the sector of traffic planning and communal administration. Economical and cultural exchanges are managed on professional level. Cultural institutions in both cities, especially museums, are in profound communication.
The third largest city in Israel, Haifa, has a population of 270,000 people and is an important seaport in the Middle East. The city of Dusseldorf supported the construction of the community centre named after Heinrich Heine, Dusseldorf’s most famous Jewish son. Several schools in Dusseldorf and the Leo-Braeck-Education-Center regularly organise exchange programs for pupils and the contacts between the communal administrations are the source of a lively partnership.
During the late 1980s a wave of German-German city partnerships were brought to life, among them also the one between Dusseldorf and Chemnitz. After reunification, the re-creation of the Chemnitz city council was supported financially and built with personnel by the city of Dusseldorf. Nowadays the partnership with the western Saxon Metropolis is still grounded in co-operations of the city administrations, but also celebrated during city festivals and through sports clubs and organisations.
An economically flourishing partnership with Moscow, the Russian capital and business centre, is one of the most important signs of Dusseldorf's international commitment. The projects of the Dusseldorf Trade Fair and the Dusseldorf Economy Days are only a few blossoms of this fertile connection with Moscow. Despite of the fall of the iron curtain, Moscow and it’s almost 15 million Muscovites remain a politically and economically important hub. Its influences on eastern Europe an central Asia are still enormous.
Chongqing is the most populous municipally in China, being home to more than 30 million people. The city itself is traditionally the centre of western China and was the provisional capital during the Second Japanese-Chinese War, until 1945. The city partnership is a motor for good Chinese-German economical relations. Dusseldorf is also advisor for businesses from Chongqing in Europe. Exchanges of experts to technological and economical matters are also high-quality contributions.