City Partnership Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires
Image: Ente Tourismo Buenos Aires

Berlin’s partnership with Buenos Aires dates back to 19 May 1994. They will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of their city partnership in 2019.

The two cities’ cooperation is most visible in cultural exchanges, with many long-standing exchanges between opera houses and theaters, between musicians and filmmakers, and in dance, visual arts, and other areas of the arts. Tango is at home on the banks of the Río de la Plata and fascinates Berliners, too – our city is now one of the world’s tango capitals. In 2004, a cultural dialogue in both cities marked the ten-year anniversary of the city partnership between Berlin and Buenos Aires. Each city presented itself in the other with countless joint projects, productions, and exhibitions, letting the public experience the partnership in a tangible way. A “Museum Night” modeled on the one held in Berlin was introduced in Buenos Aires as part of this dialogue; this hugely popular event has since become an integral part of the Buenos Aires cultural calendar. Many of the contacts made back then are still strong today.

Along with traditional areas of city partnership cooperation like urban development, environmental protection, transportation, scientific and academic collaboration, and youth encounters, there has been a lot of development in the areas of renewable energy and mobility. Issues like social integration and citizens’ participation are also playing a growing role. By exchanging best practices and with joint seminars and conferences, the partner cities use their experience to benefit decision-making processes in the other city. At issue are no longer simply technical solutions; rather, the cities are interested in the ability to meet the challenges of the future and in social and cultural change. In 2018 Buenos Aires and Paris launched the Urban 20 initiative, which brings together the biggest and most important cities in the G20, pools their needs and concerns, and contributes these to the G20 process.

Our cooperation also attaches special importance to the theme of urban cultures of memory, teaching memory, and questions related to identity and exile.

One of the highlights of the 15th anniversary of our city partnership was the exhibition of the United Buddy Bears at Plaza San Martín, which attracted countless spectators and, together with activities organized by the Ministry of Culture of the city of Buenos Aires, promoted tolerance, peace, and understanding. In honor of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, a spectacular “Wall domino” event was held right after what was by then the 6th “Noche de los Museos” in November 2009.

Berlin and Buenos Aires are fellow UNESCO Cities of Design, and the two cities both inspire each other and hold a powerful attraction for creative talents of many different kinds. Young creative professionals from the two cities present their products and ideas at international design, fashion, and music festivals.
At the end of 2012, Berlin and Buenos Aires set up a “climate partnership” as part of the project “50 Municipal Climate Partnerships by 2015,” which is being carried out by Engagement Global GmbH/Service Agency Communities in One World with funding from Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. The focus is on “energy management in public buildings.” A successful project was carried out in this context already between 2012 and 2015 as part of the “Partnership Projects for Sustainable Local Development” (NaKoPa) subprogram, which involved support for the development of sustainable energy management in public educational institutions in Buenos Aires and an educational component in both Berlin and Buenos Aires. Since 2016 the two cities have worked on a follow-up project on energy efficiency and cogeneration of heat and power in public hospitals within the Berlin-Buenos Aires climate partnership.
You can find more information on the project here.

In 2014, the city partnership celebrated its 20th anniversary, and a series of events and activities in different areas marked this milestone in Berlin and Buenos Aires. The creative industries, startups, culture, and tourism are key economic sectors for both cities, and these were highlighted in our anniversary year. That was also true of our climate partnership, which is aimed at exchanging expertise within specific projects to find innovative solutions that help safeguard urban quality of life.

Many different events will be organized in both cities to celebrate our 25th anniversary this year, too.

Planned activities and events are found under News, past events are listed under Retrospective.