The goal of a Sister City association is to unite cities of different nations in a bond of friendship and understanding established at the level for the citizenry of each city. A group of interested Portland citizens came together out of their love, interest and ties to Italy to create a formal relationship with Bologna. The Portland Bologna Sister City Association is a non-profit organization established to unite the Cities of Portland, Oregon and Bologna, Italy in relationship dedicated to fostering social, economic and cultural exchange between their citizens, businesses and institutions. Membership is open to all interested citizens.
The Association will enable and support a wide range of activities, including trade missions, tourism, educational and arts programs, institutional and governmental partnerships and overseas residencies. The relationship between the two Cities will benefit from the complimentary assets of each in the arts, high and bio-technology, fashion industries, and the businesses related to food and wine. The Association will foster connections between institutions of higher education and the fine and performing arts.
At first glance there are many things that these two cities have in common, from central urban universities to a genuine concern for sustainability to a citizenry that holds a vivid love for life, family and food. This relationship between Portland and Bologna hopes to be on going, productive and highly educational. We can share our experiences in a large variety of fields and help each other as we continue to evolve.
Some of the commonalities that unite our two cities:
The Slow Food movement has gained a large following in both Portland and Bologna, where there is an emphasis on local seasonal foods. Portlanders looking for such products frequent farmers markets or join CSAs. And while Italy has always been known for its outdoor markets, the “spesa a km 0″ phenomenon has been helping connect people directly with their local producers. Bolognesi who are interested in eco-friendly local food can also join a Gruppo di Acquisto Solidali, the Italian version of a CSA. And of course, we couldn’t talk about cuisine in Portland and Bologna without mentioning our cities’ shared passion for artisan wines and beers.
Our cities are both home to large urban universities (Portland State University and University of Bologna), as well as centers of medical education (OHSU and the Rizzoli Institute).
Both Portland and Bologna have vibrant art scenes, which have produced well known artists as Bologna’s Giorgio Morandi.
To find out more about our activities, take a moment to browse our past newsletters.