City-to-City pairings

City-to-city pairings

Through the IUC programme, cities and regions across Europe have entered into partnerships on sustainable development with counterparts from around the globe. For a full list of city pairings so far, see the table below:


EU City
Paired city

Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council


Flickr, Tony, CC BY 2.0


241 200


329 km2


Larry Markham



4 000 000


18 600 km2


Wu Wei


Digital transitionEducation, jobs and skills in the local economyNature and cultural heritage conservation
Smart cities and regional/urban innovation and competitivenessSustainable production/consumption

Sustainable Development Goals


As 2018 pilot city of IUC Programme, Liuzhou shares knowledge and experience with its paring city in the fields of the automobile industry, digitization, IoTs and machinery, which are the expected fields of Barnsley in economic development. Liuzhou’s key cooperation projects are:

  • Development of the Northern Ecological New Area Wetland Park
  • Design of a large data service platform
  • Construction of collaborative innovation and manufacturing platform.
  • Supporting the development of the Guangxi Sanjiangwan Cultural and Health Project

Barnsley’s key challenge is to create more and better jobs by developing and attracting digital industries and to create the physical and human infrastructure to drive this economic evolution. Barnsley is a medium sized city closely located to three major cities and focuses cooperation with China in the development of the Digital Media Centre.

This city paring aims at cooperating mainly on digital transition, vocational education and technology innovation. First talks have involved representatives from digital hubs from both sides.



Liuzhou and Barnsley are now working on digital transition and IoTs. Representatives from both sides met during the EU-China Regional Policy Seminar in Zhengzhou in July 2018 and are scheduling a visit of Chinese experts to Barnsley in the 1st half of 2019.

Cooperation will involve representatives from local governments, business and R&D especially in the development of a digital campus within the Digital Media Centre.

*Note: IUC Asia pioneered a 'cluster' approach to city-to-city cooperation. As a result, Urban Cooperation Action Plans (UCAPs) for those cities may refer to a group of cooperating cities, as opposed to merely a pairing.



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