Community Development Cooperation (KEZ)
The municipalities of Aachen and Cape Town organised these exchange programmes in 2015/16 and 2018/2019, where staff from both administrations compared working methods, experiences and strategies in their fields of work around sustainability and climate change.
Our experiences and observations show that learning from each other is possible. Effects are not only seen on an individual level. People change and they change their attitudes – and even more – they adapt ideas they get to know and implement them in their respective fields of work. Example: a clearly offensive citizen orientation of the district administration in Eilendorf and also in Haaren is emerging. Impulses from Aachen were observed in Cape Town, especially in non-motorised transport, and the Cape Town guests were impressed by the cooperation between the RWTH University and the City of Aachen.
In many cases we are not aware of our own strengths and only the ‘foreign’ view helps to see the positive aspects.
Unfortunately, the exchanges planned for 2020/2021 in similar fields of work could not be realised. We hope to make up for this as soon as the pandemic is over.
The cooperation of law enforcement and police, as well as models of citizen participation in Cape Town were thematically very interesting for the Aachen staff and led to some workshops in the Aachen districts.
A project of the universities of Aachen, Stuttgart and Cape Town was included in the project: students of all three universities worked together with local partners in gardens at Cape Town schools under the title “Sustainability through collective action using the example of urban agriculture”.
In Aachen, the RWTH campus was marvelled at in models and in the original: especially the Aachen electric small car “e-Go” and the model of the autonomous small bus aroused the interest of the guests from Cape Town. Among many other visits, the cooperation between administration and initiative groups was exemplified in the “Hirschgrün” garden.
Mayor Patricia de Lille warmly welcomed the colleagues from Aachen and praised the cooperation between the administrations. The Aacheners spent a week with many experiences, insights and recognition of the very “different” conditions of administration and life in the Cape.
The guests from Cape Town had a challenging week in Aachen: Excursions to the windturbine, to waste disposal plants, to the Energeticon in Alsdorf. Lectures on the Cape Town “smart driver training”, the promotion of cycling and “altbau plus Aachen” strengthened the intensive exchange.
Public safety and order” was also one of the topics in which the two city administrations and “AWA GmbH” shared their experiences and planned joint projects: in addition to the topics of waste and sustainability, the social aspect of a safe and clean city also played a major role.