The Global Cities Institute at the University of Toronto in partnership with the Institute of International Relations at the University of São Paulo (USP) is conducting a study of Paradiplomacy in São Paulo and Toronto. This project is aimed at developing theoretical and empirical approaches to the study of paradiplomacy. As cities – especially global cities – take on more and more important powers and functions, they begin to operate at levels of government and geography that transcend the local context. These initiatives and programs are often called “paradiplomacy”.
The first meeting was held December 8-12, 2014 at the University of São Paulo. At the first meeting, which was opened by the Dean of Research at USP, the two global cities compared their governance, general role as sub-national governments in international relations, and the kinds of initiatives they have been taking on which go beyond their local functions.
Professor Richard Stren, GCI Senior Fellow, and Abigail Friendly traveled to São Paulo and Professor Patricia McCarney participated via web conference. They presented their research on governance in Toronto, the work and mandate of the GCI and the World Council on City Data (WCCD), and the new ISO 37120 Standard for city indicators. Their counterparts in São Paulo discussed issues of both local and global governance. Both students and the public were invited to join the discussions.
One more meeting will be in held in São Paulo, and another two will be held in Toronto as part of this university to university partnership.