Barcelona and Kobe celebrate 30 years of twinning
In 2023 Barcelona and Kobe celebrate 30 years of their twinning. On April 6, 1993, the mayors of both cities signed the twinning agreement, and since then there has been a close relationship. The agreement establishes a program of cultural, educational, sports, economic and technological exchanges, in order to intensify understanding and knowledge of common interests.
In order to celebrate this anniversary, different cultural and institutional activities were organized, which culminated in the visit of a Kobe delegation to Barcelona during the Smart City Expo World Congress 2023. The main activity was the joint event on Digital Twins held at the SCEWC Agora on November 8, with the assistance of the Consul General of Japan in Barcelona, Yasushi Sato. With the collaboration of the Barcelona Supercomputing Center and the Riken Computational Science Center, which manages the Fugaku supercomputer located in Kobe, it was presented how supercomputers can shape and promote real solutions to urban problems. Specifically, Barcelona presented the 15-minute city initiatives for implementation in Kobe. For its part, the Japanese city showed a traffic simulation and its application for Barcelona.
On the other hand, on November 7, the Kobe delegation held an institutional meeting with the commissioner of International Relations and City Promotion of the Barcelona City Council, Pau Solanilla, who highlighted that the relationship is reinforced “in the field of science and biotechnology, the digital economy and startups, as well as in the creative industries.” The delegation – led by Yusuke Masaki, Chief Digital Officer of the Kobe City Council – also held technical meetings focused on aspects such as Mobility, Smart City and Urban Planning, and visited the Superilla project.
The Barcelona Supercomputing Center and the Riken Computational Science Center signed a research collaboration agreement in October 2022, which is an expression of reciprocal interests in education and research to increase cooperation, including the use of the Fugaku supercomputer (Riken) and MareNostrum 4 and 5 (BSC-CNS).
Kobe is Japan’s third largest port and is known for being, like Barcelona, a cosmopolitan port city, as it was the first city to have commercial ties with the West after the reclusive Meiji era, and now has a large international community.