Pittsburgh and Glasgow sign Sister City agreement

The City of Pittsburgh added Glasgow, Scotland, to its long list of Sister City relationships with a virtual signing ceremony on Thursday.

Given the Steel City’s Scotch-Irish heritage, the partnership appears to be a natural fit, especially considering that Scottish-American industrialist Andrew Carnegie made his fortune here founding what became the U.S. Steel Corporation.

“The long-established Scottish connection to Pittsburgh has been strengthened in recent years as we’ve shared the challenges of industrial heritage, built a renewed strength through a shared resilience journey and now seek to collaborate further through a Sister Cities arrangement,” said Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto. “We are working together to address issues of climate change, health inequality and building more equitable prosperity.”

The date of the signing ceremony holds added significance: In one year, Glasgow will host the United Nations Climate Change Conference, Nov. 1-12, 2021. A delegation led by Mayor Peduto will attend the conference where a second, in-person signing ceremony will take place.

“Glasgow and Pittsburgh were titans of the industrial age – with global reputations for ships, built on the Clyde, and the mills that lined the rivers of the Steel City,” said Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council. “Both endured very similar slumps in our fortunes as heavy industry faltered. Many thousands of jobs were lost; populations declined, and the health of citizens suffered.

“What is arguably more remarkable is the way our cities have fought back from these challenges over recent decades; with both drawing on their resilience to address the economic, social and physical legacies of our industrial past.”

Pittsburgh has Sister Cities in 18 different countries including Saitama City, Japan; Bilbao, Spain; Wuhan, China; and Da Nang, Vietnam.

“Now more than ever it is important for cities to have strong global partners,” said Grant Ervin, chief resilience officer for the City of Pittsburgh. “By partnering with cities like Glasgow, Pittsburgh can promote our innovation economy to the world and open up opportunities for our region. We are excited to work with the team in Glasgow and look forward to a long and prosperous relationship.”

Aitken said the partnership provides an opportunity “for us to show real leadership on the climate emergency and building back from the covid-19 pandemic in a way that prioritizes economic, social and environmental justice for all people.”

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