Welcome to Tampere!

It is a great honour and joy for the City of Tampere to welcome the annual Metropolis Conference to Finland and Tampere. This is the first global conference in the themes of migration and integration in Finland of this size.

Tampere has excellent reputation both nationally and internationally in hosting and organizing high-level congresses and conferences. By now, the planning and organising this conference is also in full speed.

The history of migration to Tampere dates back to building the textile mills and machinery plants in the 19th hundred. Migrants with their skills could see the potential of using the hydro power. Tampere got capital from Russia, skills from Europe and labour from Tampere rural areas.

Today Tampere is the third largest city in Finland, international and growing center of business, education and culture. Tampere was the first city in Finland to be nominated as a Fairtrade City. The issues of sustainable development are accurate in all cities around the world. The organisers both in the venue Tampere Hall and within the city want to make this conference following the principles of fair trade and sustainable development. Ecological awareness is well established in our operations, and we are constantly striving to minimize our carbon footprint through pioneering green practices.

Since we are part of the European Union and the networks of cities in Europe, we also welcome the Integrating Cities -conference to join Metropolis for the first two days. We hope that the global aspects will enrich the discussions in Europe and, on the other hand, the European cities perspective will bring some added value to the global discussion. Since the European council meeting in 1999, a lot has happened in European migration policies. We hope that we will get some follow up during this week.

So, once more: welcome the International Metropolis Conference to Tampere in 2013!

Anna-Kaisa Ikonen The Mayor of the City of Tampere