Expert visit from Sheboygan to Esslingen
Contribution by the City of Esslingen

Since 1967 close connections exist between the cities of Esslingen am Neckar and the American City of Sheboygan. These connections have now been and will be supplemented by another project. Last year, the two municipalities successfully applied for the UDE funding that enables expert exchange in the areas of city diplomacy and climate protection. Participation in a conference in Washington, D.C. in October 2022 marked the start, and the first expert visit has now taken place in Esslingen.

In mid-March 2023, the Mayor of Sheboygan, Ryan Sorenson, as well as the administrative staff Chad Pelishek (Urban Planning) and Veronica Valdez (International Relations) were guests in Esslingen and met their counterparts from various departments of the local administration. The focus was on the exchange in the departments climate protection and urban planning.

The American guests learned, for example, how the city of Esslingen plans and implements bicycle and pedestrian paths and gained insights into the city's climate protection concept. Dr Katja Walther, Head of the Sustainability and Climate Protection Unit, also showed the delegation the new Weststadt and was happy about the lively exchange and the great interest of the American colleagues. Frauke Hohl, an employee in the city planning office, also gave the guests valuable information on upcoming projects in the city. 

Photo: City of Esslingen
Photo: City of Esslingen

In addition, Mayor of the City of Sheboygan met with the Esslingen youth council and discussed the importance of city diplomacy with the young people, a topic that Esslingen's Lord Mayor Matthias Klopfer also took up during an exchange with his counterpart. The exchange with Mayor Yalcin Bayraktar and Dr. Gunnar Seelow, Head of the Housing Department, covered numerous questions on the subject of social aspects and housing .

"The funding under the Urban Diplomacy Program enables us to engage in professional exchanges that benefit employees in both administrations. In this way, we deepen the relationship between Esslingen and Sheboygan and thus contribute to strengthening transatlantic relations."
Matthias Klopfer
Mayor, City of Esslingen

Esslingen delegation visits Sheboygan
Contribution by the City of Esslingen

The Esslingen delegation took part in the parade. Photo: City of Esslingen

The second technical visit took place in summer 2023 in Sheboygan, where the discussions started in Esslingen were continued and deepened. 

Celebrate together, work together: This was the title of the visit of a delegation from Esslingen to the American twin town Sheboygan. This took place over the American national holiday. On the 4th of July, the accompanying councillors, the mayor and employees from Esslingen and the fire department took part in the parade through the city. Another highlight was the festive fireworks display in the evening. 

In addition, the visit focused on technical exchange. The cities of Esslinen and Sheboygan consulted among other issues on the following topics: Climate protection, sustainability and energy supply. At a joint municipal council meeting, the foundation stone was also laid for a climate partnership. A school visit, an exchange with the fire brigade and the police and discussions with civil society were also part of the programme. As a sign of solidarity, an oak tree was planted in Esslingen Park.

Photo: City of Esslingen