The original idea of promoting youth exchange through this city partnership has been upheld to this day. The Münster – Fresno Partnership Association, together with the Sister Cities Committee in Fresno, organizes regular student exchanges and citizen trips. In addition, there are connections between universities and encounters in the fields of music and sports. Since 2015, there has been a cooperation between the Münster-based football club 1. AFC Münster Mammuts e.V. and the Bullard Knights, the American football team of Bullard High School in Fresno. The “Touchdown in Fresno” program promotes the exchange of youth players and coaches.

sliderimage-Youth Exchange © City of Münster
Youth Exchange © City of Münster
sliderimage-Touchdown in Fresno © City of Münster
Touchdown in Fresno © City of Münster
MoU signing in May 2022 @ City of Münster

The two city administrations maintain a close connection. In recent times, the current mayors, Markus Lewe and Mayor Jerry Dyer, have reaffirmed their intention to intensify expert exchanges in administration, business, and academia by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). Both cities aim to learn from each other, particularly in the areas of “densification through affordable housing,” “energy-efficient public transport hubs,” “safe bicycle mobility,” and “public safety with police and fire departments.”

UDE Conference in Washington, October 2022 @ City of Münster

In 2022, Münster was selected as one of eight German cities, along with Fresno, for the “Urban Diplomacy Exchange Germany – USA” project. Supported by the Federal Foreign Office and conducted in cooperation with the German Association of Cities, this project makes a significant contribution to the goals of the 2030 Agenda. Innovation and technology promotion in relation to energy and mobility transitions are the focal points for both Münster and Fresno.

Partnership declaration signing, Mayor Kim Norton and Mayor Markus Lewe in Münster, 2019 @ City of Münster

Münster – Rochester Project Partnership

Since 2015, there has been a climate policy exchange between cities in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) and Minnesota (USA). The project, known as “Climate Smart Municipalities” (CSM), is organized by the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and supported by the state of NRW and Minnesota.

Within this project, Münster and Rochester have been declared climate partner cities since 2019. Rochester is a city with around 135,000 inhabitants and is home to the world-renowned Mayo Clinic. Joint topics in the CSM project include “climate-neutral living and construction,” “alternative energy generation,” and “modern infrastructure.” The project aims to demonstrate that climate protection and energy transition are societal tasks that can be achieved through integrated approaches at the local level.

MN delegation visit, June 2023 @ City of Münster

Annual delegations consisting of representatives from politics, business, and academia meet in Minnesota and NRW. Münster, with its climate strategy focused on achieving carbon neutrality by 2030 and its progressive expansion of the electric bus network in public transport, is a valued program partner. The FH Münster has established a student exchange program with the University of Minnesota. Every year, a study abroad program for US students takes place in Münster, and approximately eight students from FH Münster complete their practical semesters as an integral part of their bachelor’s studies in administration and business companies in Rochester and other CSM project municipalities in Minnesota.

UDE Conference in Washington, October 2022, Mayors Roundtable with Rochester Mayor Kim Norton @ City of Münster

The Münster-Rochester project partnership also benefits from the aforementioned Urban Diplomacy Exchange project between Münster and Fresno. Rochester complements the expert exchange between Münster and Fresno and significantly contributes to the success of the transatlantic relationship through the well-established network between Rochester and Münster over the years.

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