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Visit boosts Guildford Freiburg link

Developing links through innovation, urban planning, housing and culture were at the forefront of an official visit to Guildford's twin town Freiburg recently.

A delegation led by Guildford Borough Council Leader Paul Spooner and the Mayor, Cllr Gordon Jackson, visited Freiburg in southwest Germany to strengthen links between the two towns and further develop new ways of co-operation. The visit took place from 17 to 19 March.

Council Leader Paul Spooner says: "During the course of the visit, we explored new ways of working together and opportunities for future partnership across several areas, including urban planning, housing tenure, culture and university links. Freiburg has been at the forefront of sustainability and energy management for many years, and our hosts were keen to hear about the focus on environmental technologies at the University of Surrey. Reinforcing our relationship benefits the borough, the local economy and all our residents."

The Mayor of Guildford, Cllr Gordon Jackson, adds: "There are many similarities between our towns - both have a reputation for innovation and are rich in history, art and culture. The weekend gave us an excellent opportunity to focus on a wide range of issues that we both have in common and to build on these connections for the future."

The delegation also included Greg Melly, the University of Surrey's Vice-President, who gave a talk on '5G Smart Cities' as part of the visit; Guildford-Freiburg Association Chairman Peter Slade and Guildford Borough Council Managing Director, Sue Sturgeon. Three borough councillors were also part of the group hosted by Freiburg's Oberburgermeister, Dr Dieter Salomon.

Attractions on the visit included a guided tour of Freiburg's renowned 'green' district, the Vauban Quarter, an outstanding example of sustainable living, and the Augustinermuseum, a former monastery transformed into a modern museum where the works can be viewed from many different angles.

Published on Tuesday 28 March.