Austin, Texas – Sister City of Koblenz Since 1992
After gaining independence from Mexico in 1836, the Republic of Texas emerged as a sovereign nation. In 1839, a strategic decision was made to establish a new capital city, leading to the founding of Austin. Subsequently, in 1845, when Texas became part of the United States, Austin was democratically selected as the capital of the State of Texas through a statewide election.
Austin, situated on the edge of the Texas Hill Country and along the Colorado River, boasts a population exceeding 800,000 residents, with a metropolitan region that extends to 1.5 million. This vibrant city strikes a harmonious balance between its appreciation for nature, dedication to education, thriving arts scene, and robust commerce. Austin’s entrepreneurial culture consistently ranks it highly on both business and cultural fronts. Its outstanding quality of life has made it an attractive destination for individuals and companies seeking to attract and retain top talent globally. Factors contributing to this appeal include excellent employment opportunities, a comfortable lifestyle, world-class healthcare facilities, and a low crime rate.
Austin holds its place as a prominent hub of high-tech innovation in the United States, hosting significant technology giants such as Texas Instruments, IBM, Motorola, AMD, 3M, National Instruments, and Dell Computers. The Austin Convention Center, a premier facility centrally located with 5,500 hotel rooms within walking distance, stands out as one of the most technologically advanced convention centers in the country.
The city proudly bears the official title of the “Live Music Capital of the World.” With over 1,900 bands and performing artists residing in and around the city, music permeates every aspect of Austin’s culture. The city’s nearly 200 live music venues draw both locals and visitors, and music can be experienced everywhere, from Austin’s City Hall to its airport, Whole Foods Market, the Capital 10,000 Road Race, and even its Hike and Bike Trails. Austin’s international recognition for hosting music festivals like SXSW (South by Southwest) and ACL (Austin City Limits) further cements its status as a music mecca.
The bond between Austin and Koblenz as sister cities began to take shape in 1987, with the establishment of the Austin-Koblenz Sister Cities Committee in Austin and the Partnerschaft Koblenz-Austin, Tx e.V. in Koblenz. The year 1992 marked a significant milestone when an Austin delegation visited Koblenz to celebrate the city’s 2000th anniversary, culminating in the signing of the official sister cities agreement by Mayor Bruce Todd and Oberbürgermeister Willi Hörter.
Educational exchanges have been a cornerstone of the relationship between the two cities. The first Koblenz exchange student arrived in Austin in 1989, initiating exchanges between the University of Texas’ McCombs School of Business and the WHU. Over the years, these exchanges have expanded to include Austin’s St. Edward’s University, Fachhochschule Koblenz, Austin Community College, Handwerkskammer Koblenz, and the Chamber of Commerce. Additionally, for high school and middle school students from both cities, Anderson High School in Austin and Görres Gymnasium in Koblenz have facilitated a three-week exchange program open to students from all Koblenz schools. A particularly unique exchange program involves Summitt Elementary School in Austin and Schenkendorfschule, which includes teachers, students aged 6-10, and parents in a two-week-long exchange.
The Austin-Koblenz Sister Cities Committee is delighted to showcase the essence of Austin at Bundesgartenschau 2011 and invites all BUGA visitors to explore the Austin Friendship Garden, offering a distinctive glimpse into the charm of an Austin Backyard Barbecue.
Since the signing of the official sister cities agreement in 1992, the relationship between Austin and Koblenz has continued to flourish. Educational exchange programs remained a central part of this partnership, and collaboration between universities and schools from both cities deepened.
Over the years, numerous cultural events and exchange programs took place between the citizens of Austin and Koblenz. These activities helped forge a strong bond of friendship and understanding between the two communities. The Austin-Koblenz Sister Cities Committee and the Partnerschaft Koblenz-Austin, Tx e.V. played a crucial role in organizing and promoting these events.
Meanwhile, Austin asserted itself as one of the most dynamic and rapidly growing centers in the United States. The city increasingly became a sought-after destination for businesses and young professionals attracted by the quality of life and career opportunities. Its reputation as the “Live Music Capital of the World” remained intact, and festivals like SXSW and ACL continued to draw music enthusiasts from around the globe.
It’s worth noting that 2020 and 2021 were shaped by the global COVID-19 pandemic. This pandemic had significant impacts on social life, the economy, and travel worldwide. Measures were also taken in Austin and Koblenz to curb the spread of the virus.
The partnership between Austin and Koblenz endured these challenging times, and both cities looked forward to a future where they could further expand their cultural and economic cooperation. As of the standpoint of today, the relationship between these sister cities remained strong and of great significance to both communities.
Austin-Koblenz Sister Cities Committee Partnerschaft Koblenz-Austin, Tx e.V.