NEW ORLEANS— Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Orléans, France Mayor Olivier Carré signed a Sister City Agreement to promote partnership and cooperation between the people of the two cities, to recognize the importance of identifying areas of mutual interest, and to begin specific projects for collaboration and willing partners in both cities.
With the signing of this document each City agrees to 1) develop projects around 5 focus areas including tourism, water management, cultural economy, education and economic development, 2) maintain regular contact to facilitate exchanges and other opportunities for collaboration and 3) promote the agreement to its residents to solidify friendship across cities.
“We are thrilled to the become sister cities with Orléans, France – a city with such rich history and culture. Orléans is specifically special to us because we were founded in 1718 in honor of Phillippe II, Duke of Orléans. Our cities have always been historically linked and this formal agreement, 300 years in the making, finally recognizes that.” said Mayor Landrieu. “We look forward to collaborating on issues and working together to enhance tourism, water management, cultural economy, education and economic development across our cities. Through collaboration and partnership, we are creating a city for the ages and creating unique opportunities for the people of New Orleans.”
The Mayor of Orléans, France Olivier Carre said, "It is evident that our two cities are naturally sisters. Today we signed an agreement that has 300 years of history behind it and centuries before it. Now it is up to the young people in each of our cities to seize this huge opportunity."
This agreement is a result of Mayor Landrieu’s trip to Orléans in November 2017. Along with a New Orleans delegation, Mayor Landrieu visited Orléans to pay tribute to the city’s instrumental role in the founding of New Orleans and influencing the culture and heritage of the people of New Orleans. Mayor Landrieu’s visit was a part of a larger visit commemorating New Orleans’s 300th anniversary in 2018.
The agreement signifies both cities’ commitment to pursuing activities and focus areas that are important to both cities, including participating in educational and cultural exchanges. The partnership is officially recognized after the highest elected or appointed official from both communities signs the agreement.
New Orleans and Orléans are linked by their names and the imprint of major rivers including the Mississippi and Loire Rivers. Additionally, the cities share the same historical reference point of St. Joan of Arc, who is celebrated in each city every year. St. Joan of Arc is nicknamed the “Maid of Orleans” and is considered a hero of France for her role during the Hundred Years’ War. The cities also share a love for music hosting Jazz Festival celebrating Louisiana talent and jazz music.
In 1718, New Orleans was founded as Nouvelle-Orléans under the direction of the governor of French Louisiana, Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville, in honor of the Regent of France, Philippe II, Duke of Orléans. Since the founding of the New Orleans, the French have influenced the city's culture and heritage including neighborhoods, traffic circles, architecture, Mardi Gras, and the Joie de Vivre.
Since 1990, the City of New Orleans has been involved in a number of Sister City Agreements across the world. Currently, New Orleans’ sister cities include:
- 1990 - Merida, Mexico
- 1990 – Pointe Noire, Congo
- 1992 - Tegucigalpa, Honduras
- 1992 - San Miguel de Tucumán, Argentina
- 1994 - Juan-les-Pins, France
- 1994 - Matsue, Japan
- 1995 - Innsbruck, Austria
- 1998 - Maracaibo, Venezuela
- 2003 - Durban, South Africa
- 2006 - Florence, Italy
- 2010 - Rotterdam, Netherlands
- 2012 – Batumi, Republic of Georgia
- 2012 – Klaipeda, Lithuania
- 2012 - Rosh Haayin, Israel
- 2018 – Orléans, France