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Peduto headed to Germany to meet with business, government leaders

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Tuesday, May 6, 2014, 10:54 a.m.
 

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto is in Germany this week recruiting businesses to the city and learning ways to improve government, his office said.

Peduto left on Monday night for Ludwigsburg in southern Germany, where he will be the guest of Mayor Werner Spec, according to his spokesman Tim McNulty. Carnegie Mellon University is paying for the trip. Peduto is an ex officio member of CMU's board of trustees.

McNulty said Peduto will also visit Freiburg and Vauban, where he will meet with business executives including representatives of Bosch, which has an office in the South Side and specializes in using technology to improve urban life. Local Bosch representatives did not return calls seeking comment.

“He wants to work with these companies to get them to Pittsburgh, or to expand what they're doing in Pittsburgh,” McNulty said. “Germany is one of the leading centers for business and government working together toward a common goal, and that's what the mayor's learning about.”

Spec has offered to share Ludwigsburg's experiences in addressing municipal and resident problems through a collaboration between city departments and private industry.

McNulty said Peduto wants to lure manufacturing firms that employ “sustainable practices” that are energy-efficient and environmentally friendly.

He will spend Wednesday and Thursday at a conference recognizing the 10th anniversary of Ludwigsburg's Sustainable City Development and on Friday travel to Freiburg and Vauban. He's scheduled to return on Saturday.

Vauban is an area of Freiburg with a population of about 5,000 that was constructed in the 1990s using sustainable practices.

All houses were built for low energy use, the sewer system directs rain water to be absorbed into the ground and 40 percent of households do not own a car, according to Vauban's website. Cars must be parked on neighborhood outskirts. Streets and public places serve as playgrounds and public meeting places.

The mayor is traveling with CMU professor Volker Hartkopf of the Center for Building Performance and Diagnostics and several business executives.

CMU spokesman Ken Walters said the school is offering its expertise for the conference.

Bob Bauder is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at 412-765-2312 or bbauder@tribweb.com.

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