Bristol is the UK’s fastest growing city, located South West England with a current population of about 500,000. Bristol is close to the Roman city of Bath, and South Wales lies across the Severn Estuary. Bristol was a starting place for early voyages of exploration to the New World in the 15th century, and was key to triangular marine trade in the 18th century. The Port of Bristol has since moved from Bristol Harbour in the city centre to the Severn Estuary.
Bristol’s modern economy is built on the creative media, electronics and aerospace industries, and the city-centre docks have been redeveloped as centres of heritage and culture. The city has two universities, and a variety of artistic and sporting organisations and venues. Bristol has a thriving voluntary and community sector.
One of the UK’s most popular tourist destinations, Bristol was selected in 2009 as one of the world’s top ten cities and named as the best British city to live in 2014 and 2017. Bristol won the EU’s European Green Capital Award in 2015
Bristol was the first UK city to twin with a German counterpart, Hannover, after the end of the second world war and also with a French city, Bordeaux in the spirit of peace, reconciliation and building a stronger Europe. Bristol later twinned with Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia in the Soviet Union as a way of undermining the Cold War rhetoric of the time and making friends with our so called “enemies”. The link with Puerto Morazan in Nicaragua was forged in the heat of the US funded contra war and was a vehicle to support the educational and health gains of the Nicaraguan revolution. Twinnings with Oporto and Guangzhou compliment the others focussing more on commercial and cultural initiatives. Bristol twinned with Beira in 1990 as a way of supporting a Front-Line State in the struggle against Apartheid South Africa.
Not satisfied with being the most efficient major city in the UK, Bristol is pushing best practices forward in urban sustainability, and as one of the selected member cities in the 100 Resilient Cities network produced its Bristol Resilience Strategy at the end of 2016.
Bristol City Council has renamed 7 of its meeting rooms in City Hall after its twin cities including Beira, with the support of Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol who confirmed “I fully endorse the Friendship Agreement between Bristol and Beira, and support Bristol Link with Beira and its charity in their endeavours to increase awareness of urban issues in both our cities. I also aim to contribute to practical proposals for Commonwealth cities, including Beira, to work with national governments to put in place governance and finance to be more resilient to climate change.” The President of the Municipal Council of Beira responded: “We have learned that you have paid homage to our beautiful city of Beira, giving its name to a room in your municipal building. We feel very honoured by this great recognition by a municipality with which we have very strong friendship ties over many years. Finally, on behalf of the Municipal Council of Beira and Mayor Albano Carige Antonio in particular, we would like to thank you for this huge gesture”.