Readout of Mayor Johnson's second day of official visit to France

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November 14, 2023

Alheli Garza
Chief of Staff | (972) 626-3549

Readout of Mayor Johnson's second day of official visit to France

On Tuesday, Mayor Johnson began his day by meeting with leaders from the transportation sector in Dijon, France. The visit took place at DIVIA Operations and Maintenance Center. DIVIA is an innovative transportation agency in France that combines all mobility methods in the Dijon metropolis including buses, trams, bicycles, and parking services. The agency highlighted that their success is due in large part to their utilization of resident feedback; this allows them to continuously optimize their systems and improve the customer experience. Mayor Johnson and the transportation leaders agreed that public transportation and mobility methods must be efficient and convenient in order for them to properly serve residents. 

Next, Mayor Johnson met with Dijon’s Deputy Mayor Denis Hameau, who is in charge of higher education, research, and the ON-Dijon smart city project. During the meeting, Deputy Mayor Hameau shared details about the ON-Dijon smart city project, and how Dijon has supported urban innovation by using a tech platform that fosters collaboration and provides residents with accessibility to request city services and report issues in real-time. The meeting also included a discussion of the best practices used by each city to ensure they remain smart and connected.

This meeting was followed by presentations from representatives of several of Dijon’s economic organizations, including the chamber of commerce, higher education, and a program for small businesses and start-ups. The presentations illustrated the importance of creating and fostering a healthy and competitive business community. The mayor engaged them in a lively conversation – sharing ideas for future projects and workshops between Dallas and Dijon. 

Mayor Johnson then visited the International City of Gastronomy, a new space that offers exhibitions, workshops, food, and a variety of local artisanal products for residents and visitors to experience the city’s gastronomical scene in a one-stop-shop. While there, Mayor Johnson stopped by Foodies, a hamburger restaurant whose culinary team recently traveled to Dallas to compete in the World Food Championship at Fair Park; they qualified to compete in the finals of the global burger competition. Mayor Johnson congratulated the Foodies team for their outstanding performance. 

Mayor Johnson’s day concluded by meeting with Vincent Thomas, president of the University of Burgundy. They discussed a variety of potential collaborative initiatives, including student and faculty exchanges between Dallas’s institutions of higher education and the University of Burgundy.

This trip to Dijon has highlighted the deep and lasting commitment between these two great cities. Throughout the trip, the government and business leaders of Dijon expressed their deep appreciation for Mayor Johnson being the first Mayor of Dallas to visit their city. Mayor Johnson expressed his gratitude for Dijon's extraordinary hospitality.