The seat of government is the architecturally remarkable town hall in the shape of an upside-down pyramid. Tempe is located in the middle of Maricopa County, with the cities of Mesa to the east, Scottsdale to the north and Phoenix to the west. Although located in the middle of the desert, with its 43 parks, artificial lakes and all manner of leisure facilities, Tempe offers a high quality of life. In July 1999, the 22-acre artificial Town Lake was first opened. Thanks to a sophisticated system involving service water recycling and the utilisation of surplus water from the Colorado River and Rio Salado, it is possible to keep the water level constant throughout the year despite the desert climate. 1981 saw the foundation of the Tempe-Regensburg association of friends, which aims to promote the twin city partnership. The association currently has over 400 members. The association of friends has taken on the task of organising activities and partnership programmes. The pupil, teacher and trainee exchanges, as well as exchange programmes for athletes, musicians and other cultural groups form the heart of these efforts. Links have also been set up between the cities' police and fire services. All this serves to further enhance the relationship between Tempe and Regensburg. The Tempe Sister City Corporation, the partner organisation of the Regensburg association of friends, deserves a special mention; each year it organises a three-day Oktoberfest that attracts more than 150,000 visitors. The revenue from the event provides funding for the exchange programmes. There is also a very close relationship between the University of Regensburg and Arizona State University in Tempe. In the past, a group of students regularly came to the cathedral city for German lessons; meanwhile, students from Regensburg enrol for summer courses or even whole semesters at the ASU, not only to study, but above all to get to know the country, the people and the language. The legendary performances of the Mogollon Band from Tempe at the Regensburg ‘Bürgerfest’ street festival have become an integral part of the festivities and a true highlight. In 2018, the two cities celebrated the 40th anniversary of their friendship.