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sister city
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{{redirect2|Sister cities|Twin town|the film|Sister Cities (film)|the phenomenon of cities located close to each other|Twin cities|other uses|Twin town (disambiguation)}}{{short description|Agreement between geographical entities}}{{EngvarB|date=October 2019}}{{Use dmy dates|date=October 2019}}File:Twin town sign Oskarshamn.jpg|right|upright=1.6|thumb|Twin towns fingerpost signage in Oskarshamn, Sweden. The cities on the sign are the following: Middelfart, Denmark; Mandal, Norway; Pärnu, Estonia; Korsholm, Finland; and Hibiscus Coast, South Africa.]]Sister cities or twin towns are a form of legal or social agreement between towns, cities, counties, oblasts, prefectures, provinces, regions, states, and even countries in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.WEB,weblink Town Twinning in Britain since 1945: A Summary of findings, 29 July 2013, Clarke, N, School of Geography, University of Southampton,weblink" title="">weblink 29 July 2013, dead, The modern concept of town twinning, conceived after the Second World War in 1947, was intended to foster friendship and understanding among different cultures and between former foes as an act of peace and reconciliation,WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 5 September 2013, What is town twinning?, 5 September 2013, L'Association des Communes Jumelées du Limousin, and to encourage trade and tourism. By the 2000s, town twinning became increasingly used to form strategic international business links among member cities.NEWS, Tom, Brown, Twin towns: Do we still need them?, 31 July 2013, BBC News,weblink BBC East Midlands Today, 7 August 2013, BOOK, Handley, Susan, Take your partners – The local authority handbook on international partnerships, 10, Judith Barton, 2006, Local Government International Bureau,weblink 13 August 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 17 July 2011,


File:Gemellaggio Castellabate-Blieskastel.JPG|thumb|An example of a twinning agreement between Castellabate, Italy ('gemellaggio') and BlieskastelBlieskastelIn the United Kingdom, the term "twin towns" is most commonly used; the term "sister cities" is generally used for agreements with towns and cities in the Americas. In mainland Europe, the most commonly used terms are "twin towns", "partnership towns", "partner towns", and "friendship towns". The European Commission uses the term "twinned towns" and refers to the process as "town twinning".WEB,weblink Action 1 – Measure 1: Town Twinning, 26 August 2013, The Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA), Spain uses the term "ciudades hermanadas", which means "sister cities". Germany, Poland, and the Czech Republic use Partnerstadt (De) / miasto partnerskie (Pl) / partnerské město (Cz), which translate as "partner town" or "partner city". France uses ville jumelée (jumelage, twinned town or city), and Italy has gemellaggio (twinning) and comune gemellato (twinned municipality).WEB,weblink termine,, 10 October 2019, In the Netherlands, the term is partnerstad or stedenband ("city bond", when providing mutual support). In Greece, the word αδελφοποίηση (adelfopiisi{{snd}}fraternisation) has been adopted. In Iceland, the terms vinabæir (friend towns) and vinaborgir (friend cities) are used. In the former Soviet Bloc, "twin towns" and "twin cities" are used,WEB,weblink Mogilev: Twin Towns – Twin Cities, 19 October 2013, Mogilev city executive committee, along with города-побратимы (Ru) (sworn brother cities).NEWS,weblink Tbilisi, Vilnius become brother cities, Trend News Agency, 12 October 2009, WEB,weblink Is there a point to twin towns?, 14 July 2013, Self-Pierson, Rob, 30 April 2012, The Guardian, The Americas, South Asia, and Australasia use the term "sister cities" or "twin cities". In China, the term is 友好城市 (yǒuhǎo chéngshì{{snd}}friendship city).WEB,weblink 15 May 2017, Sister City,weblink" title="">weblink 16 May 2017, live, Sometimes, other government bodies enter into a twinning relationship, such as the agreement between the provinces of Hainan in China and Jeju-do in South Korea. The douzelage is a town twinning association with one town from each of the member states of the European Union.WEB,weblink Home,, 21 October 2009, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 17 February 2010, dmy-all, Despite the term often being used interchangeably, with the term "friendship city", this may mean a relationship with a more limited scope in comparison to a sister city relationship, and friendship city relationships are mayor-to-mayor agreements.WEB,weblink What is the difference between a Sister City and a Friendship City? {{!, - The Official Website of the City of Austin||language=en|access-date=18 January 2018}}

City diplomacy

City diplomacy is a form of paradiplomacy that involves discussions between officials and residents of different cities. Often these cities will be located in different countries; as such city diplomacy involves a system of international relations that works in parallel to the conventional system involving embassies, ambassadors and treaties negotiated at the level of nation states. According to Rodrigo Tavares, the earliest formal attempts to establish city diplomacy across national boundaries took place in the 19th century. Only a handful of cities were involved in the19th century effortts, it wasn't until the turn of the millennium that it became much more common.BOOK
, Rodrigo Tavares
, Paradiplomacy: Cities and States as Global Players
, 2016
, 10-15, passim
, Oxford University Press
, The first priority of those carrying out city diplomacy typically overlaps with the core aims of municipal government - improving the lives of local residents. Yet they will often collaborate with their peers in other cities to work on issues of planet wide concern, such as efforts to address climate change. NEWS
, Cities Will Determine the Future of Diplomacy
, Foreign Policy
, Nina Hachigian
, 16 April 2019, 11 November 2019
, The phrase "city diplomacy" is formally used in the workings of the United Cities and Local Governments and the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group , and is recognised by the USC Center on Public Diplomacy. A March 2014 debate in the British House of Lords acknowledged the evolution of town twinning into city diplomacy, particularly around trade and tourism, but also in culture and post-conflict reconciliation.WEB,weblink Lords Hansard text for 26 Mar 2014 (pt 0001), 26 April 2016, The importance of cities developing "their own foreign economic policies on trade, foreign investment, tourism and attracting foreign talent" has also been highlighted by the World Economic Forum.WEB,weblink Five key lessons for city competitiveness, World Economic Forum, 26 April 2016, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 19 October 2014, dmy-all, In addition to C40, other organisations facilitating city diplomacy include the World Cities Summit , the Smart City Expo World Congress, Smart city expo world congress the Strong City Network strong cities network and 100 Resilient Cities. 100 Resilient Cities As of 2016, there were over 125 such multilateral networks and forums to facilitate international collaboration between different municipal authorities.


(File:Castro Pretorio - Colonna di Parigi alle Terme di Diocleziano 1010023.JPG|thumb|upright|left|Column dedicated to Paris in Rome)The earliest known town twinning in Europe was between Paderborn, Germany, and Le Mans, France, in 836.WEB,weblink The Origins of Town Twinning, 8 December 2008, The City of Inverness Town Twinning Committee, 30 October 2009, Inverness, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 31 December 2010, BOOK, Lelièvre, Jean, Balavoine, Maurice, Le Mans-Paderborn, 836–1994: dans l'Europe, une amitié séculaire, un sillage de lumière,weblink 9 August 2013, 1994, M. Balavoine, Le Mans, 1–42, French, Starting in 1905, Keighley in West Yorkshire, England, had a twinning arrangement with French communities Suresnes and Puteaux.BOOK, Frank Crane, War and World Government, 200,weblink 20 September 2009, 978-0-559-44381-7, 2008, BiblioBazaar, LLC, WEB,weblink France Magazine – Twin Towns,, 6 November 2009, The first recorded modern twinning agreement was between Keighley and Poix-du-Nord in Nord, France, in 1920 following the end of the First World War.BOOK, Take your partners: The local authority handbook on international partnerships,weblink Handley, Susan, 2006, 4, Local Government International Bureau, London, 20 September 2009, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 17 July 2011, WEB,weblink Town twinning in the UK and Germany, 29 July 2013, East Street Arts, This was initially referred to as an adoption of the French town; formal twinning charters were not exchanged until 1986.WEB,weblink Keighley celebrates twin town jubilee, 5 January 2009, Newsquest Media Group, 2002, Telegraph & Argus, The practice was continued after the Second World War as a way to promote mutual understanding and cross-border projects of mutual benefit.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 24 January 2013, – Twinning,, 10 October 2009, WEB,weblink Twin Towns,, 29 October 2009, For example, Coventry twinned with Stalingrad and later with Dresden as an act of peace and reconciliation, all three cities having been heavily bombed during the war.WEB,weblink Coventry's twin towns, 6 August 2013, Griffin, Mary, 2 August 2011, Coventry Telegraph, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 6 August 2013, WEB,weblink Coventry{{mdash, Twin towns and cities |accessdate=6 August 2013 |work=Coventry City Council. |archiveurl =weblink" title="">weblink |archivedate=14 April 2013 |url-status=dead }}WEB,weblink Disney seeks UK twin,, 30 October 2009, The City of Bath formed an "Alkmaar Adoption committee" in March 1945, when the Dutch city was still occupied by the German Army in the final months of the war, and children from each city took part in exchanges in 1945 and 1946.WEB,weblink Bath Alkmaar Twinning Association {{!, ORIGINS | |language=en |access-date=23 June 2017 }} Similarly, in 1947, Bristol Corporation (later Bristol City Council) sent five 'leading citizens' on a goodwill mission to Hanover. Reading in 1947 was the first British town to form links with a former "enemy" city – Düsseldorf. The linkWEB,weblink Reading-Düsseldorf Association – Devoted to promoting & developing friendship between Reading and Düsseldorf, 10 October 2019, still exists. Since 9 April 1956 Rome and Paris have been exclusively and reciprocally twinned with each other, following the motto: "Only Paris is worthy of Rome; only Rome is worthy of Paris."WEB
,weblink" title="">weblink
, dead
, 5 September 2012
, Twinning with Rome
, 27 May 2010
, WEB,weblink Mairie de Paris, Les pactes d'amitié et de coopération, 14 October 2007, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 11 October 2007, Within Europe, town twinning is supported by the European Union. The support scheme was established in 1989. In 2003 an annual budget of about {{€|12 million|link=yes}} was allocated to about 1,300 projects. The Council of European Municipalities and Regions also works closely with the Commission (DG Education and Culture) to promote modern, high quality twinning initiatives and exchanges that involve all sections of the community. It has launched a website dedicated to town twinning.WEB,weblink Twinnings,, 16 June 2009, As of 1995, the European Union had more than 7,000 bilateral relationships involving almost 10,000 European municipalities, primarily French (2837 twinnings) and German (2485 twinnings).WEB,weblink Town-twinning as a factor generating international flows of goods and people., 29 July 2013, Furmankiewicz, Marek, 21 March 2004, Institute of Geography and Regional Development, University of WrocÅ‚aw, Poland,weblink" title="">weblink 29 July 2013, dead, {{multiple image
| width = 170
|image1 = Sutton twin towns mural painting, SUTTON, Surrey, Greater London (2).jpg
|caption1 = The painting of Gagny
| image2 = Sutton twin towns mural sunlit in June, SUTTON, Surrey, Greater London (2).jpg
| caption2 = Sutton twin towns mural
| image3 = Sutton twin towns mural sunlit in June, SUTTON, Surrey, Greater London (3).jpg
| caption3 = The painting of Minden
}}Public art has been used to celebrate twin town links, for instance in the form of seven mural paintings in the centre of the town of Sutton, Greater London. The five main paintings show a number of the main features of the London Borough of Sutton and its four twin towns, along with the heraldic shield of each above the other images. Each painting also features a plant as a visual representation of its town's environmental awareness.NEWS,weblink Sutton Guardian, 12 June 2011, Murals for Sutton twin towns to get new lease of life, 10 September 2014, NEWS,weblink 12 June 2011, Murals for Sutton twin towns to get new lease of life, London News, 10 September 2014, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 11 September 2014, In the case of Sutton this is in a separate smaller painting (above its main one) showing a beech tree, intended as a symbol of prosperity and from which Carshalton Beeches in the borough derives its name.PRESS RELEASE,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 25 August 2014, Revealing Sutton's twinning heritage 06.06.11: A set of murals celebrating Sutton's links with its continental twin towns is to be given a new lease of life., London Borough of Sutton press office, 6 June 2011, 10 September 2014, Another example of the use of public art is the wall sculpture of the partner cities of Munich, Germany.A recent study has concluded that geographical distance has very little, if any, influence upon communities' selections of a twin town.ARXIV, 1301.6900, Not all paths lead to Rome: Analysing the network of sister cities, Kaltenbrunner, Andreas, Aragon, Pablo, Laniado, David, Volkovich, Yana, 16 February 2013, cs.SI, Twinned towns are often chosen because of similarities between them; thus about 15 towns in Wales are twinned with towns in Brittany, and Oxford is with Bonn, Leiden, Grenoble and other university cities. In Italy a good example of Twinnings is Rovigo with Viernheim, Bedford and Tulcea. Many former West German cities are twinned with former East German cities; these twinning links were established before the fall of the Iron Curtain. Famous examples are the partnerships of Hanover and Leipzig, both of which have important trade fair grounds, or between Hamburg and Dresden. The first US-German town twinning was in 1947 between Worthington, Minnesota and Crailsheim.St Petersburg in Russia holds the record for the largest number of partnership arrangements with other communities. In June 2012, the Scottish village of Dull and the US town of Boring, Oregon, agreed to twin their municipalities to promote tourism in both places, playing on their names.WEB,weblink A Tale of Dull and Boring Sister Cities, 15 July 2013, LeVeille, David, The, WEB,weblink Boring in Oregon votes to pair with Dull in Perthshire, BBC News, 26 April 2016, WEB, Gambino, Lauren,weblink KVAL, Dull and Boring? Sounds exciting, dead, 22 February 2013,weblink" title="">weblink 22 October 2013, Recently some towns have made novelty twinning arrangements with fictional or virtual locations. Wincanton, England is partnered with Ankh-Morpork from Terry Pratchett's Discworld books.WEB, unknown,weblink Pratchett city twins with real town, 6 December 2002, 5 September 2013, British Broadcasting Corporation, Town twinning has increasingly been used to form strategic international business links. For example, in the 1990s, when the Nottingham City Council in the UK considered installing a tram network, it consulted experts from its twin city of Karlsruhe, which has one of the most extensive and efficient tram networks in Germany. With assistance from Karlsruhe's specialist engineers, Nottingham completed its second tram line in 2013. In 2014, Bristol and New Orleans announced their intention to form a 'tuning' partnership based on a shared musical heritage and culture offer, at the initiative of Bristol Mayor George Ferguson.WEB, unknown,weblink How Bristol could become the New Orleans of the UK, 27 February 2014, 17 August 2014, Bristol Post, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 19 August 2014, Annecy, France and Nerima, Tokyo have for several years shared a partnership based around their "co-existent animation industry".WEB,weblink 'Stimulation Project for the Coexistent Animation Industry Cluster in Nerima', Nerima City, January 2009, 10 October 2019, WEB,weblink 'Using pop culture to assert distinctiveness of place', Japan Local Government Centre, London, March 2011, 10 October 2019,

North America

File:Dull and Boring.JPG|thumb|right|Dull, Perth and Kinross is twinned with Boring, OregonBoring, OregonToledo, Ohio twinned with Toledo, Spain in 1931 and was the first city in North America to engage in town twinning. Denver, Colorado twinned with Brest, France was the second twinned city in North America. Liberal, Kansas was twinned with Olney, Buckinghamshire in 1950, and the cities have run a joint Pancake Day race ever since.WEB, Liberal wins 60th Int'l Pancake race, United Press International (UPI),weblink 30 April 2011, WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 6 February 2010, Pancake Race 2007, 26 April 2016, Littleton, CO twinned with Bega, Australia in 1961. Tashkent, the capital city of Uzbekistan, was twinned with Seattle, Washington in 1973. Rochester, Minnesota and Knebworth, UK are both centers for primary medical research, and they twinned in 1967.Town twinning begins for a variety of reasons. Generally, partner towns have similar demographics and size. They may arise from business connections, travel, similar industries, diaspora communities, or shared history. For example, the partnership between Portland, Oregon and Bologna, Italy arose from shared industries in biotechnology and education, and a "similar attitude towards food",WEB, Mission,weblink Portland Bologna Sister City Association, 16 July 2012, whereas Chicago's link with Warsaw, Poland began with Chicago's historic Polish community.NEWS, Leroux, Charles, Chicago has assembled a sorority of sister cities,weblink 16 July 2012, Chicago Tribune, 31 July 2001, The twinning of Indianapolis with Monza, Italy is due to both cities' long association with auto racing. Mexico City is also one of Chicago's sister cities.File:Los Angeles City Hall with sister cities 2006.jpg|thumb|upright|right|Los Angeles City Hall with twin towns fingerpostfingerpostA twin towns program was instituted in the United States in 1956 when President Dwight D. Eisenhower proposed a citizen diplomacy initiative. Sister Cities International (SCI) was originally a program of the National League of Cities, but it became a separate corporation in 1967 due to the growth and popularity of the program.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, Sister Cities International Fact Sheet, 24 March 2012, 10 October 2019, File:Thessaloniki stele, Melbourne.jpg|thumb|upright|Thessaloniki stele, in sister city MelbourneMelbourneTwin town cultural events include the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C. honouring Washington's twin relationship with Tokyo City. Many twinned towns developed business agreements with their partners. For example, Vermont's Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream company opened a factory in the Republic of Karelia in Russia and offered the same profit-sharing plan to its Russian employees.


File:Isfahankualalumpur.jpg|thumb|upright|right|Isfahan Street in Kuala Lumpur (top) and Kuala Lumpur Avenue in IsfahanIsfahanTown twinning is supported in Japan by the Council of Local Authorities for International Relations, a joint agency of local governments established by the Japanese government in 1988 (similar to Sister Cities International, its counterpart in the US). More recently, Tokyo has begun to actively promote 'city diplomacy' with other global cities at the initiative of its governor Yoichi Masuzoe.WEB,weblink Tokyo Governor Seeks Better Ties With Seoul, Alexander Martin, WSJ, 26 April 2016,

Linguistic reasons

Relationships between communities can also arise because of shared names; they may be named after one community (as in the case of Córdoba), they may share names (as in the case of Santiago de Compostela), or their names may have a common etymology.File:Artieda con EZLN (detalle).jpg|thumb|left|upright=0.45|Road sign of Artieda de Aragón and Emiliano Zapata, an autonomous Zapatista municipality.]] These similarities usually arise from sharing the same or related language, or from having been a colony or previously conquered.

Political significance

Twinning towns and cities is sometimes done for political purposes. The Hungarian city Gyöngyös was twinned with the Azerbaijani city of Shusha in 2013, signing the twinning agreement with representatives from the Azerbaijani government; Hungary recognises Shusha as part of Azerbaijan, even though since the end of the Karabakh War it has been controlled by the military forces of Armenia and the unrecognised Artsakh (de jure part of Azerbaijan).WEB,weblink APA – Gyöngyös city of Hungary fraternize with Azerbaijan's occupied town of Shusha – PHOTOSESSION, 26 April 2016, An attempt was made in 2003 by Preston city councillors in England to twin with the Palestinian town of Nablus in the name of solidarity.WEB,weblink Nablus twinning bid rejected, BBC News, 26 April 2016,

Termination of sister city relationships as the result of a dispute


File:2018-05-04 Europa Brunnen.jpg|The "Europe Fountain" Town Twinning, Mindelheim, Bavaria, GermanyFile:Louisville sistercities.jpg|Louisville's twin townsFile:Groß-Gerau Partnerstädte Szamotuly Brignoles.jpg|Coats of arms of the twin towns Szamotuły, Poland and Brignoles, FranceFile:Aubergenville Villes jumelées01.jpg|Aubergenville, France Villes jumeléesFile:Kamen bandirma.png|Bilingual sign in Bandırma.File:Kralupy nad Vltavou CZ twin towns 086.jpg|Insignia of twin towns on town hall in Kralupy nad Vltavou, Czech Republic.File:Epping and Eppingen (420184318).jpg|Sign in the United Kingdom showing the twinning of Epping, England with similarly-named Eppingen in Germany.File:Direction signs - Plovdiv's sister cities, Bulgaria.JPG|Plovdiv, Bulgaria twin towns directionsFile:Ottobrunn Partnerschaftsschild 2010-06-29.jpg|Ottobrunn, Germany Partnerschaftsschild Partner citiesFile:BrzegDolny-miasta.partnerskie.jpg|Four twinning towns of Brzeg Dolny, PolandFile:Twin town signs Kemi 20110627.JPG|Twin town signs of Kemi, FinlandFile:Neckarsulm PartnerStaedte.jpg|Sign denoting twin towns of Neckarsulm and Baden-Württemberg, GermanyFile:7759zaventemTwinCities.jpg|Zaventem, Belgium twin townsFile:Tawau Sabah Twin-Town-Memorial-01.jpg|Twin town monument in Tawau, Sabah, MalaysiaFile:Vanort stadshus.JPG|Linköping, Sweden twin townsFile:Yalta and Santa Barbara California are sister cities (3943064681).jpg|Yalta, Crimea and Santa Barbara, California are twin townsFile:Schild Weinsberger Partnerstaedte Mai 2005.jpg|Coats of arms of Weinsberg's twin towns Carignan, France and Costigliole d'Asti, ItalyFile:Twin towns sign, Osijek.jpg|Twin towns sign in Osijek, CroatiaFile:Znak miasta partnerskie Bełchatów.JPG|Bełchatów, Poland's twin townsFile:Holon Twin cities.JPG|Holon, Israel, a twin towns gardenFile:Dundee twin flags.JPG|The coats of arms of the twin towns of Dundee, UK, with their countries' flagsFile:Worms Wappen 2005-05-27.jpg|Worms, Germany partner cities signFile:Welcome to Glastonbury - - 1114993.jpg|Welcome to Glastonbury, UK - Twin towns Lalibela, Ethiopia and Patmos, GreeceFile:Town twinning commemoration in Bridge Street - - 1602357.jpg|Town twinning commemoration, Godalming, UKFile:RiminiSisterCities.jpg|Rimini, Italy's twin townsFile:DPAG-1997-Staedtepartnerschaften.jpg|'50 years of town twinning', German stamp from 1997File:2011 Fete jumelage Suresnes Holon.jpg|50th Anniversary celebrations twin towns Suresnes, France and HolonWEB,weblink Sister Cities International (SCI),, 21 April 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 13 June 2015, File:SporazumSuresnes.jpg|Kragujevac and Suresnes twinning agreementFile:Rochester NY Sister Cities Bridge and Chamber of Commerce 2001.jpg|Rochester NY Sister Cities Bridge and Chamber of CommerceFile:Friendship Gate Chinatown Philadelphia from west.jpg|Chinatown, Philadelphia. The arch built in Qing Dynasty style, using tiles from Philadelphia's twin town, Tianjin, ChinaFile:Partnerstädte Ilmenau.jpg|Partnership shield in Ilmenau, GermanyFile:Pápa twin towns.jpg|Sign showing twin towns of Pápa, HungaryFile:Piazza Terracina, Exeter - - 236121.jpg|Piazza Terracina, Exeter. Named after one of Exeter's twin towns TerracinaFile:PikiWiki Israel 4929 sister cities garden in holon.jpg|Twin towns garden in HolonFile:Montigny le Bx Jumellage.jpg|Montigny-le-Bretonneux, France twinningsFile:PANNEAU ENTREE MELUN.jpg|Melun, France twinningsFile:Wolow-MiG17.powiat.partnerski.Berdyczow.jpg|Wołów, Poland's MiG-17 twin town direction sign to Berdychiv, UkraineFile:Zalaegerszeg testvérvárosait jelző tábla.jpg|Zalaegerszeg, Hungary twinningsFile:Tbilisser-platz-saarbruecken.jpg|Tbilisi Platz in Saarbrücken, GermanyFile:Creteilpanneau.jpg|Créteil, France twinnings

See also



External links

{{Commons|Town twinning}} {{Twin towns}}{{Diplomacy}}

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