sister cities

How do some of the most successful, leading cities in the world solve their problems? They steal the solutions — from other cities.

Sister Cities International grew out of a White House conference on citizen diplomacy called by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956.

Sweden on the Road

October 16, 2014

Sweden’s Ambassador to the United States, Björn Lyrvall, discusses the #Sweden on the Road campaign.

It was a big family reunion as more than 300 people from Chinese and US sister cities and sister provinces and states got together on Wednesday evening at the Chinese Embassy in Washington DC. Participants came from all parts of the two nations, such as Qinghai province in Northwest China and Fort Worth, Texas, for the US-China Sister Cities Conference in Washington on March 26-28.

Often, those of us who study public diplomacy forget about the hard work put forth daily by thousands of U.S. volunteers working as citizen diplomats. The activities of organizations such as Sister Cities International and the National Council for International Visitors not to mention the Fulbright Scholar Exchanges, are great examples of citizen diplomacy in action across America every day.

Chicago continues to forge its way through the 21st century as a leader on the world stage, and over the past several years, we have seen the city’s global presence grow stronger than ever. Chicago’s commitment to expanding the city’s global influence has made positive impacts on the lives of Chicago residents, the residents of our sister cities, and all those who travel to Chicago to experience our city’s unparalleled offerings.

One of the questions newly sworn-in gay Los Angeles City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell got at a meet-and-greet at the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center last Tuesday, July 23, was from the Center’s Chief Public Affairs Officer, Jim Key. “You've probably heard about the horrible anti-gay crackdown in Russia, and know that St. Petersburg—which passed the ‘anti-gay propaganda law’—is a ‘sister city’ to Los Angeles. We don't think L.A. should be affiliated with such a city,” Key said.

Crater Lake National Park may soon have a sister park in southeast China's Fujian Province. Park Superintendent Craig Ackerman and Carolyn Hill, executive director of the Crater Lake National Park Trust, are working with Chinese officials as well as the Oregon Legislature and others to create a sister-park agreement between Oregon's only national park and the Mount Wuyi World Heritage and Cultural Site in Fujian Province.