What is a Sister City

About the Program


A Sister City program encourages international friendship, communication, and understanding between cultures. This is facilitated by two countries establishing a formal association for their cities. For those engaged in the program, it promises discovery, adventure, and enhanced awareness. Plus, it is fun!

History of the Program


The Sister City program is a living legacy conceived and initiated by President Eisenhower in 1956 as a new approach to secure peace around the world. Dwight D. Eisenhower deplored that throughout history, international diplomacy had often failed to keep peace and prevent war. He envisioned the establishment of personal, people-to-people friendships between Americans and peoples of other nations.

At first, 37 cities got behind the idea and located foreign cities with compatible interests. Today, more than 400 cities are engaged around the world. The program is growing steadily. Some cities have multiple relationships.

This massive form of citizen diplomacy seems to accomplish what nations some-times have failed to do, a chance for people of the world to become friends with each other. The Sister City program is an affirmation of people's good will toward other people.