A few questions you might have about sister cities...

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What is a Sister City?

Sister cities are a form of legal or social agreement between towns, cities, counties, regions, states, and even countries in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.

The modern concept of sister city, 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, and to encourage trade and tourism. By the 2000s, town twinning became increasingly used to form strategic international business links among member cities.

What is the difference between a Friendship City and a Sister City?

The terms “sister city” and “friendship city” sometimes have different meanings. Generally speaking, friendship cities are less formal than sister cities. In some cities, “friendship city” is often used as a first stage in the relationship, and after it is strengthened and the partners are sure they want a long-term relationship they will become “sister cities.” This is the case for Tacoma.

What are the objectives of Tacoma Sister Cities Program?

The Tacoma Sister and Friendship Cities Programs was developed to support and enhance Tacoma’s global identity by seeking to increase global engagements with international cities that share commonalities with the City.

These commonalities can include innovation, arts, and culture, science and technology, environmental protection and coastal sustainability, gastronomy and tourism.

We also welcome partnerships and sharing of best practices on common challenges including fire and flood prevention, homelessness, and refugees.

What is an Emeritus City?

A Sister City in Emeritus Status is a City that was formerly an active Sister City but the relationship is no longer active.

The city of Tacoma is always interested in developing friendship and sister city ties with new cities!

If you are interested in learning more about what is involved in starting a friendship or sister city relationship with Tacoma, download our policies on affiliation and the application forms below for each of the programs.

Do you know Sister Cities International?

Sister Cities International has a rich history of citizen diplomacy and building relationships all across the world. Since their inception in 1956, Sister Cities International has worked to create global relationships based on cultural, educational, information and trade exchanges. The result? Participants developed lifelong friendships that provide prosperity and peace through person-to-person “citizen diplomacy.”

A few articles about Sister Cities

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