In 1956 President Dwight Eisenhower started Sister Cities International as part of a White House conference on citizen diplomacy. The broad idea behind developing sister city relationships is to create a person-to-person exchange between Americans and citizens of other countries based on cultural, educational, information and trade exchanges. Americans can and should learn about and celebrate differences that we have with communities around the world, thus creating new friendships and hopefully playing a small role in making future world conflict less likely. This article will focus on Seattle sister cities.
Today, there are 21 Seattle sister cities, the first of which was started in 1957 with Kobe, Japan and the most recent started in 1999 with Sihahoukville, Cambodia. Seattle also broke new ground when they started a sister city relationship in 1973 with Tashkent, Uzbekistan, then a member of the former USSR. The relationship between the two cities is still active today.
For more information about Seattle sister cities, see the Seattle Sister Cities portal of the Seattle.gov website. For more information about the sister cities program on a more macro level, see the Sister Cities International official website.
Seattle sister cities
Below is a list, in alphabetical order, of Seattle’s 21 sister cities, when the sister city relationship was formed and weblinks (if available).
- Be’er Shiva, Israel. Established 1977. See the Seattle-Be’er Shiva Facebook page.
- Bergen, Norway. Established 1967. See the Seattle-Bergen Sister City Association Facebook page.
- Cebu, Philippines. Established 1991.
- Chongqing, China. Established 1983. See the Seattle Chongqing Sister Cities official website.
- Christchurch, New Zealand. Established 1981. See the Seattle Christchurch Sister City Association & New Zealanders of Seattle official website. Also see Facebook pages here and here
- Daejeon, South Korea. Established 1989. See the sister city summary on the Daejeon official website.
- Galway, Ireland. Established 1986. See the Seattle Galway Sister City Association official website.
- Gdynia, Poland. Established 1993. See the Seattle-Gdynia Sister City Association (SGSCA) official website.
- Haiphong, Vietnam. Established 1996. See the Seattle-Hai Phong Sister City official website.
- Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Established 1991.
- Kobe, Japan. Established 1957. See the Seattle-Kobe Sister City Association official website and Facebook page.
- Limbe, Cameroon. Established 1984. See the Seattle-Limbe Sister City Association official website.
- Mazatlán, Mexico. Established 1979.
- Mombasa, Kenya. Established 1981. See the Seattle-Mombasa Sister City Association official website.
- Nantes, France. Established 1980. See the Seattle-Nantes Sister City Association official website and Facebook page.
- Pécs, Hungary. Established 1991.
- Perugia, Italy. Established 1993. See the Seattle-Perugia Sister City Association official website and Facebook page.
- Reykjavik, Iceland. Established 1986.
- Sihanoukville, Cambodia. Established 1999. See the Seattle-Sihanoukville Sister City Association official website and Facebook page.
- Surabaya, Indonesia. Established 1992. See the Facebook page.
- Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Established 1973. See the Seattle-Tashkent Sister City Association official website and Facebook page.
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