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Sister Cities Progam

A sister city relationship is a broad-based, long-term partnership between two cities in two countries officially recognized after each Mayor or highest elected official from both communities sign off on an agreement to become sister cities. Philadelphia is officially linked with 8 Sister Cities and 3 Partnership Cities in 10 countries and one "Partners for Peace" city with Mosul, Iraq. 

At the heart of the Sister Cities program is an agreement signed by the mayors of each city confirming their commitment, and that of their successors, to the program. Each Sister City agrees to send and receive delegations of political and business leaders, arts and cultural representatives, educators, technical experts, and students. We work with the City of Philadelphia, private citizens, and corporate partners to execute official exchanges.  Each Sister City is supported by volunteers who are committed to the goals and objectives of the program. Citizen Diplomacy is a member of Sister Cities International.

Philadelphia's Areas of cooperation include:

  • Economic development and trade
  • Youth and education
  • Municipal and technological cooperation
  • Sports, Arts and Culture

City-to-City relationships improve our world by:

  • Promoting democracy and a positive image of Philadelphia and the U.S.
  • Educating our citizens about the world and its diversity
  • Expanding mutual understanding among nations
  • Strengthening our economies through business alliances 

Philadelphia’s Sister Cities are:

Florence, Italy; Tel Aviv, Israel; Torun, Poland; Tianjin, China; Incheon, Korea; Douala, Cameroon; Nizhny Novgorod Russia; Kobe, Japan; Aix-en-Provence, France, and Abruzzo, Italy.

Sister Cities Park

18th and Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Originally Sister Cities Plaza dedicated in 1976,  a complete redesign was unveiled in 2011 to transform the park into a green oasis in the middle of an urban environment, where people of all ages can come to enjoy various activities. The park celebrates the city’s commitment to strengthening global economic ties and cultural understanding.  The fountain’s 10 geyser-like spouts mark our 10 sister cities, each positioned according to its global relationship to Philadelphia. 

Sister Cities Park was inspired by the Champs- Elysees and has become a major destination for families with children, local school groups, nearby office workers, and visitors to Parkway institutions. Managed and maintained by the Center City District, the Sister Cities Fountain, Pond, and the Children’s Discovery Garden have exceeded all expectations, drawing large groups of families with young children throughout the warm weather months. The garden, with its mountain stream and meandering paths, has remained an attraction in cooler weather.  For more information on the cafe, features, activities and rentals visit www.ccdparks.org/sister-cities-park.

The renovation of Sister Cities Park was undertaken in a partnership with the Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation, with funding from The Pew Charitable Trusts, the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, the State Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program, and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

Adding New Sister Cities

As much as we'd like to have a Sister City in every country, the economics of maintaining relationships doesn't permit it.  At this time, Philadelphia is unable to accept additional Sister Cities because we are committed to strengthening the relationships with the ten cities with which we have established relationships.  Our hope is to add more in the future.  When we do, it is essential that there is a large local ethnic community and an established organization within the community to support each Sister City relationship. It is equally important that anyone interested in requesting that a new city be considered, contact our office for advice.