Boston Sister Cities

The Sister Cities Program began as a national concept in 1956, when President Dwight D. Eisenhower called for massive exchanges between Americans and people of other countries.

Purpose of the Program

The purpose of these exchanges is to create international understanding and goodwill. A Sister City agreement is formalized when two communities from different nations join together to develop a friendly and meaningful relationship. The two cities exchange people, ideas, culture, education, and technology. Citizens from both communities learn about each other's culture and become directly involved in developing unique solutions to common problems. The Sister Cities Program promotes world peace in an individual level and encourages citizens to better understand community, by contrasting their way of life with another culture.

Objectives of the Program

  1. Strengthening Boston's international relations in the areas of: Friendship, Trade, Understanding and Cooperation.

    Boston, a city rich in ethnic diversity, strongly believes in cultivating international awareness and understanding. Through the Sister City Program, the City of Boston is able to strengthen ties of friendship with international cities, their people, governments, and cultures.

  2. Enhancing Boston's global reputation.

    Our Sister City Program allows Boston to be recognized internationally as a leading cultural city, in terms of education, architecture and history.

  3. Expanding Economic Interests.

    Our program creates an opportunity for the City of Boston to come in contact with international business communities. Through the Sister City Associations, economic interests and foreign trade relations are increased and nourished. Such exposure also promotes tourism and convention activities.
    *Sister Cities International Guidelines

  4. Enriching Boston's cultural and educational climate.

    The program sponsors many cultural and educational exchanges, which display the uniqueness and vitality of each city's artwork, music, dance, architec-ture, history, and traditions.

  5. Creating a diplomatic atmosphere.

    The City of Boston often hosts foreign dignitaries and delegations. Because of the Sister Cities Program's continuous international contact, it is often called upon for consultation in the area of diplomatic relations.

Funding for Boston's Sister City Programs

The Sister City programs operate as non-profit, independent organizations, and are heavily dependent on voluntary support and contributions. Each association welcomes anyone interested in participating in the exchange and planning of events.

History of Boston's Sister Cities

The cradle of American independence, Boston has become a city rich in ethnic and cultural diversity. During the 1950s, citizens and government officials recognized the importance of developing closer international relations, and the search for a Sister City began. In 1959, Mayor Takayama of Kyoto, Japan, suggested an official cultural exchange, resulting in the Boston-Kyoto Sister City Association. The success of this program prompted the development of other goodwill sister relations. To the present date, eight Sister City friendships have been formed.

Full List of Sister Cities


Click on their names for more information.

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KYOTO, Japan
STRASBOURG, France
BARCELONA, Spain
HANGZHOU, China
PADUA, Italy
MELBOURNE, Australia
TAIPEI, Taiwan, Republic of China
SEKONDI-TAKORADI, Ghana
BELFAST, Northern Ireland