• Town Twinning

      Town twinning, also known as partnering towns or sister cities, refers to the concept of pairing cities across the globe as a way to foster human and cultural links among nations. The first official town twinning happened in 1930 between the cities of Klagenfurt, Austria and Wiesbaden, Germany. However, it wasn't until after WWII that town twinning actually became a popular practice.

      Developed in Europe as a way of creating friendship ties and understanding between the countries affected by the war, town twinning quickly spread to other continents as well. In 1944, Vancouver became the first city to be paired with a transatlantic sister city, when it was linked to Odessa, in Ukraine. The pairing was a great way for both cities to provide support to each other during the war.

      Town twinning is considered such an important concept that the European Union allocates about 12 million Euros a year to promote it. This often leads to cultural collaborations and economic trades, as well as frequent student exchanges.

      Town twinning often pairs cities that share some common characteristics, such as similar demographics, same names, or similar development issues. For example, Toledo, Spain and Toledo, Ohio, are twin cities. Certain countries have preferences when selecting cities. For example, 50 percent of the town twinnings established in the United Kingdom are with France.

       There are no specific guidelines as to the number of town twinnings a city can have. For example, the city of Singapore has two town twinning pairing, with Batam, Johor Bahru. On the other hand, New York City has fifteen twin cities: Tokyo, Madrid, Beijing, Cairo, Rome, Budapest, Sydney, Jerusalem, Santo Domingo, London, Amsterdam, Toronto, Bogota, and Johannesburg.


      List of twin towns and sister cities:


      Munich, Germany

      Germany Munich, Germany

      Milan, Italy

      Italy Milan, Italy August 2012


      Malaysia   Malaysia (October 2006)

      Karachi, Pakistan

      Pakistan Karachi, Pakistan



      Lahore Lahore, Pakistan

      Fresno Fresno, United States


      Ürümqi, China Ürümqi, China



      Flag of Iraq.svg   Najaf, Iraq



      Flag of Afghanistan.svg Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan


      Karbala, Iraq

      پرچم عراق  Karbala, Iraq



        Santiago de Compostela

      Flag of Spain.svg  Santiago de Compostela, Spain



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