Sister Cities

Sister Cities International is the leader for local community development and volunteer action by motivating and empowering private citizens, municipal officials and business leaders to conduct long-term sister city programs. Through a membership with Sister Cities International, the City of Dallas has established relationships with other cities around the world. The purpose of each sister city relationship is to promote peace through mutual respect, understanding and cooperation - one individual, one community at a time.

Dallas Sister Cities

Brno, Czech Republic

In 1990, the Dallas/Brno Sister City Committee was formed in response to a large population of Czech-Americans who reside in North Texas. A preliminary Sister City Relationship agreement was signed after a delegation of Dallas City Council members visited the City of Brno in 1991. Since that time, the two cities have enjoyed a relationship by sharing in one another’s culture. Activities such as numerous student exchanges, participation in soccer tournaments, and orchestra tours have taken place between the two. Most recently , a delegation of 35 individuals comprised of Sister Cities committee members, and Texas/Louisiana Czech-American Community representatives visited Brno to participate in Region Tour 2002.

About Brno

Brno lies in the central part of Europe, in the Czech Republic of which it is the second largest city. At the same time, it represents the center of the province of Moravia, one of the historic lands of the Czech Crown. It is situated at the crossroads of the ancient trade routes, which have joined the North and South European civilizations for centuries.

Brno is situatedin a picturesque countryside, surrounded on three sides by wooded hills and opening to the Southern Moravian lowlands to the south of the city. In the north, the foothills of the Drahany and Bohemian-Moravian ranges guard the city.

The city itself lies in the basic of the Svratka and Svitava rivers. From east to west it spans about 22 km (13 miles). The river Svratka cuts a 29 km (17 mile) path through the city and is the main supply for the Kninicky Dam Lake, a popular recreation area in the city's northwest corner.

For more information about the Dallas/Brno Sister City relationship or to become more involved, please contact Frank Mikula at or Paul Geczi at

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Dijon, France

Initiated as a promotional link to a Neiman Marcus event by Stanley Marcus, this relationship dates all the way back to 1957.In 1989, representatives from Dijon visited Dallas on the 200th Anniversary of the French Republic.During this visit, they were presented Certificates of Honorary Citizenship and an official key to the city.Since that time, several luncheons have occurred for the Consular Corps of DFW in order to connect Dallas with Dijon.Additionally, the Dallas/Dijon Sister City Committee hosted the Dijon Exhibit: A Look at our Sister City in France.The cultural exchange was held in the Great Court at DallasCity Hall and featured eleven large panels with photographs and text on the Burgundy region and Dijon.The majority of the visitors to Dallas from Dijon, and vice versa, are students or professors who participate on a short-term exchange program between the cities.With an educational connection, we hope to bridge the gap between Dijon and Dallas.

About Dijon

Dijon is a dynamic medium-size city of 200,000 inhabitants located in the heart of Burgundy, a region famous for its wines, its cuisine, its “plaisir de vivre,” its historical heritage, and its most beautiful villages and landscapes.Dijon was recently voted the “most athletic” city in France.It also ranked second “most livable” city in France.Dijon offers the pleasures and interests of a big urban center, and the peacefulness and the laid-back feeling of a small city.Dijon is also well located in France, allowing students to travel easily.The city’s public transportation system is excellent, cheap, and convenient.Dijon is also the perfect starting-point for exploring Paris, which is only 35 minutes away.Dijon I s famous for its wine villages (Nuits-Saint-Georges), where you can stop.The city is safe, clean, and pedestrian friendly.It is also renowned for its architectural beauty, which makes it a delight to walk around.

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Monterrey, Mexico

This relationship began as FriendshipCity status on April of 1988 when a delegation from Dallas, made up for City Council members and Mexican Consul General, traveled to Monterrey to explore the possibility of establishing a relationship between the two cities.Because Texas and Mexico share strong cultural ties with one another, this relationship has enjoyed many different shared activities since its initiation.

About Monterrey

Monterrey, Mexico’s third largest city, is a truly surprising city.A powerhouse of business and industry, this city is one of the most important production and trade centers in the country.There are a number of nearby attractions that appeal to tourists, especially those interested in a vacation complemented by all of the amenities that are associated with the convenience that a large city offers.Quality restaurant, modern shopping malls, numerous museums, and cultural attractions abound here.The mountains, canyons, and desert that surround the city offer pleasant diversion and a wide variety of activities, many of which are not readily available anywhere else in Mexico.

A modern, well-planned city that is easy to navigate and full of cultural offerings, Monterrey is populated by friendly and helpful people who are eager to present their city as the most advanced in Mexico.Monterrey’s population of over one million (three million in the urban area) is the most educated in Mexico, and the city of a per-capita basis has more colleges, universities, and institutes of technology than any other Mexican city.

Monterrey is also known as “The Sultan of the North,” partly due to the fact that this city is probably the most business-friendly city in Mexico.The open business climate has helped this city evolve into an enormous industrial and commercial center.Two airports, railway links, over 35 modern industrial parks and a modern, high tech, convention and exhibition center are all results of this city’s commercial success.

For more information about the Dallas/Monterrey Sister City relationship or to become more involved, please contact Cosme Garcia at or Francoise Reynaud at

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Riga, Latvia

Per the wishes of the World Culture Alliance, a sister city relationship was pursued with Riga, Latvia (then a part of the Soviet Union) in 1986.Dallas Mayor Annette Staruss and Riga Deputy Mayor Andris Barkans signed a joint Partner Cities Declaration in February of 1990 when a delegation of six Riga City Council members visited Dallas.This relationship has remaind particularly active on part of both cities.Sam Houston High School of Arlington, Booker T. Washington High School, along with many other schools have participated in student exchange programs, both sending and accepting delegates.In 1996, the Dallas Youth Orchestra presented official certificates to Riga City Council members during a joint concert.Later that year, Dallas reciprocated by hosting the Riga Boys Choir, who gave a joint concert with the Texas Boys Choir.In honor of official Latvian holidays, the Dallas/Riga Sister City Committee has hosted several celebrations in Dallas over the years.

About Riga

Riga is the capital of the Republic of Latvia and the geographical center of the Baltic States.The city’s crossroads location between Western Europe and huge Eastern markets has always been – and still is – one of Riga’s attraction for business activities.Latvia is situated on the Baltic coast and borders Estonia in the North, Lithuania in the South, the RussiaRepublic in the Easy, and Belarus in the Southeast.The coastal plain is mostly flat, but inland to the east the land is hilly with forests and lakes.Latvia has a total of 2,300 lakes and about 12,000 rivers.Only 17 of those 12,000 rivers are longer than 100 km.Riga is also an important transport junction.The main elements that make the city a transit center are the harbor of Riga, the Riga international airport, and the developed railway and road networks.The historically developed transportation infrastructure has facilitated Riga’s evolution as the major industrial and business center in the Baltic region.The city is well known for its architectural and cultural values, skillful labor, and developed infrastructure.Riga is not only the backbone of Latvia’s economy but also the largest center of education and science.This is confirmed by a large number of cultural events, international exhibitions, scientific conferences, and seminars that take place every year in Riga.

For more information about the Dallas/Riga Sister City relationship or to become more involved, please contact Jennie Goldstein at

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Saratov, Russia

December 8, 2004, Saratov, Russia, was officially recognized by the Dallas City Council as a new sister city. On October 27, 2003, Dallas Mayor Laura Miller and Saratov Mayor Iory Aksenenko signed a "Partner Cities Declaration" formally acknowledging the many years of friendship and cooperation between the citizens of the two cities in business, humanitarian, and cultural endeavors. A variety of civic, government, educational, business leaders, as well as humanitarian, business and cultural groups in both cities have contributed to different phases of this program with financial, political, and volunteer support. There have been exchanges of more than a dozen official delegations, including groups led by elected officials in the respective cities. Like Dallas, Saratov is a growing economic center of a vast agricultural and oil-rich region. There are many characteristics of common ground, including similarities in population, educational level, and love for the musical and performing arts. Dallas' Russian ethnic community is well-organized and strongly supportive of developing the relationship.

About Saratov

Saratov was founded in 1590 and named after the Tatar word Sary-Tau (YellowMountain). Saratov is located about 500 miles southeast of Moscow in the heart of Volga River Valley Region and is the center of one of the biggest provinces in Russia. The region is rich in natural resources and has many highly educated and skilled citizens. Saratov has a size of close to 380 square kilometers and a population of about 1 million people with an additional 2 million people in the surrounding area. The city's architecture has been influenced by both European and Asian cultures. Among the modem landmarks of Saratov is the 2.8 kilometer bridge which connects Saratov with Engels. Saratov's climate is continental and is much like the climate of Chicago: the average winter temperature is 11 degrees Fahrenheit and the average summer temperature is 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Prior to the fall of Communism, Saratov was a major industrial center for the nation's defense industry. After Saratov was "opened" to Westerners in 1991, the area quickly became one of the most progressive regions in Russia, known for its political and economic reforms.

For more information about the Dallas/Saratov Sister City relationship or to become more involved please contact David Griggs at dgriggs@ftc.govor Michael J. Jackson at

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Taipei, Taiwan

In November of 1996, Dallas Mayor Kirk and Taipei Mayor Chen signed the sister cities agreement at City Hall to promote culture, business, and trade. Following the signing of the agreement, City ManagerJohn Ware hosted a lunch at the Park Cities Club for the honored as well as local guests. Since the signing, delegations from Taipei have come to visit Dallas, and in 1997, Dallas City Manager John Wareled a delegation to Taipei. In Taipei, they met with Overseas Chinese Commissioner S.Y. Lu, paid acourtesy call to Mayor Chen, visited with TaipeiCity government officials, met with various corporaterepresentatives, and met with the Ambassador of Dallas to Taipei. In 2000, Mayor Kirk led a DallasBusiness Delegation Mission to Asia which was co-sponsored by the City of Dallas, Greater Dallas Chamber of Commerce, the Dallas-China Partnership, and the Greater Dallas Chamber of Commerce. In Taipei, Mayor Kirk had courtesy visits with the new Taipei City Mayor Ma and ROC President Chen Mayor Mahosted a luncheon in honor of Mayor Kirk. After sharing a friendship agreement for more than ten years Dallas and Taipei became official sister cities in January 2006.

About Taipei

As the capital of the Republic of China, Taipei is a vibrant blend of traditional culture and cosmopolitanlife. Taipei is the political, economic, educational, and recreational center of the country with largenumbers of significant cultural sights located throughout the city. The city is situated in a basin in thenorth of Taiwan that was originally inhabited by aboriginal peoples until settlers from China moved intothe area about 300 years ago. A more recent cultural focal point in the city is the NationalPalaceMuseum which houses hundreds of thousands of Chinese antiques and art works. The museum is locatedin the north of the city and is a must see for lovers of ancient Chinese culture. The eastern section of thecity was largely underused fields until the 1970s when the city began to develop the area as a financial and commercial district. This area reveals the modern face of Taipei with its glass and steel skyscrapers,wide boulevards, and the WorldTradeCenter. Taipei also boasts dozens of world-class performancevenues to enjoy including some of the best theater and concert events. With the wealth of interesting and funactivities available in Taipei and the city's warm extension towards guests, foreign visitors are certainto have an unforgettable experience in this remarkable city.

For more information about the Dallas/Taipei Sister City relationship or to become more involved please contact Charles Ku at or Jennifer Li at

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Valencia, Spain

The influence of Sister City València, Spain, can be seen every day in the Dallas riverfront skyline. València is the hometown of the renowned architect/designer Santiago Calatrava who created both the celebrated Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge and the Margaret McDermott Bridge over the centerpiece waterway of Dallas, the Trinity River. València, with around 800,000 residents, is Spain’s third largest city. Like Dallas, it has become the heart of a major metropolitan area, drawing a regional population of around 2.5 million people.

About Valencia

Founded as a Roman colony in 138 BC, the city is on the Gulf of València on the Mediterranean Sea and is one of Europe’s busiest shipping ports. It also manages to maintain a respect for its past while introducing elements of the 21st Century into architecture, shopping and entertainment in an enviable location between sandy beaches and coastal mountains. València, like Dallas, enjoys a dynamic tourism industry, with museums and historic sites. One of the major attractions is The City of Arts and Sciences, described as a “colossal structure” and an “entertainment-based cultural and architectural complex.” It is also called “architecture at its most futuristic” and, of course, it was designed by “València’s own Santiago Calatrava.”

For more information about the Dallas/Valencia Sister City relationship or to become more involved please contact Janet Kafka at

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Friendship Cities

Sendai, Japan

The Japan American Society in Dallas (JASD) formed the Dallas/Japan Sister Cities Committee andbegan the search for a Japanese sister city in 1991. The city of Sendai was quickly selected, and afterseveral visits on part of representatives from both cities, the agreement proceeded. Dallas and Sendaienjoyed a number of exchanges long before the International Sister Agreement was officially signedn 1996. There have been a number of business partnerships created between the two cities since 1991. For the past seven years, Dallas has sent a delegation to Sendai, Japan to participate in the city's Annual Half Marathon. The delegation typically includes a City Council member, two runners, and a representative from the Office of International Affairs, now Dallas Protocol.

The most memorable event between these two cities was the "Sun and Star 1996" festival that introducedJapanese culture throughout major cities in Texas in which special arrangements were made for Dallas tosuccessfully organize. A Sendai citizen's delegation composed of 100 members visited Dallas late in thesummer to introduce Sendai's culture through the festival. Many local companies collaborated with theCity of Dallas in order to make the celebration spectacular. Most recognizable was the Dallas Museum ofArt (DMA). Developed collaboratively with the DMA, Mitchell's Fine Arts Day took advantage of Sunand Star 1996, North Texas Japanese art and culture festival that lasted for 100 days in the fall of 1996 Aprimary goal of this concerted effort was that all students from all grade levels at the school visited the'DMA s exhibition of Japan's Golden Age: Momoyama. The exhibit of artworks created during Japan'sMomoyama period (1568-1618) included ceramics, lacquer ware, painted screen and scrolls masked weaponry. The DMA was the only venue in the world for this monumental exhibition that included many Japanese National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties.

For more information about the Dallas/Sendai Friendship City relationship or to become more involvedplease contact Anna McFarland or Mark Berry at

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Tianjin, China

To reflect the principle of the Sino-American Joint Communiqué that promotes mutual understanding of cultures and people in two different countries, the City of Dallas and the City of Tianjin agreed to establish a friendship city relationship. On April 14, 1995, the mayor of Tianjin in China and later Mayor Stephen Bartlett in Dallas signed the agreement making the already blossoming relationship official. Over the last few years, Dallas and Tianjin have benefited from a mutual exchange of ideas and culture. In February 2006, a delegation from Tianjin Economic and Technological Development Area (TEDA) met with Mayor Pro Tern Don Hill and Council Member Ron Natinksy to discuss enhancing the existing relationship as well as promoting more exchange visits between Tianjin and Dallas. Additionally, the Office of Economic Development for the City of Dallas as well as the Dallas Fire and Police Departments made special presentations to the delegation. At a breakfast in April 2006 coordinated by Dallas Protocol and the Economic Development International Office, a TEDA delegation announced the opening of a trade office in Dallas.

About Tianjin

As the biggest coastal city in northern China, Tianjin has always enjoyed the reputation of being the "Pearl of Bohai Sea." Located in the midpoint of the gold coast of northern China, the city is a point of access to the sea for the northern and northwestern areas of the country. The origin of Tianjin begins with a walk down the Ancient Cultural Street which exposes visitors to the history and culture of this ancient city. Tianjin's history can be traced back 800 years to the Jin Dynasty (1115-1234) when it was then known as ZhiguVillage. The city that exists today expanded from this area. One hundred twenty kilometers away from Beijing, the city of Tianjin has always been considered a strategic stronghold for, and a gateway to, China's capital city. The "shield of Tianjin" is Dagu seaport, located where HaiheRiver flows into the BohaiSea. In 1858, six gun fortifications were built at Dagu to strengthen the coastal defense and guarantee the safety of Beijing. In the country's contemporary history, Dagu seaport gradually became an important military point by which Qing Dynasty fought against foreign invasions by western imperialist powers. With a dynamic culture and an ever-growing economy, Tianjin is on its way to becoming a more modern coastal city and an important economic center in northern China.

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