Becoming a Sister City of Atlanta
The sister city selection process is very strategic and competitive. The Atlanta Sister Cities Commission’s New Cities Development Committee (NCDC) determines the potential for a successful linkage between Atlanta and an applicant city from nations around the world. This decision is based on the following:
- Municipal compatibility
- Existence of a core group of committed individuals to develop and maintain the relationship in Atlanta (applicant sponsor group) and the applicant city
- Documentation that communicates potential for successful facilitation of cultural, civic, educational, technical, economic and business initiatives that are of mutual benefit
Establishing Contact with ASCC
Cities interested in fostering a sister city relationship with Atlanta may contact the Mayor’s Office of International Affairs.
The Application Process
Upon receipt of the completed application, NCDC assesses the application package. Applicant cities must be prepared to provide substantial supporting documentation in addition to a completed application. Materials that offer NCDC a virtual tour of the applicant city can enhance the application. Examples of supportive documentation are, but are not limited to the following:
- Graphic illustrations
- City promotional materials
- City books, maps
- Statistical data
- Video, DVD, CD-ROM and other multi-media presentations
- Data regarding industries, universities, businesses, and public facilities
Upon review of the application materials presented, the ASCC or the NCDC might, at its discretion, invite the applicant sponsor group to make a presentation. The NCDC will then:
- Determine whether a twinning is appropriate
- Submit a recommendation to ASCC for a vote
- Forward ASCC recommendation to the Mayor for approval*
- Represent the ASCC and the Mayor’s office, as necessary, during City Council approval process
- Participate in arrangements for twinning ceremonies upon final approval by City Council
*The Mayor submits a formal recommendation to the City Council for final approval.
Note: The formal process, though involved, is rewarding for compatible applicant cities.
Typically, a visit to the new city by a high level delegation from Atlanta occurs soon after an official notification by the Mayor of Atlanta of the City Council’s approval of the Mayor’s recommendation for a twinning relationship. The sister city relationship is formally established during an official twinning ceremony formalized by the Mayor of Atlanta and the new city’s Mayor.
The sponsor group of the new city is responsible for assisting in the planning of a memorable and festive trip to Atlanta, along with the Mayor’s Office of International Affairs, ASCC, and NCDC. Active participation by officials of the City Council of both cities is encouraged. The new city Mayor and delegation (including person(s) from the core group) are hosted over a 3– 5 day period. The actual twinning ceremony occurs in the Atlanta City Hall, and the official document is signed between both Mayors. The official twinning is the final formal process that marks the beginning of a successful sister city relationship.