May 14, 2016

What is a Sister City?

In 1955 Eisenhower was President, Germany joined NATO, the first McDonald’s opened, Tennessee Williams won a Pulitzer Prize for his play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, the most popular TV show was “The $64,000 Question” . . . and Columbus established its first international partnership with Genoa, Italy. The statue in front of City Hall, which was a gift from Genoa, remains a permanent symbol of the importance of reaching out around the world.

Today our region celebrates our 10 sister cities – Accra, Ahmedabad, Curitiba, Dresden, Genoa, Hefei, Herzliya, Odense, Seville, and Tainan City – and the extraordinary opportunities these relationships have afforded Columbus. For our city’s 2012 Bicentennial celebration Greater Columbus Sister Cities International (GCSCI) brought an international flavor to the festivities throughout the year. Our extensive involvement included 3 mayoral delegations visiting for the 200th birthday party in February, a special arts/sports delegation from Hefei – with a dragon boat team! – for the annual Asian Festival, and an exchange of runners for the Columbus and Dresden marathon races.

Columbus is beginning to take its rightful place on the international stage. With our vision to be a catalyst for sustainable international economic, cultural, educational and environmental partnerships, GCSCI plays a unique role in the vitality of the community. GCSCI does this by collaborating with the business community, diverse local communities, and thriving arts and education sectors. Through these strong collaborations GCSCI is helping central Ohio play a dynamic international role that is critical to growth in the 21st century.