Sister Cities International
Founded in 1956 by U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Sister Cities International is a nonprofit citizen diplomacy network that creates and strengthens partnerships between U.S. and international communities. The program encourages global cooperation at the community level, promotes cultural understanding, and stimulates economic development.
Lansing's Sister Cities
The Lansing Regional Sister Cities Commission (LRSCC) develops and coordinates international sister city relationships for the city of Lansing, Michigan. Relationships with select global cities are cultivated through shared international artistic, educational, cultural, economic, and other exchange programs. LRSCC works to promote community understanding and appreciation of other cultures in hopes of creating a more peaceful world.
Lansing's first Sister City relationship was formed in 1968, with Otsu, Japan. Guadalajara, Mexico was added in 1982. St. Petersburg (Central District) Russia, was added in 1992, Saltillo, Mexico 1994, Sanming, China in 1997 and Akuapim South District, Ghana, in 1997. During 2000, a special tie of friendship was acknowledged and endorsed by the LRSCC Board of Directors between Lansing and the community of Cosenza, Calabria, Italy.
In order to further strengthen the bond between cities, LRSCC also launched Circle of Friends, a humanitarian program designed to help sister cities in special need.
Otsu's cultural heritages are reflected in its traditional tastes and crafts such as Braided Rope for kimono accessories, Freshwater Fish from Lake Biwa, Zezeyaki Pottery, and Gampishi Silk Paper. Other specialty products include Lake Biwa freshwater pearls, bamboo and shell crafts, miso, teas, and rice cakes.
The city of Guadalajara boasts stunning architecture, parks, fountains, and tree-lined avenues. With a population of more than 3 million, Guadalajara is the nation's second largest metropolis area and an important hub for culture, economy, history, industry and religion.
St. Petersburg, Russia
St. Petersburg is the second largest city in Russia and has a reputation as the most European city in the country. Built on 44 islands and woven with water from the Neva River, St. Petersburg is often referred to as "Venice of the North" because of the many canals, granite embankments and bridges found along the river. The city's majestic appearance is enhanced through a variety of architectural details including long, straight boulevards, vast spaces, gardens and parks, decorative wrought-iron fences, spectacular palaces, monuments and sculptures.
The city of Saltillo is considered the Detroit of Mexico because of its heavy involvement in the automotive industry, including General Motors and Chrysler companies. The city is also Mexico's number one produce of coal and has highly developed agricultural, textile, and steel industries.
Sanming is a rising industrial city and a major resort in the "green triangle area," a popular year round destination for tourists. The city is also often regarded as a "green treasure house" because of its wealth of rare animals and plants. Sanming is a leading producer of natural products such as bamboo shoots, lotus seeds, Jinju tangerine, carambola, gem, and dried chili.
Ghana is located on the southern coast of West Africa near the equator. The country contains a wealth of natural resources and arable land as well and developed forestry, electrical system, telecommunications structure, health and educational institutions. Ghana has signed an agreement with the State of Michigan for cultural cooperation; several economic, health and educational ventures are currently being pursued. For example, a hospital in Ghana has recently established ties with Lansing area hospitals so that its patients my benefit from the health resources available in our community.