City-to-city linkages in a mobile society: The role of urban networks in Eurocities and Sister Cities

Baycan-Levent T., Kundak S., Gülümser A. A.

International Journal of Services, Technology and Management, vol.10, no.1, pp.83-109, 2008 (Scopus) identifier


The present paper investigates city-to-city linkages and the role of urban networks in socio-economic development of cities. This paper addresses the relationships of 'Eurocities' with their 'Sister Cities' to highlight the contributions of the mutual relationship to trade, tourism, cultural activities and investment. How do the networks of cities increase the interaction between cities and contribute to their socio-economic development? In order to answer this question the present study evaluates the Sister city experiences of 29 Eurocities from 16 European countries. The results of our study show that the contributions of Sister city relations depend on former relations, quality and quantity of current joint activities, reciprocal visits and benchmarking. The results of our study also show that after signing the Sister city agreements, the number of visitors, students, cultural activities and economic cooperation with entrepreneurs have increased in 50% of both Eurocities and their Sister cities. In the surveyed cities, especially the increase in the number of visitors (59%) and students (52%) is remarkable and it seems by creating an interest about their cultures, cities pull tourists from their Sister cities. Sister city relationship has had also a positive impact on the number of investments in both the cities. However, the most important contribution of Sister city relationship is the increasing number of tourism and cultural activities, joint projects and benchmarking, therefore, the increasing cultural dialogue and common values which will make a great contribution to the construction of global urban culture. Copyright © 2008 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.