Sunday, December 17, 2006

Municipal Development Concept: Sister Cities In Arms

Hello All,

What if on the county US level across the States we paid more than lip service to our honoree sister cities. For example, here in my Florida county of Sarasota we have six designated sister cities. They are: Dunferline, Scotland; Hamilton, Ontario; Perpignan, France; Tel Mond, Israel; Vladimir, Russia; and finally Siming District, Xiamen China.

Sister cities usually align themselves due to the cultural demographics of their adopted city. In this case many citizens from other countries have chosen as their adopted home my city and county of Sarasota.

Now instead of only an official designation in name only for a sister city. Why not put some muscle into it where it belongs, where the county or province local governments draw up a developmental wish list. Such a wish list of municipal development be it in infrastructure or other citizen initiatives would need to be approved or ratified. Once done so from each of the other sister cities in kind via a larger collective barter system. One of the other sister cities picks an item of need from another city and pours needed aid into the initiative. Be it a: trade development package, disaster relief, needed skilled personnel, student exchange programs, resources, charitable aid, block grants or loans.

Such a slew of available menu options to aid other sister cities will help foster civic pride within one's own city and those whom are being aided. Not just from the public government sector, but from the private commercial and private charities that become inter-dependent in such a web of relationships.

This is truly a "Win / Win" scenario when sister cities step out of their own bubble mind-set and look beyond their own geographic boundaries.