Twin Cities (geographical Proximity)
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Twin Cities Geographical Proximity

Twin cities are a special case of two cities or urban centres that are founded in close geographic proximity and then grow into each other over time, losing most of their mutual buffer zone.

There are no precise criteria for twin-cityhood, but to be considered twin cities, the cities involved have to have a similar administrative status and somewhat comparable sizes; a suburb of a much larger population center is usually not considered to form a twin city with it. For example, South San Francisco (population about 65,000) is not considered a twin city with San Francisco (population about 850,000). However, cities considered twinned by proximity do not necessarily match demographically, economically, or politically.

In many historical cases, cities that grew into each other's space lost their individual identities, and the border or barrier originally separating them became almost irrelevant. An 1873 case of twin cities merging to become a united city is Budapest in Hungary, which began as two settlements (Buda and Pest) facing each other across the Danube at a strategic fording place along a trade route. In China, the three ancient cities of Hankou, Hanyang, and Wuchang, separated by the junction of the Yangtze and Hanjiang rivers, were joined in 1927 into the single entity of Wuhan.

Twin cities may share an airport into whose airport codes are integrated the component initials, e.g., BWI (Baltimore-Washington), DFW (Dallas-Fort Worth), LBA (LeedsBradford), MSP (MinneapolisSaint Paul, Minnesota), RDU (Raleigh and Durham, NC), and CAK (Akron-Canton, Ohio).

In some cases, such as Albury/Wodonga in Australia, the two cities are permanently divided by a state border, often one that strictly adheres to a geographical landmark, such as the Murray River that divides New South Wales from Victoria, and thus Albury from Wodonga. In other cases twin cities can be divided by an international border, but retain a cultural and historical similarity, for example Haparanda (Sweden) and Tornio (Finland), Leticia (Colombia) and Tabatinga (Brazil) or Valga (Estonia) and Valka (Latvia).


Cross-border example of twin cities: Plaza Internacional of the Frontera de la Paz. On the left, Santana do Livramento (Brazil); on the right, Rivera (Uruguay).




North America

United States
Mexico--United States border
Canada-United States border

South America



Examples, sharing names or similar names, across an international border include:

Pairs with unrelated names











Quad cities

More than four cities

Examples of cities formed by amalgamation


  • Delhi, India: What used to be Old Delhi, New Delhi, and a collection of smaller villages has now grown into the current megalopolis that we see today, also known as the National Capital Region (NCR)
  • In Telangana, India, the cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad are merged to form Greater Hyderabad.
  • Lahore, the second largest city of Pakistan, has, as of 2013, grown out so much that small towns by this giant city, such as Shahdara, have been absorbed in its city limits.
  • Wuhan in China consists of the towns of Wuchang, Hankou, and Hanyang in Hubei Province.
  • Islamabad, the capital city of Pakistan, has been expanded to include smaller towns including Rawat in its territory.
  • Bangkok, the capital and largest city of Thailand, was created in 1971, when the previous Bangkok province (Phra Nakhon) was merged with Thonburi province.
  • The former cities of Taoyuan and Zhongli, Taiwan, which merged along with the entire county in 2014 to form a single municipality city of Taoyuan, the two cities sit directly next to each other and shares almost the same population.
  • Fukuoka in Japan, a city of 1.4 million people, formerly the twin cities of Hakata and Fukuoka until the late 19th century.
  • Saitama in Japan, a city of 1.2 million people, created in 2001 by the merger of the cities of Urawa, Omiya, Yono, and later Iwatsuki. Urawa and Omiya could formerly have been considered twin cities.
  • Kitakyushu in Japan, a city of 900,000 people, created in 1963 by the merger of Yahata, Kokura, Moji, Wakamatsu, and Tobata. Yahata and Kokura had formerly been major cities in their own right.
  • The cities of Saigon and Cholon merged in 1931 to form a single city named Saigon-Cholon; in 1956, the name Cholon was dropped and the city became known as Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City).


North America

Fictional twin cities

See also


  1. ^ Separated by the Nile, each city is the respective capital of its governorate (Cairo and Giza). The two communities are the main cities of Greater Cairo. They are respectively the most populous city and third most populous city in Egypt.
  2. ^ Separated by the North Saskatchewan River. While the communities are commonly referred to by the collective "The Battlefords," they retain distinctive identities.
  3. ^ Main cities of Metropolitan Halifax, they are geographically separated by Halifax Harbour
  4. ^ form the National Capital Region, geopolitically separated by the Ottawa River
  5. ^ See Bloomington-Normal.
  6. ^ See College Station-Bryan metropolitan area.
  7. ^ Champaign was originally known as West Urbana but has since outgrown its neighbor. See Champaign-Urbana metropolitan area.
  8. ^ Twin cores of the Metroplex of northern Texas.
  9. ^ Nicknamed the Twin Ports, these form the world's largest freshwater port.
  10. ^ Two anchor cities of the three-city Research Triangle area.
  11. ^ See Fargo-Moorhead.
  12. ^ Largest two cities of the three-city Piedmont Triad area.
  13. ^ Shared international airport named after both cities Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport.
  14. ^ The principal cities of the Antelope Valley and High Desert in California.
  15. ^ Nicknamed the Petroplex in a nod to the DFW region's nickname, as well as its strong reliance on the oil industry.
  16. ^ Also known as the Twin Cities
  17. ^ Share the Portland International Jetport (buildings/terminal in one city, runways in the other) and the Port of Portland and retain separate identities.
  18. ^ One perhaps more suburban; see Greater Richmond Region.
  19. ^ The core cities of the Wyoming Valley in northeastern Pennsylvania.
  20. ^ See Sherman-Denison metropolitan area.
  21. ^ Main cities of the Tampa Bay Area.
  22. ^ the cities meet at the border between Texas and Arkansas, and their name is a portmanteau of those states' names as well as that of Louisiana, whose border lies approximately 25 miles to the south. See Texarkana metropolitan area and Ark-La-Tex.
  23. ^ Until 1930, the community, divided by the Alberta-Saskatchewan border, was two separate, adjacent towns. However, with the Town of Lloydminster Acts in administration the large town became integrated while still bi-provincial.
  24. ^ Formed historic Al-Mada'in.
  25. ^ Kurashiki is somewhat more of a suburb
  26. ^ Co-centers of a shared major metropolitan area.
  27. ^ Co-centers of a shared micropolitan area.
  28. ^ Co-centers of a shared micropolitan area.
  29. ^ the principal cities of the San Francisco Bay area.


  1. ^ "10 Twin Towns and Sister Cities of Indian States". Retrieved 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "10 Twin Towns and Sister Cities of Indian States". Retrieved 2014.
  3. ^ Weather story from 2006 The Hindu Business Line. Retrieved 2006-12-31
  4. ^ [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]
  5. ^ "It's a wise man who knows where Chatham ends and Rochester begins." Charles Dickens
  6. ^ "Tricity residents to get Emaar MGF's Central Plaza soon". The Financial Express. Jan 6, 2014.
  7. ^ "Quad Cities too generic a name for ID, WA cities". The Seattle Times. 28 April 2010. Retrieved 2013.
  8. ^
  9. ^ Action Comics #451, DC Comics, September 1975
  10. ^ New Adventures of Superboy #22, DC Comics, October 1981
  11. ^ World's Finest Comics #259, DC Comics, October-November 1979
  12. ^ The Flash (volume 1) #123, DC Comics, September 1961
  13. ^ See e.g. the introduction of The Hogfather q:Terry Pratchett's Hogfather
  14. ^ Starr, Joe (2015-08-05). "Nerd Rabbit Hole: A Guide To Disney's Duck Universe". Pajiba. Retrieved .
  15. ^ "San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge". Retrieved .
  16. ^ Burroughs, Edgar Rice (1917). A Princess of Mars. A. C. McClurg & Co. pp. 279-80, 305, 313-14.

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