Chattanooga’s Sister City: Gangneung, South Korea

Bridge in Gangneung | Photo by @coldice13

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Hey, Chattanooga. 👋 Or should we say “안녕하세요”?

Here’s a pop quiz for you. What do Chattanooga + Gangneung, South Korea have in common? The two might seem completely unrelated, but they are actually sister cities.

Gangneung | @nancy_minyo

Wait, what’s a sister city? According to Sister Cities International, “A sister city, county, or state relationship is a broad-based, long-term partnership between two communities in two countries. A relationship is officially recognized after the highest elected or appointed official from both communities sign off on an agreement to become sister cities.”

Why have sister cities? The idea is to cultivate international relationships while having the opportunity to explore different cultures and also stimulate economic development.

Cool, so why is Gangneung our sister city? Gangneung became one of our sister cities in October 2003, and according to Seong Glickman, the Sister Cities Association vice president, the two cities have a lot in common. We have similar populations, are both tourist cities, and have great opportunities for exchange programs.

Gangneung, South Korea | Screenshot

Tell us more — Gangneung is a city on the East Coast of South Korea. It is about 150 miles east of Seoul, the capital, and has beautiful beaches. You may have heard of Gangneung in 2018, when Pyeongchang hosted the Winter Olympics. Gangneung hosted all of the ice events + made a name for itself throughout the world.

Gangneung also has several festivals throughout the year, many lovely museums, and the  Jeongdongjin + Gyeongpo beaches are known as popular sunrise destinations.  

Gangneung becoming our sister city was a big deal for Chattanooga culturally + economically, but we actually have more than one sister cityGivatayim, Israel; Hamm, Germany; Nizhnii Tagil, Russia; Tono, Japan; Wolfsburg, Germany; and Wuxi, China are Chattanooga’s other current sister cities. 

Which of our Sister Cities do you want to know about next?