Mayor's Office

International Relations

The Office of the Mayor provides assistance in planning visits and welcoming dignitaries to the City of Riverside. Our international relations efforts are aimed at identifying economic development opportunities and providing cultural enrichment exchanges for Riverside residents. 


Investing in Our Economy

Our sister city relationships have been leveraged to market Riverside as an expansion destination to businesses around the world.  As a result of these efforts, the City has recruited notable green tech companies, such as SolarMax and SunSpark Technology.  In addition, the sister city relationships have resulted in a boost to our local educational and tourism industries, as countries around the world have sent delegations for short and long-term study in Riverside. Our sister city relationships have yielded a solid return on investments through the creation of jobs, generation of tax revenue, community sponsorships, hotel stays, investments in college tuitions, and tourism boosts. 


Partnerships That Bring Perspective

Our sister city relationships have allowed city and community leaders to expand their horizons.  As we have learned about successful policies and programs in other municipalities, we have been able to bring many of these items back to Riverside. The Festival of Lights, named “America’s Best Public Lights Display” by USA today, was inspired by a sister city visit to Sendai, Japan, where the Riverside delegation participated in Sendai’s Starlight Pageant.  During the 2017-18 holiday season, the Festival generated close to $130,000,000 in economic impact to the Riverside region. Another signature event, Riverside’s Long Night of Arts and Innovation, was inspired by the Long Night of Science in our sister city Erlangen, Germany. 

Beyond signature events, sister city exchanges help residents from both countries to gain deeper perspective of the unique benefits and challenges associated with living in different parts of the world and contribute to higher levels of understanding and inclusivity that carry forward into our own diverse city.


Providing Opportunities for Future Generations

Each year, students from Riverside’s high schools and universities participate in trips to sister cities and host students who are visiting Riverside from those same locations.  As the world becomes more interconnected, these exchanges prepare our future generations through deepened cultural understanding, exposure to diverse countries and exposure to businesses and experiences that they would not have otherwise reached.