Museum of Brisbane

Meet our Sister Cities


Museum of Brisbane’s new exhibition, Living in the city: New architecture in Brisbane & the Asia-Pacific, showcases new architectural works from across Brisbane and its nine Sister Cities, and explores how architecture affects the way we live, work and play. With the exhibition in full swing, it’s a good time to get to know our Sister Cities a little better. Here are some little known facts and interesting statistics on them that are sure to come in handy at your next trivia night.

Kobe, Japan (Sister City since 1985)

Like Brisbane, Kobe is a city touched by natural disaster. In 1995 the Great Hanshin earthquake struck the city, taking the lives of 4,571 people and injuring over 14,000. In the wake of the disaster, the people of Brisbane raised $AUD82,000 to help with the recovery.

Auckland, New Zealand (Sister City since 1988)

Both Brisbane and its sister city Auckland utilised trams as a major mode of public transport in the late nineteenth century and over half of the twentieth century. Auckland introduced a horse tramway in 1884 and an electric tramway in 1902. Trams stopped running in Auckland in 1956 but returned in 2011 with the 1.5km Auckland Dockline Tram.

Shenzhen, China (Sister City since 1992)

Shenzhen and Brisbane both share a humid subtropical climate. Brisbane has an average high temperature of 25.3 degrees Celsius with Shenzhen’s average being 26.6 degrees. However, while Shenzhen’s average rainfall is 1,935.8 inches, Brisbane’s average is only approximately half that amount at 994.1 inches.

Semarang, Indonesia (Sister City since 1993)

From 1682 until World War II, Semarang, Indonesia was under the control of the Dutch East India Company, which later became the Dutch East Indies. The city was built in classical European fashion: a church located in the centre with wide streets lined with villas. One particular area, Kota Lama, formerly known as Oude Staat (Little Netherlands), is set to undergo a rejuvenation process to highlight the grand and historic buildings of the area.

Kaohsiung, Taiwan (Sister City since 1997)

Brisbane boasts a proud history of hosting major sporting events including the Commonwealth Games in 1982 and the Goodwill Games in 2001. Kaohsiung shares that history, hosting the World Games in 2009 which welcomed 2,536 athletes from 84 countries.

Daejeon, South Korea (Sister City since 2002)

Daejeon is one of South Korea’s four government administration hubs and is a major centre for science and technology. The city has 18 universities as well as the Daejeon Research and Development Special Zone, which includes 28 government-funded and 79 private research institutions and houses 20,000 researchers.

Chongqing, China (Sister City since 2005)

Chongqing, like Brisbane, is located on a major river. Chongqing sits on the upper reaches of the Yangtze River. As of 2014, the city included 20 bridges crossing the Yangtze river and 28 bridges crossing the Jialing river (a major tributary of the Yangtze River), all within central Chongqing.

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (Sister City since 2009)

Abu Dhabi is well-known for its unique architecture, oil and gas production and scorching deserts. The city is also home to the furthest leaning man-made tower. With an 18 degree lean to the west, the Capital Gate Tower utilises 490 piles reaching almost 100 feet into the ground to support its dramatic shape.

Hyderabad, India (Sister City since 2010)

The central Indian city Hyderabad has been known as the ‘City of Pearls’, stemming from a tradition of pearl and diamond trading. The industrial landscape of the city has changed over time; biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries began setting up in Hyderabad in the 1990s and the city has now become known as ‘Cyberabad’.


Discover more about the similarities and differences of city living across the Asia-Pacific in Living in the city: New architecture in Brisbane & the Asia-Pacific, on at the Museum until 22 May 2016. Share your visit with us on social media using #livinginthecity and #LITC.