The development of international commerce and issues of globalization dominates public discourse; while valuable in a number of respects, such a focus on large-scale processes inherently deemphasizes the manifold connections and common resources shared between local municipalities. The 2012 Sustainability Science Team transformed existing models of intercity partnerships (eg. sister city programs) which focus predominantly establish socio-cultural bonds across international borders to a model that uses existing sustainability metrics to measure actual co-benefits. The team developed and piloted an analytical tool that identifies sustainability co-benefits between different municipalities that are larger than either could achieve alone. By investigating connections between neighboring communities, be they urban and rural, urban and suburban, or suburban and rural, one of the key results determined that benefits were greatest between the ‘most different’ city-types (e.g. rural vs. urban).