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City Mayors Foundation


Tokyo to join list
of wannabe ‘best
cities in the world’

News (Japan): Tokyo's City Government has released an interim consultation document on its long term strategy to become “the world’s best city”. The report consists of two goals: holding the most successful Olympic Games ever in 2020, and use this as a catalyst for further development while leaving a lasting legacy; and overcoming a multitude of challenges (a shrinking and ageing population) and work towards sustainable development. MORE
Vote against elected
mayors endangers
Indonesia’s democracy

News (Indonesia): Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets after Indonesia’s parliament voted to scrap elected mayors. Parties associated with the defeated candidate in July’s presidential elections passed a bill which will transfer the power to choose local leaders from the people to regional assemblies. The new legislation has been condemned as an attempt to undermine democracy by the mayors of Indonesia’s largest cities. MORE


Carlos Ocariz
Mayor of Sucre,
Venezuela
Mayor of the Month: The most painful result for Venezuela’s ruling party in 2008 was the loss of Sucre, one of the five municipalities that make up metropolitan Caracas. Contested by a confidant of the late President Hugo Chávez, the city was won by Carlos Ocariz from the centre-right Justice First party.

The London-based Economist magazine described his victory in the sprawling slums of eastern Caracas as particular painful for a government that claimed to be fighting a class war on behalf of the poor. “By favouring Ocariz, urban voters showed that they were worried by the rampant crime, inflation and poor administration that are starting to eclipse generous oil-financed social programmes as the hallmarks of Mr Chávez's rule.” INTERVIEW


World mayors, their
parties and politics

Politics: The narrative of the global pattern of urbanization is that we are said to live in the ‘urban century’ and the ‘age of the mayor’. Current affairs weeklies nod with approval at mayor-centred urban analysis by Richard Florida, Benjamin Barber and Bruce Katz – city rankings now enjoy the kind of media glow once reserved for corporate giants. But who gets to govern the world’s biggest cities? City Mayors examines the shifts in urban political allegiances and party machines over the past five years. MORE

Corrupt US mayors pose a
threat to decency in society

Politics: The preamble to the City Mayors’ Code of Ethics states that honest local government is the foundation of any nation that strives to provide its citizens with happiness, security and prosperity. It continues to say that corruption and misconduct by local government officials threaten fundamental decency in a society. America’s FBI, which warns that public corruption poses a fundamental threat to national security and the US way of life, has over the past four decades investigated hundreds of elected officials, who used their positions to enrich themselves. Among those convicted are leaders of some of the largest US cities, including Detroit, New Orleans or Baltimore, but also many mayors from small-town America. MORE

Mayors of Canada's
largest municipalities

Mayors: In Canada cities and towns are considered creatures of provincial and territorial governments, existing by provincial and territorial legislation. Provinces and territories can create, modify, or eliminate a municipality as they see fit such as amalgamations and the creation of regional governments. They also dictate the limits of the powers of municipal governments. MORE

Mayors of France's
largest municipalities

Mayors: Mainland France consists of 36,569 municipalities (communes) in 22 regions. In addition there are 212 communes in French overseas territories. Council elections are held every six years. The last one was held in March 2014. The first task of a newly constituted council is to elect a mayor, whose term of office is six years. If a mayor is appointed to another post in government, a deputy performs his/her duties. A mayor’s responsibilities include: Civil registration, culture, economy, education, environment, public order, roads, social welfare, urban planning. The Socialist Anne Hilgo is the Mayor of Paris. MORE

Mayors of Belgium's
largest municipalities

Mayors: Municipal governments in Belgian are vigorous political entities with significant powers and a history of independence dating from medieval times. Many national politicians originate from municipal political bases; and many often double as mayor or alderman in their hometowns in addition to their federal and regional political positions. The Socialist Yvan Mayeur, elected in October 2012, is the Mayor of the capital Brussels. MORE

Increasing number of US cities
end stigmatization of ex-felons

Society: The US government’s War on Drugs began in the 1970s. Drug possession and use were seen as gateways to crimes such as burglary, robbery, assault and prostitution, as well as to the breakdown of families and neighborhoods. Prisoners of the federal War on Drugs received draconian prison sentences, mandatory minimum sentences, and no parole for nonviolent and victimless crimes. By the 1990s, with crime continuing to rise, a ‘zero tolerance’ mentality overtook American criminal justice. Schools, public housing, and workplaces aimed to be totally free of crimes and criminals. Application forms for a wide range of opportunities increasingly asked whether the applicant had been convicted of a crime. Checking the ‘yes’ box most often meant an applicant would never be considered, regardless of his or her qualifications. MORE

US mayors look to education
in response to school violence

Society: The 16-year-old boy who on 9 April 2014 stabbed and slashed 21 of his fellow students in a school near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, will be tried as an adult. Law enforcement officials have no choice; the law requires the young offender to be accorded adult status. The response to repeated incidents of school violence in the United States over the past 20 years has led to ‘hard’ solutions. Simultaneously, with much less fanfare, another type of response has been growing quietly. Public schools in at least 30 states now promote ‘character education’ as an anecdote to safety concerns, as well as troubling issues like teen pregnancy, truancy, and poor academic performance. MORE

Tokyo promotes cool image
in run-up to 2020 Olympics

City Branding: The name alone of Japan’s metropolis underlines its historic and political significance: Tokyo, or ‘eastern capital’. Having relocated the seat of government from the ‘western capital’ Kyoto to the ancient port of Edo in the 19th century at the behest of a modernized, open and newly unified nation, it was the capital’s post-war reconstruction which was to usher in the hyper-modernity which we all associate with Tokyo. Within Japan however, such modernity is often seen as a byword for inauthenticity or assimilation of the west. The Tokyo city brand is one of the world’s most embedded yet least studied. MORE

A second tier of US metro areas
is attracting mobile Americans

Society: America is known as a mobile society, and Americans move for many reasons: better jobs, better weather, lower housing costs, lower taxes, and so on. The trend to urbanization is national in scope, affecting every state and almost every region of the country. General population movements between regions have also been notable, of course, the most prominent being the shift from Rustbelt in the north to Sunbelt in the south. While the general population migrations receive most of the attention, a more particular shift appears to be occurring among metro areas. Approximately 15 second-tier metro areas have become ‘centers of gravity’, attracting people and capital from other metro areas. MORE

Brighton Town Hall
City Halls: Thanks to its close proximity to London and Royal patronage throughout the 19th Century, Brighton, on the English South Coast, has developed like no other seaside resort in Britain. While towns like Eastbourne, Bournemouth or Torquay predominately cater for holidaymakers and have become favourite destinations for retirees, Brighton has developed a youth vibrancy to rival the British capital. Often described as London-on-Sea, Brighton also offers some of the finest Regency and Victorian terraces in Britain. The Town Hall, built in the 1830s, is an example of municipal pride and confidence. MORE

The largest US cities:
Nine cities with more than one million people
New York City and Los Angeles grow fastest

Population: The US has nine cities with populations topping one million. New York City, with more than eight million residents, is by far the largest US city. Los Angeles, in second place, has a population of just below four million people. Both Chicago and Houston have populations of more than two million. Other cities with more than one million citizens include Philadelphia, Phoenix and San Diego. | Introduction | Largest 1 - 100 | Largest 101 - 200 | Fastest growing | Fastest shrinking |

Megaregions are predicted to propel
US population and economic growth

Development: It’s a commonplace among urban planners and many policymakers that regions are the basic unit of economic competitiveness in the global economy. America 2050, part of the Regional Plan Association, reckons that America’s population growth and and even a larger share of the country’s economic expansion will occur in 11 megaregions. Yet nowhere in the industrialized world are regions given fewer resources and less power than in the United States. MORE

A comparison of UK
and European cities

Statistics: Almost 13 per cent of the UK population live in London. With the exception of Vienna, no other major European capital city is home to such a high proportion of its country’s citizens. Recent research by City Mayors shows that 20.2 per cent of Austrians live in Vienna, 12.9 per cent of Britons call London their home, while 12.4 per of Norwegians reside in Oslo. Helsinki, Copenhagen and Brussels also house more than ten per cent of their respective national populations. But less than five per cent of the people of France, Germany, Poland and Italy live in their respective capital cities. MORE

Flourishing cities
embrace immigrants

Society: Without migration homo sapiens would not dominate today’s world. Had our ancestors stayed in central Africa some 50,000 years ago, the human race would have developed very differently. The drive to spread out geographically, for whatever reason, is part of our make-up and is behind Man’s success story. Many recent scientific and technological advances - e.g. the telephone, the internet, space exploration - are the result of our need to move beyond local boundaries. Migration will remain a dominant feature of further human development, a fact recognised by many progressive city mayors from around the world. MORE

Directories of European
and North American cities

Directories:
City Mayors' internet directories provide one-click access to the websites of European and North American cities. EUROPE | NORTH AMERICA

Urban population growth
between 1950 and 2030

Statistics: In 2008, the world reached an invisible but momentous milestone: For the first time in history, more than half its human population, 3.3 billion people, lived in urban areas. By 2030, this is expected to swell to more than five billion. Urbanisation has already surpassed the 90-per-cent mark, not only in city states like Singapore and Kuwait, but also in Belgium, Venezuela, Uruguay, Argentina, Israel and the UK. In the US, where for the past 100 years the majority of people have been living in cities, more than 82 per cent of the total population now reside in urban areas. MORE

Women in cities give much
but take far less than men

Society: Women in developing countries contribute significantly to the prosperity of cities but they are often the last to benefit. This becomes evident, a new report says, in notable gender gaps in labour and employment, pay, tenure rights, access to and accumulation of assets, personal security and safety and representation in formal structures of urban governance. The report Gender and the Prosperity of Cities recommends that cities formulate gender policies, strengthen accountability for gender equality and enhance strategies for the economic empowerment and livelihoods of women. MORE

The best cities in the world for
environment and infrastructure

Environment: Vienna has again been named as the ‘best city’ in the world, with the Austrian capital’s perennial Swiss rival, Zurich, in second place. Auckland, Munich and Vancouver complete the top five. Overall, German-speaking cities, including Düsseldorf, Frankfurt and Bern, occupy six places in the top ten of this year’s Quality of Living Survey by Mercer Consulting. Paris is ranked 29th, London 38th and New York City 44th. Singapore, Frankfurt and Munich offer the best infrastructure. MORE

The City of London offers on one square mile
history, feudal governance and global finance

Government: The landmarks of the area covered by the historic City of London Corporation are known to many – St Paul’s Cathedral, the Old Bailey, the ‘Gherkin’ and soon the ‘Walkie-Talkie’ and the ‘Cheesegrater’, to name but few – but less is known about the Corporation itself. The City of London is often confused with Greater London (the area covered by the Greater London Authority), but the two concepts are indeed very distinct and separate. MORE

Mumbai in urgent need of reforms
to governance and management

Government: Mumbai is one of the world's 10 most populous cities and the most populous, and wealthiest, city in India. Yet over 42 per cent of its people live in slums. The megacity has lost the capacity to deliver public services, because of negligence as well as insufficient financial and physical resources. Almost two-thirds of revenue is spent on staff and less than one third on services. There is now an urgent need to consider other management options and changes to governance. MORE

Latin American cities are the
most dangerous in the world
Security: Latin America's cities are the most dangerous in the world, with certain cities - especially Honduran and Mexican ones - leading the list of world cities with most murders. San Pedro Sula, a city of some 720,000 people in northern Honduras is thought to be the most dangerous city in the world with 160 murders per 100,000 inhabitants per annum. The murder rate in Ciudad Juárez, on the Mexican-US, border is estimated at 148. New Orleans, with a murder rate of 58, is the world’s most murderous city outside Latin America. MORE

Songs written for
American cities

Culture: It is said there is a song for every city in America. While some songs never got much further than the city limits others became international hits. Gerard Kenny’s 1978 ode to his hometown ‘New York, New York - So Good They Named It Twice’ spelled the re-birth of America’s largest metropolis after it almost went bankrupt in 1975 and one year after a city-wide blackout shut it down for 25 hours. The song ‘If you're going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair’ sung by Scott McKenzie in 1967 became the anthem for the worldwide flower power movement. MORE


London Underground carries
three million people every day

World Metros: Heritage and modernisation are the watchwords for London’s underground rail network, the ‘tube’, as it reaches its 150th anniversary. The world’s first underground railway, between Paddington and Farringdon Street was opened by the Metropolitan Railway in December 1863. Today, London Underground carries three million passengers a day across 275 stations on its 253 mile network. MORE








The City Mayors Foundation was established in 2003 to promote, campaign for and facilitate good, open and strong local government




Tokyo to join list of wannabe ‘best cities in the world



Vote against elected mayors endangers Indonesia’s democracy



New York Mayor describes anti-Islam advertisements as inconsistent with city’s values



Toronto’s mayoral rivals wait for mayor’s brother to show his colours



Barcelona captures top Bloomberg prize to help older citizens



Madrid honours Margaret Thatcher but London resists



India to invest in a network of 100 smart cities



Kansas City Mayor says guns are often more freely available than fresh food


Indonesian election
losers push for abolition
of elected mayors



Airport decision helps London Mayor’s bid to re-enter parliament



Kyoto to advise ancient Indian city on blending heritage with modernity



Mayor who made Berlin ‘the place to be’ to resign in December



Ferguson killing leads to questions over the militarisation of police



Vienna and 26 other European cities are determined to protect public housing from EU meddling



The vast majority of America’s largest cities are liberal



Tokyo Governor: City will not tolerate hate speech against Koreans




English cities retain less of local tax product than many foreign competitors



Venezuelan mayors on trial for supporting opposition protests



Gun and grenade attacks on two Ukrainian mayors



Toronto’s disgraced Mayor still in with a good chance of being re-elected in October



World Mayor honours often a stepping stone to higher national office



Venezuela mayor stabbed to death in his own home



Formerly dysfunctional English city improves under new leadership



Less than 20 per cent of America’s cities are led by women mayors



English mayors’ use of Twitter still in its infancy



US mayors take a stand against gay-hostile states



American mayors join forces to fight economic inequality