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City Mayors Foundation


Swedish city to cut
working hours to
improve efficiency

News (Sweden): Gothenburg’s deputy mayor believes people who work less perform better. Mats Pilhem, who overseas the Swedish city’s employment policies, is about to introduce a scheme which will allow some city employees to reduce their working day from eight to six hours without loss of pay. Initially, the scheme will run for one year as an experiment and involve 20 to 30 workers caring for elderly citizens. A similar group of employees will carry out the same duties but work a normal day. MORE
White Americans are
a minority in most of
the largest US cities

News (USA): While ethnically America is still predominantly White (2), in many of the country’s largest cities people of European ancestry are in a minority. In 18 out of the 25 largest US cities, White Americans comprise less than half of the population. The cities with largest African American populations include Detroit (83%), Memphis (63%) and Washington DC (51%). El Paso has the largest share of Hispanic Americans (81%), while San Francisco is home to more Asian Americans (33%) than any other large US city. MORE



Joe Anderson
Mayor of Liverpool, UK

Mayor of the Month: Despite or, he would say, because of Liverpool’s glorious past, Mayor Joe Anderson never ceases to stress that the best days for the city lie ahead. His optimism won him an election, when in May 2012 he became the city’s first directly elected mayor. Joe Anderson is the type of larger-than-life city leader that the US used to produce in abundance and that still rule in some European cities.

Born and bred in Liverpool and speaking with a soft Scouse accent, the mayor’s passion for his city is real and when he explains his hopes and dreams no one doubts his sincerity. Joe Anderson does not object to being called a socialist, but he represents a pragmatic kind of socialism - not Tony Blair’s New Labour and certainly not Militant Tendency, which caused havoc in Liverpool’s City Hall for a few years in the 1980s. In an interview with City Mayors Mayor Anderson discusses finance, culture, local services and greater independence for Liverpool. 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

Newly-elected American mayors
spearhead fight against inequality

Society: President Obama pledged to work towards reducing income inequality in the United States in his 2014 State of the Union Address, building on his 2012 Address when he called inequality the “defining issue of our time”. Despite the President’s call to action, relatively few urban mayors in the US have publicly pointed to inequality as a key problem facing their cities. But several recently elected American mayors, including those in New York City, Boston, Minneapolis and Pittsburgh, have committed their administrations to working to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor in their cities. 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

Japanese Mayors
Mayors: Japan, the world’s third-largest economy by GDP and 10th largest population, is a unitary state, governed at national level by a Prime Minister and Cabinet largely chosen from the bicameral National Diet.  The two-tier local government system in Japan is composed of 47 prefectural governments (roughly akin to a county), each headed by a directly-elected Governor (elected on a four-year term) and 1,719 municipalities, each headed by a directly-elected Mayor MORE.

New American
mayors to watch

Politics: American voters in more than 400 cities elected new mayors or confirmed incumbents in office. A number of the country’s most prominent city leaders like New York’s Michael Bloomberg, Boston’s Thomas Menino, Detroit’s Dave Bing or Minneapolis’ R T Ryback retired, while others were thrown out of office. Some of the newly elected mayors, first and foremost Bill de Blasio in NYC, have made it clear that they will adopt different styles and pursue different goals from their predecessors. 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

Best cities in the world: Melbourne is still on top
while war-torn Damascus dropped to the bottom

Environment: The London-based Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) has again named Melbourne as the ‘best’ city in the world, whereas the US consultancy Mercer is less impressed by Australia’s second city, ranking it only 17th in its league table of the most liveable cities. Both organisations agree, however, that for people who can choose where to live Vienna deserves serious consideration. Mercer ranks the Austrian capital top in the world, while the EIU puts it in second place. Other German-speaking cities, such as Zürich, München, Düsseldorf and Frankfurt, which are much favoured by Mercer don’t feature in the EIU’s top ten at all. Not surprisingly, war-torn Damascus was named as worst city to live in. MORE

The lives of expatriates in the
world’s most expensive cities

Research: For very different reasons, European and African cities are named as the world’s costliest cities for expatriates. While high earnings and strong demand for quality housing drive up prices in Europe, it is the special needs of expatriates that make living in some of Africa’s booming cities extremely expensive. In its 2013 Cost of Living report, US-based consultants Mercer name the Angolan capital Luanda as the costliest city for US expatriates. Moscow and Tokyo are ranked two and three. Switzerland has three cities - Geneva, Zurich and Bern - in the top ten. 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 North Carolina model is more relevant
than ever to US local government finance

Finance: North Carolina’s municipal finance and oversight system demonstrates how to limit the number of fiscal crises. As a result of its local government default history in the issuance of municipal bonds during the Great Depression, the State of North Carolina developed a system that continues to influence others in following the path it took in the early 20th Century. Today when a number of US states are forced to take over the financial management of municipalities and school boards, North Carolina’s system of state supervision of local government finances has become more relevant than ever. 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

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

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

Museums draw more visitors than
US sporting events and theme parks

Culture: The website of the American Alliance of Museums has a section titled, “How do I start a new museum?” It’s a fascinating question, suggesting that anyone can start a museum. In fact, most of the museums in the United States were started by private individuals and are privately funded and privately operated. Most American museums are also readily accessible to the general public and most of the art museums are located in cities. 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


America debates how investment in
transportation affects the economy

Transport: Highways and private motor vehicles are iconic features of American culture - the open road, the fast lane, the drive-in and drive through, the independent trucker, the soccer mom, the teen’s first car, and so on. The cultural icons are linked to the economic benefits that highways can bring. Ninety-eight per cent of US mayors point to investment in affordable, reliable surface transportation as an important part of their cities’ economic growth. 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




Swedish city to cut working hours to improve efficiency



White Americans are a minority in most of the largest US cities



Chicago anxiously waits for state governor to approve pension reforms



Pope Francis warns Italian mayors of the danger of corruption



Anti-Putin candidate elected mayor in Siberia’s largest city



London borough mayor to be investigated by government auditors



Kurdish minority party emerges as champion of women mayors



Majority of French ministers have their roots in local government



Winner of Turkish local elections in no mood to reach out to opponents



French Socialists lose 155 towns but retain key cities including Paris



Anxious wait for elections in Paris, Istanbul and Munich



Charlotte mayor resigns after corruption charges



Gloves are off in fight for Paris



Bilbao's greatest mayor has died



Bogota’s dismissed mayor will remain a World Mayor candidate



Labour punished in Dutch local elections



Largest parties neck and neck in Bangladesh local elections



Mixed fortunes for largest parties in Bavarian elections



Uncertainty over EU and financial scandals cost London its crown




New York Mayor ready to fight charter schools



Boston and New York mayors to miss St Patrick’s Day parade



UK local government agrees with criticism from Europe



Oklahoma City Mayor
wins historic fourth term



African cities warned of more crime and violenc
e


Mayors urged to regulate smartphone taxi operators