Elmar Ledergerber, former Mayor of Zurich since 2002 and winner of the 2008 World Mayor Commendation

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Dr. Elmar Ledergerber
Mayor of Zurich
By Gregor Gosciniak

26 May 2007: As Mayor of Zurich, Elmar Ledergerber pursues policies of growth and development for the city, with sustainability forming an essential issue in all aspects of politics. Born in 1944, Elmar Ledergerber has a university degree in history and literature as well as in economics. He focused his studies on foreign trade and the economics of developing countries. He obtained his PhD in economics at the university of St. Gallen/Switzerland. In 1977 he established a consulting firm, which he managed for more than twenty years. Elmar Ledergerber has been honoured with second place in the 2008 World Mayor Project.

Update, May 2009: Corine Mauch, a Social Democrat and openly gay woman, has replaced Elmar Ledergerber as mayor of Zurich at the end of April 2009.

Sustainability is one of the key issues in urban development. In March 2002, Elmar Ledergerber was elected Mayor of the city of Zürich. From 1998 to 2002 he was a Member of the city council and responsible for the department of Buildings and Urban development. From 1987 to 1998 he was a Member of the Swiss National Council. The mayor leads the City council, which consists of nine members from four different political parties.

He has worked as a consultant in various fields, including energy policy, the environmental impact of economic growth, economic development and the evaluation of development projects.  Elmar Ledergerber is also member of the board of Administration of Airport Zurich and President of the board of administration of Intercooperation, a Swiss NGO that is engaged in various projects in developing countries. He is a member of the Social Democratic Party.

Zurich - the largest city in Switzerland - is situated in the eastern part of the country. With its 370,000 residents and 180,000 commuters, it is the business centre of the country. Roughly three million people live in Zurich’s metropolitan area, making it one of Europe's most densely populated regions.

The economy is mainly based on the service sector, with financial services being of fundamental importance. The business region is also a veritable hotbed of key technologies such as Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Life Science and High Tech.

The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and the University of Zürich - which between them attract more than 40,000 students - are among the world’s leading universities. Zurich is also is top for leisure and pleasure. It is situated beside a clean lake, gentle hills, rivers, peaceful woods and picturesque villages - and all just a stone's throw from the Alps.

With its famous opera and ballet, as well as its theatres, shows, musicals, art exhibitions in over 50 museums and 100 galleries, Zurich boasts a vast number of cultural highlights. Zurich international airport is nearby and the co-ordinated system of rail, bus and tram networks throughout the entire region is internationally recognised as being the leader in its field.

World Mayor 20/21

The best Mayors for Stronger | Fairer | Greener cities. Elect your candidate for the 20/21 World Mayor Prize and Honours. The Prize has been awarded since 2004