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One hundred million
homeless people own
less than one man

London, 18 March 2015:
Bill Gates, the world’s richest man, owns more than all the homeless people on earth combined. The British charity organisation Oxfam recently found that the founder of Microsoft was worth US$76 billion, while, together, the 100 million homeless (United Nations Commission on Human Rights) are estimated to own less than $3 billion worth of goods.

To coincide with this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Oxfam published some alarming statistics. According to the charity organisation, the 80 richest billionaires had the same amount of wealth than the bottom 50 per cent of the world’s population – in other words, in 2014 there were some 80 men and women who own as much as 3.5 billion earthlings. Only four years earlier, it took 388 billionaires to own that amount of wealth. Oxfam believes that by the end of next year, the richest one per cent of the world population will own more than half the planet’s wealth.

It is estimated that a homeless sleeper takes up some two square metres of space. In London, buyers of luxury apartments pay regularly more than US$95,000 for that amount of area.

What the super-rich pay for the space
required by one homeless sleeper

Monaco: $117,600
Hong Kong: $100,000
London: $95,200
New York City: $58,800
Singapore: $51,300
Geneva: $51,300
Sydney: $48,800
Shanghai: $41,700
Paris: $40,000
Los Angeles: $35,100
Miami: $33,900
Beijing: $32,800
Rome: $29,400
Moscow: $25,300
Istanbul: $23,800
Tokyo: $23,200
Mumbai: $20,800
Sao Paulo: $14,100
Dubai: $13,700
Cape Town: $9,800
(Source: City Mayors)

In piece of research on the world’s wealthiest people, authors Knight Frank report that cities like London, Tokyo or Singapore are attracting record numbers of the so-called super-rich, i.e. those with net assets of $30 million or more. But on a per capita basis, smaller cities like Geneva, Zurich, Frankfurt and Auckland are outperforming the global metropolises. London accommodates the largest number of super-rich, those with $30 million or more in assets but more than two million Londoners live in poverty)

Cities with large numbers of super-rich
with some facts on poverty

London
Number of super-rich: 4,364
Poverty: In the three years to 2011 - 2013, 2.1 million people in London were in poverty. This 28 per cent poverty rate is seven percentage points higher than the rest of England.
Tokyo
Number of super-rich: 3,575
Poverty: Some 16 per cent of Japanese live in poverty.
Singapore
Number of super-rich: 3,227
Poverty: Poverty in Singapore grew from 16 per cent in 2002 to 28 per cent in 2013.
New York City
Number of super-rich: 3,008
Poverty: More than 45 per cent of New Yorkers live near poverty levels. A combination of low wages, rising rents, and a lack of benefits is largely to blame.
Hong Kong
Number of super-rich: 2,690
Poverty: Some 20 per cent of Hong Kong’s population live in poverty. Hong Kong has the highest income gap between the rich and the poor of any developed economy in the world.
Frankfurt
Number of super-rich: 1,909
Poverty: Some 16 per cent of Frankfurt’s population live in poverty.
Paris
Number of super-rich: 1,521
Poverty: Some 14 per cent of Parisians live in poverty but in some suburbs the poverty rate is above 40 per cent.

The largest concentrations of wealthy people are found in cities like Geneva (144/100,000 citizens), Zurich (71), Singapore (60), Frankfurt (43) and Hong Kong (37). The per capita figure for New York City is a lowly 15.

Cities with high concentration of super-rich
Geneva: 144 / 100,000 population
Zurich: 71 / 100,000 population
Singapore: 60 / 100,000 population
Franfurt: 43 / 100,000 population
Hong Kong: 27 / 100,000 population
Auckland: 36 / 100,000 population
Oslo: 34 / 100,000 population
London: 30 / 100,000 population
Munich: 29 / 100,000 population
Hamburg: 27 / 100,000 population
(Sources: Knight Frank, City Lab, City Mayors)


Calgary Mayor wins
World Mayor Prize
on his 43rd birthday

Calgary, 4 February 2015:
Naheed Nenshi, Calgary’s ebullient mayor, heard on his 43rd birthday that he has been awarded the 2014 World Mayor Prize. Talking to journalists after the announcement, he said he could not have wished for a bigger birthday present. The mayor, who was first elected in 2010, was nominated and supported for the Prize by thousands of his fellow citizens and supporters from across Canada and North America. The two runners-up are the mayors of Ghent (Belgium) and Surabaya (Indonesia).

The World Mayor Prize is awarded every two years by the philanthropic City Mayors Foundation to a mayor who has made outstanding contributions to his or her community and whose vision for urban living is relevant to towns and cities across the world. Mayor Nenshi is the first Canadian recipient of the World Mayor Prize. In 2005, Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion was awarded second place, while in 2012 Régis Labeaume, Mayor of Québec City, finished fourth.

Tann vom Hove, City Mayors’ Senior Fellow, praised Mayor Nenshi’s leadership and management skills, which proved vital during the 2013 Alberta floods and the 2014 power outage. In thousands of tributes received by the organisers of the World Mayor Project, Calgary citizens described their mayor as honest, inclusive and generous. In an interview Mayor Nenshi said he was humbled by the support of so many people and would use the award to promote Calgary on the international stage.

First runner-up in the 2014 World Mayor Project and winner or the World Mayor Commendation for Services to European Cities is Daniël Termont, Mayor of Ghent, Belgium. Second runner-up and winner of the World Mayor Commendation for Services to Surabaya, Indonesia, is the city’s Mayor Tri Rismaharini.

Daniël Termont is highly admired by his European peers for making Ghent one of the most tolerant and environmental-friendly cities on the Continent. Tri Rismaharini has attracted national and international attention for her social, economic and environmental policies in Indonesia’s second-largest city, which, until she became mayor, was largely neglected by successive governments.

The top 10 mayors of World Mayor 2014
1 Naheed Nenshi, Calgary, Canada
2 Daniël Termont, Ghent, Belgium
3 Tri Rismaharini, Surabaya, Indonesia
4 Carlos Ocariz, Sucre, Venezuela
5 Jed Patrick Mabilog, Iloilo, Philippines
6 Albrecht Schröter, Jena, Germany
7 Annise Parker, Houston, USA
8 Yiannis Boutaris, Thessaloniki, Greece
9 Giusy Nicolini, Lampedusa, Italy
10 Aziz Kocaoglu, Izmir, Turkey

Many mayors honoured by the World Mayor Project since 2004 have moved from running a city to high national office. Two 2012 finalists, Joko Widodo (Surakarta, Indonesia) and Matteo Renzi (Florence, Italy) are now leaders of their respective countries. MORE


Tel Aviv and Jerusalem
in addition to 12 US cities
to receive Bloomberg grants

New York City, 16 December 2014:
Bloomberg Philanthropies yesterday announced that Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in addition to 12 US cities have been selected to participate in the $45 million expansion of its Innovation Teams programme. The programme aims to improve the capacity of City Halls to effectively design and implement new approaches that improve citizens’ lives – relying on data, open innovation, and strong project and performance management to help mayors address pressing urban challenges.

The grants announced will go to the US cities of Albuquerque, NM; Boston, MA; Centennial, CO; Jersey City, NJ; Long Beach, CA; Los Angeles, CA; Mobile, AL; Minneapolis, MN; Peoria, IL; Rochester, NY; Seattle, WA; and Syracuse, NY. Funding will allow mayors in each of these cities to create dedicated innovation teams - or “i-teams” - to develop and deliver new approaches to issues such as affordable housing, public safety, infrastructure finance, customer service, and job growth.

Bloomberg Philanthropies also announced that two Israeli cities would receive innovation team grants: Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Mayor Nir Barkat of Jerusalem will use his i-team to focus on poverty and economic development, while Mayor Ron Huldai of Tel Aviv-Jaffa will focus on cost of living and illegal immigration.

“Successful innovation depends as much on the ability to generate ideas as it does the capacity to execute them – and i-teams help cities do both,” said Michael Bloomberg, who was Mayor of New York from 2002 to 2013. “More and more city governments around the world are eager to innovate, so we’re excited to work with 12 new US cities, and to expand the program beyond our borders by bringing i-teams to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv-Jaffa.”

Grant funds will allow mayors to hire and fund i-teams for up to three years. These teams function as in-house innovation consultants, moving from one mayoral priority to the next.

“The fact is there are very few tools or reliable approaches available to mayors who want to innovate more often, more effectively, and with a better return on that investment for residents,” said James Anderson, head of Government Innovation programs for Bloomberg Philanthropies. “The Bloomberg Philanthropies’ i-teams programme helps City Halls get better at innovation, which is vital given the increasing constraints under which so many of our mayors work today.”

This is the second round of i-teams grants made as part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Government Innovation portfolio, which focuses on promoting public sector innovation. The first round of grants were made to the cities of Atlanta, Chicago, Louisville, Memphis, and New Orleans. Successes include reducing retail vacancies in Memphis, minimizing unnecessary ambulance trips to the emergency room in Louisville, cutting licensing time for new restaurants in Chicago, reducing homelessness in Atlanta, and reducing the murder rate in New Orleans.

More than 90 American cities were invited to apply; eligible cities had at least 100,000 residents and mayors with at least two years left in office. Cities will receive from $400,000 to $1,000,000 annually for up to three years. In addition to the grants, cities receive implementation support and opportunities to exchange lessons learned and best practices with peers in other cities. Newly formed i-teams will hit the ground running in each city no later than spring 2015.

Points of interest:
• 5 of the 12 US mayors are in their first 12 months of office (Boston, Long Beach, Minneapolis, Seattle, Rochester)
• 4 of the 12 US cities are led by female mayors (Centennial, Minneapolis, Rochester, Syracuse)
• 5 of the 12 US cities will initially focus on economic development (Albuquerque, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Mobile, Seattle)
• 4 of the 12 US cities have populations less than 200,000 (Centennial, Mobile, Peoria, Syracuse)
• Largest city by population receiving grant: Los Angeles (3,884,307)
• Smallest city by population receiving grant: Centennial (106,114)


Rockefeller Foundation
adds additional 35 cities to
its Resilient Cities network

New York City, 5 December 2014:
The Rockefeller Foundation announced that 35 additional cities from around the world have been invited to become members the 100 Resilient Cities (RC100) network. This second wave of cities will join 32 cities that won last year's 100 Resilient Cities Challenge, forming a growing network of urban centres around the world that are ready to respond to the social, economic and physical shocks and stresses that are a growing part of the 21st century. 100 Resilient Cites was created by an initial US$100 million commitment by The Rockefeller Foundation as part of its Centennial last year, recognising the trends of urbanisation and globalisation that characterise this century.

The new cities joining RC100 include many from developing countries such as the Ghanaian capital Accra, Enugu in Nigeria and Chennai, India, as well as western cities including London, Paris and Milan. About 30 other cities were named last year and more applications will be taken next year.

Judith Rodin, President of the Rockefeller Foundation said that members of the 100 Resilient Cities network were leading the world in showing that not only was it possible to build urban resilience in every kind of city, but it was an imperative. "Cities are learning that by building resilience, not only will they be better prepared for the bad times, but also life becomes better in the good times, especially for the poor and vulnerable. It's smart investment, and yields a resilience dividend that is a win for everyone,” she explained.

As the number of people living in urban areas grows from 50 per cent of the world's population to an estimated 70 per cent in 2050, cities around the world must cope with effects of rapid urbanisation, globalisation, climate change, and natural and man-made disasters.

Urban resilience is the capacity of individuals, communities, institutions, businesses and systems to survive, adapt and grow no matter what kinds of chronic stresses and acute shocks they experience. From the impact of super-typhoons, to growing socio-economic inequality or the ability of city systems to respond to booming populations and waning food supplies, 100 Resilient Cities aims to equip urban areas with the tools and support network to design, develop and implement holistic solutions.

Each city on the network is eligible to receive grant funding to hire a Chief Resilience Officer, who will lead the analysis, planning and implementation of the city's resilience strategy, working with different government agencies and across sectors of society. They will also receive technical support and services they need as they work towards implementing that strategy, as well as access a variety of platform partners in the private, public and non-profit sectors. These partners will offer tools in areas such as innovative finance, technology, infrastructure, land use, and community and social resilience.

Cities currently accredited
to the 100 Resilient City Network
AFRICA
• Accra, Ghana
• Arusha, Tanzania
• Dakar, Senegal
• Durban, South Africa
• Enugu, Nigeria
• Kigali, Rwanda

ASIA
• Amman, Jordan
• Ashkelon, Israel
• Bangalore, India
• Byblos, Lebanon
• Chennai, India
• Da Nang, Vietnam
• Deyang, China
• Huangshi, China
• Mandalay, Burma
• Phnom Penh, Cambodia
• Ramallah, Palestine
• Semarang, Indonesia
• Singapore, Singapore
• Surat, India
• Toyama, Japan

AUSTRAL ASIA
• Christchurch, New Zealand
• Melbourne, Australia
• Sydney, Australia
• Wellington, New Zealand

EUROPE
• Athens, Greece
• Barcelona, Spain
• Belgrade, Serbia
• Bristol, UK
• Glasgow, UK
• Lisbon, Portugal
• London, England
• Milan, Italy
• Paris, France
• Rome, Italy
• Thessaloniki, Greece
• Vejle, Denmark

NORTH AMERICA
• Berkeley, USA
• Boston, USA
• Boulders, USA
• Chicago, USA
• Dallas, USA
• El Paso, USA
• Jacksonville, USA
• Juarez, Mexico
• Los Angeles, USA
• Mexico City, Mexico
• Montreal, Canada
• New Orleans, USA
• New York City, USA
• Norfolk, USA
• Oakland, USA
• Pittsburgh, USA
• San Juan, Puerto Rico
• Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic
• St. Louis, USA
• Tulsa, USA

SOUTH AMERICA
• Cali, Colombia
• Medellin, Colombia
• Porto Alegre, Brazil
• Quito, Ecuador
• Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
• Santa Fe, Argentina
• Santiago (Metropolitan Region), Chile


World’s water stressed cities
go further and further afield
to source additional supplies

London, 14 June 2014:
The world’s largest cities literally suck the areas surrounding them dry. A recent research study by Global Environmental Change finds that large cities only occupy one per cent of the Earth’s land surface but that the watersheds that provide their water cover 41 per cent of the land surface. Cities that increasingly rely on their neighbours for water supplies include Los Angeles, Boston, Mumbai, Karachi and Hong Kong. Los Angeles receives almost nine billion litres of water a day from areas outside its boundaries. According to the research, Tokyo, Delhi, Mexico City, Shanghai and Beijing suffer from acute ‘water stress’.

The researchers say that despite increasing urban growth, theirs is the first piece of research that assesses the demand for freshwater resources by large cities. They found that collectively the world’s large cities, defined as those with at least 750,000 people, move 504 billion litres of water a day a cumulative distance of some 27,000 kilometres. Los Angeles, with imports of 8.9 billion litres per day from distant rivers, ranks first in the world in cross-basin water transfers.  The city diverts water hundreds of kilometres from the Colorado River Basin, as well as from rivers in central and northern California, to satisfy the demands of its 13.2 million citizens.

The survey’s authors state that these massive transfers of water causes ecological harm in the source watersheds, i.e. the areas supplying urban centres with water, but they relieve urban water stress by making more water available to cities. The findings reveal that some 25 per cent of large cities suffer from water stress. Some of the fastest growing cities of the 21st century are in areas with a geographical limitation of water availability. A spatial assessment of all large cities with severe geographical limitations - defined as cities that have to go out further than 100km to reach an unstressed water source of one billion litres a day - shows that the majority (68%) of large cities with severe geographical limitations are located in low to middle-income countries.

Looking forward, the authors believe that there will be an significant expansion of urban water infrastructure but that much of the new infrastructure will have to be built by cities with relatively few resources. Some of the developing countries with low per-capita income are home to the fastest-growing cities. While in the long-term urbanisation is expected to increase the wealth of these countries, in the short-term, however, cities with few financial resources will have to find ways to quickly build systems to supply water to their fast growing populations.

Cities with the largest amount of water
drawn in from outside its urban agglomeration:
1) Los Angeles (8.9 billion litres per day)
2( Boston, USA, (3.3 billion litres per day)
3) Mumbai (India) 3.2 billion litres per day
4) Karachi (Pakistan) 2.5 billion litres per day
5) Hong Kong (China) 2.4 billion litres per day
Selected others: Tokyo (Japan) 2.2 billion; New York (USA) 1.3 billion; Tel Aviv (Israel) 1.2 billion; Sydney (Australia) 1.2 billion; Athens (Greece) 1.0 billion.

According to the report cities that suffer from high level of water stress include Tokyo, Delhi, Mexico City, Shanghai and Beijing but also Kolkota, Los Angeles, Rio de Janeiro, Moscow, Lima and London.

(Source: Global Environmental Change 27, (2014) 96-105, published by Elsevier)


Large Western city brands
benefit from popularity
on Facebook and Twitter

London, 7 May 2014:
Cities’ popularity on Facebook and Twitter has become a significant component in Saffron Brand Consultants’ latest ‘place branding survey’, which the firm developed together with The Guardian newspaper. With the number of Facebook likes and Twitter mentions being given equal weight to city assets, such as weather, transport and safety, large cities in Western countries dominate the ranking table. A spokesman for the researchers acknowledged that the Facebook/Twitter-centric methodology placed cities in countries that use non-American social media at a disadvantage.

Los Angeles, the top-ranked city, together with New York, London and Paris were all given a ‘buzz rating’ of 10/10, while Tokyo and Shanghai, although strong in assets, only have ‘buzz ratings’ of 2/10 and 1/10 respectively. Vienna, which in many other popularity surveys consistently achieves top-three places, also falls victim to a low ‘buzz rating’.

Many other smaller European cities which Saffron rated highly in its previous ‘City Brand Barometer’, failed to make the Saffron/Guardian list of top city brands. Cities that are conspicuous by their absence include Munich (ranked third by Saffron in 2008 behind Paris and London), Amsterdam (ranked 4th), Frankfurt (ranked 9th) and Prague (also ranked 9th).

While the findings of the latest Saffron survey published by The Guardian don’t provide methodology details, the ‘buzz rating’ can be described as a kind of social media market share measure, which favours large cities with large numbers of visitors. Smaller cities with strong positive brands like Bath, Oxford, Dublin, Zurich or Bilbao are ignored or undervalued. “The worth of a brand is as much based on perceived quality as on quantity. Surely, that’s why the Apple brand is valued above Microsoft and BMW above Toyota,” said one commentator.


The Guardian / Saffron city brand ranking

Rank

City

Total Strength
(out of 20 points)

Buzz
(out of 10)

Assets
(out of 10)

1

Los Angeles

18

10

8

2

New York City

17.7

10

7.7

3

London

17.3

10

7.3

4

Paris

17.2

10

7.2

5

Seoul

15.9

8

7.9

6

Barcelona

15.8

9

6.8

7

Rio de Janeiro

15.3

9

6.3

8

San Francisco

15.2

8

7.2

9

Las Vegas

15.2

9

6.2

10

Dubai

14.6

9

5.6

11

Istanbul

14.6

9

5.6

12

Madrid

14.4

7

7.4

13

Chicago

14.3

8

6.3

14

Singapore

14

5

9

15

Bangkok

13.6

7

6.6

16

Sydney

13.4

6

7.4

17

Mexico City

13.4

7

6.4

18

Buenos Aires

13.3

7

6.3

19

Mumbai

13.3

8

5.3

20

Sao Paulo

12.2

7

5.2

21

Mecca

12

7

5

22

Atlanta

11.8

6

5.8

23

Melbourne

11.7

6

5.7

24

Milan

11.4

5

6.4

25

Berlin

11.4

5

6.4

26

Rome

11

5

6

27

Bangalore

10.5

6

4.5

28

Tokyo

10.3

2

8.3

29

Riyadh

10

5

5

30

Delhi

9.9

4

5.9

31

Kuala Lumpur

9.9

5

4.9

32

Santiago

9.8

5

4.8

33

Shanghai

9.7

1

8.7

34

Abu Dhabi

9.7

4

5.7

35

Hanoi

9.5

6

3.5

36

Lisbon

9.4

3

6.4

37

Washington DC

9.4

3

6.4

38

Beijing

8.8

1

7.8

39

Vienna

8.8

2

6.8

40

Seattle

8.7

3

5.7

41

Vancouver

8.6

3

5.6

42

Salvador

8.4

4

4.4

43

Lima

7.6

4

3.6

44

Venice

7.3

1

6.3

45

Doha

7.3

2

5.3

46

Macau

7.2

1

6.2

47

Marrakech

6.9

2

4.9

48

Copenhagen

6.8

1

5.8

49

Tel Aviv

6.7

1

5.7

50

Algiers

6.2

4

2.2

51

Sofia

6.1

2

4.1

52

Oslo

6

1

5

53

Lagos

5.6

3

2.6

54

Krakow

5.4

1

4.4

55

Chittagong

4.2

1

3.2

56

Cape Town

3.7

1

2.7

57

Nairobi

2.9

1

1.9

Source: The Guardian

Last year, the Anholt-GfK City Brands Index ranked London first, followed by Sydney, Paris, New York City, Rome, Washington DC, Los Angeles, Toronto, Vienna and Melbourne.


World cities in rush to
launch own top level
internet domain names

Berlin, 20 April 2014:
After Berlin became the first city in the world with its own internet domain name, a handful of other cities, including London, Tokyo, Vienna, Paris and New York City, have announced that they will launch generic top level domains (gTLDs) in the coming weeks and months. At the launch of •berlin last month, Cherine Culaby, a director with ICANN*, said that some 50 cities and regions worldwide had applied for top-level-domain names with her organisation. It is thought that during 2014/15, more than 20 cities will be in a position to market their own domains.

Within an hour after •berlin was launched on 14 March, some 20,000 individuals, businesses and non-profit organisations had reserved Berlin-specific web addresses. Prior to the public launch, the owners of brands like Pepsi, VW or Lufthansa could register their Berlin domains. Berlin’s local government already owns a number of domains including polizei•berlin (police), rotes-rathaus•berlin (city hall) but also sex•berlin. For most private individuals and small businesses, a berlin suffix will cost some €50 (US$65) per year. The Berlin domains are managed by the private company, DotBerlin GmbH, whose founder and chief executive Dirk Krischenowski has for the past ten years campaigned for a unique Berlin domain. He believes that moving away from national and international suffixes, like •de or •com, will allow local businesses - restaurants, tradesmen or taxi firms - to use the internet to its full potential. Cologne and Hamburg are thought to be following Berlin’s example later this year.

Austria’s capital Vienna announced in February that it’s •wien top level domain would be launched to the public on 15 July. But the owners of national and international brands as well as registered local companies can already reserve domains reflecting the names of their businesses.

Earlier this month, Tokyo’s new Governor Yoichi Masuzoe welcomed the introduction of a top-level domain for his city. At a press conference, he said •tokyo would enable the Japanese capital to challenge New York, London and Paris for the for the title ‘world’s best city’. “In the challenge to become the number one city, I hope that •tokyo will be a great tool for promoting Tokyo to the world,” the governor added. The public launch of tokyo is scheduled for 9 June Successful applicants will pay some $300 for the first year and between $9 to $20 for subsequent years. However, highly sought after domains like taxi•tokyo or hotel•tokyo will cost considerably more. The Japanese city of Nagoya has already registered its own top-level domain.

After some delay, it has now been confirmed that the london domain will be launched on 29 April. During the first three months, trademark and brand owners as well as local companies and individuals will be given priority. According to a poll carried out in January, some 200,000 London businesses are likely to register a london domain. To showcase London’s new domain, a number of companies, such as The London Symphony Orchestra and up-market retailer Fortnum and Mason, have been allowed to go live before the official launch date.

The City of Paris has invited interested parties to be among the first to sign up for a •paris domain. Initially, organisers are keen to attract some 100 well-known companies and individuals who would become ‘ambassadors’ for the new domain. During a second stage, Paris will allot high-value domains such as hotels•paris, visit•paris or metro•paris. The public launch of •paris is programmed for the second half of 2014.

The •nyc domain is scheduled to go live on 8 October 2014. Operators of the New York City name will offer a 45-day ‘sunrise period’ to allow brand owners and trademark holders to secure their names. Following the ‘sunrise period’, the domain name organisers will provide a 60-day ‘landrush period’ during which eligible applicants can apply for business-specific domain names before the commencement of general availability. Where there are multiple applications for the same domain name during the ‘landrush’ period these applications will proceed to auction. In general, •nyc domains are reserved for individuals whose first home is New York City or an organisation that has a physical street address in city.

City top level domains likely to be launched during 2014/15:
•Amsterdam •Berlin •Boston •Brussels •Budapest •Capetown •Doha •Dubai •Durban •Gent •Hamburg •Helsinki •Istanbul •Joburg •Koeln/Cologne •Kyoto •London •Madrid •Melbourne •Miamai •Nagoya •Nyc •Okinawa •Rome/Roma •Vegas •Wien/Vienna

*ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is a non-profit organisation that coordinates the Internet's global domain name system. ICANN was created in September 1998. It is headquartered in Los Angeles.


Uncertainty over EU and financial
scandals cost London its crown

London, 16 March 2014:
London and New York City swapped places at the top of the latest Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI) but NYC’s lead over the UK capital is a mere 0.2 per cent. Hong Kong and Singapore remain third and fourth respectively, while Zurich moves up to fifth place. London’s reputation in the world has suffered due to uncertainty over the Britain’s European Union membership and a number of financial scandals at the heart of its financial centre. Britain is also perceived to be unwelcoming to foreign workers.

While there are few changes in the top 10, the five leaders, NYC, London, Hong Kong, Singapore and Zurich are increasingly challenged by cities further down the table. Three years ago the difference between first and tenth was 117 points, now San Francisco, in tenth place, is only 75 points behind its East Coast rival.

In Asia, established centres like Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo and Seoul are performing considerably better than weaker cities such as Manila, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta or Mumbai. The oil wealth of the Gulf states is propelling centres like Qatar, Dubai and Riyadh up the table. The latter is up 16 places, Bahrain is up 12 places and Abu Dhabi is up ten.

The financial troubles in Europe meant that 23 out 27 centres declined by rank. Significant falls include Copenhagen, Edinburgh, Dublin, Madrid, Lisbon and Rome. Athens, in last place, is 82 points behind the Icelandic capital Reykjavik, which is second to last.

The Global Financial Centres Index 2014 ranks
(with last year’s ranks in brackets)

1 New York City (2)
2 London (1)
3 Hong Kong (3)
4 Singapore (4)
5 Zurich (6)
6 Tokyo (5)
7 Seoul (10)
8 Boston (7)
9 Geneva (8)
10 San Francisco (12)

11 Frankfurt (9)
12 Luxembourg (13)
13 Washington DC (17)
14 Toronto (11)
15 Chicago (14)
16 Montreal (18)
17 Vancouver (19)
18 Shenzhen (27)
19 Vienna (20)
20 Shanghai (16)

21 Tel Aviv (32)
22 Calgary (21)
23 Sydney (15)
24 Monaco (23)
25 Buenos Aires (46)
26 Qatar (24)
27 Busan (n/a)
28 Munich (34)
29 Dubai (25)
30 Stockholm (37)

31 Riyadh (47)
32 Abu Dhabi (42)
33 Oslo (36)
34 (Osaka (30)
35 Kuala Lumpur (22)
36 Paris (29)
37 Melbourne (33)
38 Sao Paulo (38)
39 Wellington (43
40 Bahrain (52

Methodology: The organisers of the GFCI, the Z/Yen Group, uses an online questionnaire to ask international financial services professionals to rate those centres they are familiar with. In the 24 months leading up to December 2013, 3,246 responses were collected.


World cities fight
over billionaires

New York City, 23 September 2013:
  New York City is already home to more billionaires than any other city in the world, but its mayor wants more. Michael Bloomberg, a billionaire himself, said on his weekly radio show that it would be a godsend if every billionaire around the globe moved to New York. "They are the ones that pay a lot of the taxes. They're the ones that spend a lot of money in the stores and restaurants and create a big chunk of our economy," he said. A new report cites NYC, Moscow, London, Hong Kong and Beijing as the five most popular cities for billionaires.

During the recent mayoral primaries, Mayor Bloomberg has been accused of neglecting New York’s less well off. Recent research by the US Census Bureau showed an increase in the city’s poverty rate and a widening gap between the wealthy and the poor. The mayor dismissed the figures, saying that the large number multi-millionaires and billionaires in the city were the reason for wealth gab between rich and poor. “If we are fortunate enough to attract more wealthy individuals that would create an even wider income gap.”

According to the figures by the US Census Bureau, New York’s poverty rate rose from 20.1 per cent in 2010 to 21.2 per cent last year, while the average annual household income of the lowest fifth of the city’s population stood at just under nine thousand dollars, compared to US$223,000 for the highest fifth. Bill de Blasio, the Democratic candidate for mayor in the November elections, described New York as a tale of two cities.

New York is not the only city that vies to attract the world’s super-rich. London has been so successful in positioning itself as one of the most desirable locations for the wealthy that house-hunting billionaires have difficulties in finding homes that fulfil their security concerns and lifestyle expectations. Meanwhile, Moscow, which ranks second after New York for the number of resident billionaires, is eager to prevent its rich from moving to London, New York or Zurich.

Home to billionaires
Rank
City
Number of billionaires
1
New York City
70
2
Moscow
64
3
London
54
4
Hong Kong
40
5
Beijing
29
6
Mumbai
26
7
Istanbul
24
8
Shanghai
23
9
Paris
22
10
Los Angeles
19
11
Shenzhen
19
12
Chicago
15
13
Singapore
13
14
Tokyo
12
15
Guangzhou
12
16
San Francisco
11
17
Dallas
11
18
Dubai
11
19
Houston
10
20
Sao Paulo
10
Source: Wealth Insight

Separate research by the Hurun Research Institute reports that London has most multi-millionaires (those enjoying net wealth of between US$30 million to one billion) with Tokyo and Singapore placed second and third respectively. Mere millionaires meanwhile, seem to prefer Tokyo over New York and London. The number of multi-millionaires in London is reported to stand at 4,224, while 281,000 millionaires call the British capital their home. Some 461,000 millionaires live in Tokyo with another 389,000 in New York.


The most ‘expensive’
mayors in the world

London, 16 September 2013:
Rome Mayor Ignazio Marino caused controversy when, shortly after being elected in June, he indicated that his salary of US$72,000 (€54,000) per annum was insufficient and did not compensate him adequately for his duties and responsibilities. He argued that even most of his senior staff was being paid more. (The city’s press officer is on €125,000, the mayor’s spokesman on $90,000 and various heads of department can expect remuneration packages of between €95,000 and €105,000.) Indeed, new research will show that the Mayor of Rome is one of the lowest paid leaders of major capital cities and that, per capita, he provides more value for money than the mayors of London, Paris or Berlin.

Research to be published by City Mayors later this year is also likely to show that while the Governor of Tokyo may be the highest paid city leader in the world, he is by no means the most expensive. Naoki Inose costs every Tokyo resident some 2.8 US cents per year, while the citizens of Helsinki contribute almost four cents each to their mayor’s salary.

Salaries and per capita costs for selected mayors
City
Mayor
Earnings
(US$ per annum)
Per capita costs
(US cents pa)
Berlin Klaus Wowereit
$196,000
5.7
Chicago Rahm Emanuel
$ 216,000
7.6
Helsinki Jussi Pajunen
$ 229,000
39.3
London Boris Johnson
$ 234,000
3.1
Los Angeles Eric Garcetti
$ 232,000
6.1
New York City Michael Bloomberg*
$ 225,000
2.7
Oslo Fabian Stang
$ 207,000
3.5
Paris Bertrand Delanoë
$136,000
6.4
Rome Ignazio Marino
$72,000
2.6
Stockholm Sten Nordin
$ 210,000
25.4
Tokyo Naoki Inose
$ 238,000
2.8
Toronto Rob Ford
$163,000
6.3

Extracts from research to be published by City Mayors in late 2013. Earning and population figures are based on 2012 and 2011 data respectively.

*Michael Bloomberg does not draw his salary.

Please email the City Mayors’ editor if you want your city and mayor to be included in our salary survey, inserting Salary Survey 2013 in the subject line
.






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