World Mayor nominations Research from cities worldwide

One hundred million homeless people own less than one man | Calgary Mayor wins World Mayor Prize |

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One hundred million
homeless people own
less than one man

Research 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 the 2015 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 a 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

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.
Number of super-rich: 3,575
Poverty: Some 16 per cent of Japanese live in poverty.
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.
Number of super-rich: 1,909
Poverty: Some 16 per cent of Frankfurt’s population live in poverty.
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
Reseacht 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. FURTHER READING