City Mayors Foundation

Cities are shaping today's social, cultural, economic and technological agendas. They compete, learn from each other and act together. The City Mayors Foundation was established in 2003 to promote, campaign for and facilitate good, open and strong local government. The World Mayor Project has been honouring outstanding mayors since 2004.

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World Mayor
World Mayor 2020 - Mayors fighting COVID-19

CoronaVirus COVID-19
COVID-19 divides Brazil

COVID-19 hits African Americans hardest

CoronaVirus comparison: Nations and major cities

COVID-19 cases in London and Berlin: A four-week comparison

Mayors fighting the CoronaVirus COVID-19

The strengths and weaknesses of US cities during a pandemic

The ups and downs of Amazon’s search for a second headquarter
Guide to richest and most expensive cities
Most expensive cities
Richest cities
Most powerful cities
Big Mac Guide

Homelessness in US cities: California is facing a crisis
US cities are waking up to the harm done by trauma in childhood and adult life
Massacres in schools, churches and malls will not change America’s gun culture
Corrupt US mayors pose a threat to decency in society
In the US, cities lead in fighting poverty

Spatial Planning in the USA: Economic growth is of paramount importance

Largest cities in the world (1 to 150)
Largest cities in the world (151 to 300)
A to Z to largest cities in the world
Countries with the largest cities in the world
Introduction to largest cities in the world

Women in US local government
World Mayors and politics
Voter turnout - an international comparison
Mayors in Europe: Powers & Politics (2019)

Democrats control politics in big-city USA
US Mayors running for President
Largest cities in the world and their mayors (2017)
Largest cities with women mayors (2017)
Capital cities and their mayors (2017)

Salaries of British mayors
Salaries of French mayors
Salaries of German mayors
Salaries of Japanese mayors

Capital cities and their mayors

Belgian Mayors (2019)
British Mayors (2020)
Canadian Mayors (2019)
French Mayors (2019)
German mayors (2019)
Indian mayors (2020)
Italian mayors (2019)
Japanese mayors (2020)
Polish mayors (2020)
Spanish mayors (2019)
Turkish mayors (2019)
US mayors (2020)

The 2020 World Mayor Project is devoted to Mayors fighting Poverty and will honour those whose work improves the lives of the poor and disadvantaged, and whose policies reduce poverty long-term. Please propose mayors who have made the relief of poverty a priority.

Urban society

At the beginning of 2020, more than half a million Americans were homeless. After a decade of decline, homelessness in the US started to rise again in 2016. It now stands at 568,000. The national increase is primarily due to a leap in homelessness in California.

Of 134 capital cities examined by City Mayors, the research found 98 national capitals with elected mayors – either directly elected (79) or chosen by the city council (19). Some 35 mayors were appointed, mostly by the respective governments. 24 cities have female mayors,
Coronavirus COVID-19

As the CoronaVirus races across the world, many towns and cities have never faced a greater challenge. It is at local level where the consequences of the pandemic are being felt strongest and have primarily to be dealt with. City Mayors reports from cities around the world

In France, the remuneration of mayors depends on the size of their communities. Mayors of villages with less than 500 people receive a monthly payment of €646, while those of cities between 50,000 and 100,000 are paid €4,181. The mayors of Paris and Lyon are the highest paid..

A plethora of city leadership models exist across Europe, depending on history and political culture. Most of Europe’s 38 capital city mayors belong to leftist and centre-left parties. Of the 28 mayors of EU capital cities, 15 are members of socialist, social democrat or other left-leaning parties.

African Americans COVID-19Inequality exposes black Americans
to greater risk of COVID-19 infection

CoronaVirus: America’s black communities are among the hardest hit by the CoronaVirus pandemic. The numbers are stark. The impact of COVID-19 on African Americans has been extraordinary and disproportionate. Almost one-third of infections nationwide have affected black Americans, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control, though Blacks represent only 13 per cent of the US population. Associated Press adds that nearly one-third of those who have died across the country are black. Systemic racial inequality continues to exist in the US. The neighbourhoods where most African Americans live, the jobs they have, the prevalence of health conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes and the way they are treated by the medical professions have all contributed to the disproportionate numbers of infections and deaths among Blacks. FULL RESEARCH REPORT

Polish mayorsPolish local government
and mayors of largest cities

Mayors: Since 1999, Poland has been divided into provinces, counties and districts. Rural districts and urban municipalities are Poland’s third level of local government. Counties are usually divided into several types of districts (gminy): urban, mixed urban-rural and entirely rural. In all three types of districts, voters directly elect local councillors and mayors. Mayors in cities with more than 400,000 people are called city presidents. Rural and urban districts are tasked with the management of utilities, public open spaces, sewage and waste disposal, health care, housing and education as well as social services and culture. While the mayors (presidents) of Poland’s largest and third-largest cities are women, overall, only 11 of the country’s 107 municipalities have female leaders. 2020 EDITION

COVID-19 cases Brazil citiesBrazil’s political authorities divided
over right approach to COVID-19

CoronaVirus: A little over month after Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro described the CoronaVirus pandemic as a “little flu”, the country recorded more than 310,000 cases of COVID-19 infections and some 20,000 related deaths. Since Brazil carries out fewer tests than many other countries, the true numbers of infections and deaths are thought to be considerably higher. Brazil has now more known CoronaVirus cases than Italy, Spain and the UK and only ranks behind the US and Russia. Hardest hit are the states and cities in the north and northeast of the country as well as big metropolitan areas like São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. During the first three weeks of May 2020, the daily numbers of new infections and deaths have been on a steep upward curve.

CoronaVirus and World CitiesCoronaVirus: How cities from
around the world are affected

CoronaVirus: New York, Tokyo, Moscow, Madrid, but also Dublin, are some of the cities that have become epicentres of COVID-19 infections in their respective countries. In those cities, the number of people infected by the virus is considerably above the national average. The number of recorded cases often accounts for 30, 40 and even 50 per cent of national totals. For example, the population of Dublin and its surrounding county make up 28.6 per cent of Ireland’s total population, but Dublin’s share of the countrywide number CoronaVirus cases is almost 50 per cent. Across the US, less than 0.36 per cent of all Americans have tested positive for COVID-19, however in New York City almost 2.1 per cent of residents have been infected. RESEARCH FINDINGS

Coronavirus IndiaIndia’s most populous states
to extend COVID-19 lockdown

CoronaVirus: Yesterday, 26 April, the total number of CoronaVirus cases in India reached 27,000, with the number of casualties exceeding 800. Maharashtra was the worst affected state with 7,628 confirmed cases, followed by Gujarat with 3,071 cases. India’s capital city Delhi recorded 2,625 cases. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal told a gathering of reporters that the latest figures showed an improvement in the Indian capital compared to a week earlier. Nevertheless, he said, the lockdown was most likely to be extended beyond 3 May. Five other states, including Odisha, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal and Punjab have said they were also ready to extend the lockdown beyond 3 May, at least in major hotspot areas. Since the outbreak of the national epidemic, Mumbai, India’s largest city, recorded 5,200 cases of COVID-19 infections, with more than 200 fatalities. MORE

Mass graves in ManausMass graves in Amazonas capital
and threat to indigenous tribes

CoronaVirus: Manaus, the capital of Brazil’s Amazonas region, is accustomed to violent death - homicides are a daily occurrence – but the sight of several dozens of coffins buried in mass graves every day has shocked local people. With more than 53,000 CoronaVirus cases and 3,600 deaths, Brazil is the worst affected country in South America. Thursday, 23 April, saw a record number of new confirmed COVID-19 infections. The curve of new cases is still pointing steeply upward. Together with Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, Manaus is one of the worst affected Brazilian cities. It has the highest death rate of any state capital in Brazil. MORE

MIlan COVID-19 cemeteryMilan’s last resting place for
unclaimed COVID-19 victims

CoronaVirus: A field in a far corner of Milan’s Maggiore cemetery is the last resting place of some 61 victims of COVID-19. They are the dead whose identities are unknown, the dead who have not been claimed by relatives or friends, the dead of the poorest in society. On Field 87 there are no grave stones, no plagues, only a few identical white crosses. Mayor Giuseppe Sala referred to those buried in mass graves as Sons and daughters of Milan. In a tribute to the victims, the Mayor said CoronaVirus had killed many of the dearest citizens of Milan. “Some of them are buried in Field 87. Identical white crosses, like those in war cemeteries, mark each dead.” Some crosses bear the name of the dead and the day they died, others just give a date. MORE

CoronaVirus London BerlinCOVID-19 cases in
London and Berlin:
A four-week comparison

CoronaVirus: During February and early March 2020, COVID-19 infections in the UK and German capitals, London and Berlin, progressed slowly. In London, the first case was confirmed on 12 February but it was regarded as not significant. In Berlin, the CoronaVirus emerged relatively late. The first case was only reported on 2 March. At that time there were already more than a dozen confirmed infections in Bavaria, southern Germany. In Berlin, as in London, after a hesitant start, the number of COVID-19 cases rose rapidly. FULL RESEARCH FINDINGS

Africans in China face racismAfrican nationals in China falsely
accused of importing COVID-19

CoronaVirus: With the USA blaming China for the outbreak of the CoronaVirus pandemic, the Chinese authorities are making strenuous efforts to convince the world that the epidemic has been brought under control. Beijing’s greatest fear is a second wave of infections brought to the country from abroad. While Chinese nationals returning home are responsible for the vast majority of ‘imported’ COVID-19 cases - estimates range from 75 to 90 per cent - many Chinese prefer to point the finger at foreigners, in particular at Africans. European journalists reporting from China speak of a barrage of xenophobia and racism. The sentiments are particularly pronounced in the southern city of Guangzhou (Guangdong Province), home to a large African community. MORE

COVID-19 Paris banlieuesParis working-class suburbs suffer
the most from COVID-19 outbreak

CoronaVirus: Seine-Saint-Denis, the working-class département to the north and northeast of Paris, has been particularly hard hit by the CoronaVirus outbreak. In the last week of March, the number of people dying with the COVID-19 virus increased by 63 per cent compared to a week earlier. That was almost 30 per cent above the national average. Jérôme Salomon, the French national health inspector, spoke of an astonishing mortality rate in a department with a very young population – almost a third of residents are under 20 years old. But to those living in the many high-rise concrete apartment blocks, the rapid spread of the CoronaVirus came as no surprise. The combination of cramped living spaces – a family of six living in a 50-sqm apartment is not unusual – and poverty made it easy for the virus to spread. MORE

CoronaVirus US citiesThe strengths and weaknesses
of US cities during a pandemic

CoronaVirus: New York City, San Francisco, Washington DC, Detroit and Miami have been named as the five American cities most vulnerability to a virus epidemic such as the current CoronaVirus (COVID-19) outbreak. New research examined the vulnerability of more than 100 cities based on their economic, financial, social and health strengths. According to the report, larger cities, due to their high population density, global connections and extensive use of public transport, are most exposed to the effects of a pandemic such as COVID-19. For example, 61 per cent of New Yorkers commute using public transport, while virtually every resident in Amarillo (TX), the third-least vulnerable city in the survey, uses private transport. MORE

Homelessness in US cities:
California is facing a crisis

Society: At the beginning of 2020, more than half a million Americans were homeless. After a decade of decline, homelessness in the US started to rise again in 2016. It now stands at 568,000, with 63 per cent of that total living in sheltered accommodation. The national increase is primarily due to a leap in homelessness in California where it grew by 16.4 per cent between 2018 and 2019. In terms of absolute numbers, California has more than half - 53 per cent - of all unsheltered homeless people in the US. In 2019, the West Coast state registered 108,400 people as homeless, nearly nine times as many as Florida, the state with the second highest number of homeless. According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, nearly a quarter of all people experiencing homelessness live in either New York or Los Angeles. Seattle, San Jose and San Diego. MORE

World Mayor 2020Mayors fighting poverty sought
for the 2020 World Mayor Prize

World Mayor: The 2020 World Mayor Project, which was launched on 21 January, is dedicated to mayors who have made helping the poor and disadvantaged in their communities one of their top priorities. The Project’s authors call poverty ‘a crime against humanity’ and say that human society, despite all its achievements, will have failed if it cannot work toward ending poverty. The World Mayor website provides examples of poverty in developed and developing countries. “Poverty”, the authors say “is prevalent across the world, found in the richest cities and festering in the poorest villages.” MORE

Capital cities mayorsWorld's capital cities
and their mayors

Mayors of capital cities: Of 134 capital cities examined by City Mayors, the research found 98 national capitals with elected mayors – either directly elected (79) or chosen by the city council (19). Some 35 mayors were appointed, mostly by their respective national governments. Only 24 capital cities (17.9%) have female mayors, although in Tokyo, Paris, Rome, Madrid, Oslo and Havana women are in charge of municipal government. The longest serving mayors are Yaoundé’s  Emil Andze (1996), San José’s Johnny Monge (1998) and Sydney’s Clover Moore (2004). MORE

American (US) mayorsMayors of largest US cities:
Democrats are in control

Mayors: There are 19,429 municipal governments in the United States. Many small towns use the council-manager system (most counties are run this way) and those that don’t, have a weak mayor-council system. Almost all large US cities have strong mayor systems. Following the November 2018 mid-term elections, two thirds of the largest US cities are governed by Democrat mayors. Republican mayors rule in 23 per cent of US cities, while some ten per cent of mayors of large cities describe themselves as independent. 2020 EDITION

Indian mayorsIndian local government
and Mayors of largest cities

Mayors: Over the past couple of decades, India has seen the implementation and framing of efforts to modernise local government and has also revealed in the course of these efforts a commitment to local government that was hitherto a weak link in the Indian system. Nevertheless, it remains a system in transition that has room for further evolution to match its prevalent ground conditions. In addition to the areas to which attention has been drawn, the system also needs adequate quality control monitoring and capacity building mechanisms as well as additional reforms. Since the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) under Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in 2014, the hitherto governing centre-left Indian National Congress party not only lost control of government but also influence in India’s largest cities. The party now controls only one (Kolkata) of the country’s top 25 cities. INDIAN MAYORS 2020

US mayoral elections November 2019Democrats control
politics in big-city USA

Politics / Elections: While the 2018 midterm elections provided an insight into the national political mood of America, this year’s ‘off-year elections’ took place predominately at local level. In the US, off-year elections are held when neither presidential nor countrywide congressional contests take place. With only three gubernatorial ballots – in Kentucky, Louisiana as well as Mississippi - and legislative polls in only four states, this year’s mayoral elections on 5 November were watched for any impact of the impeachment process in the US House of Representatives. But, with Democrats already in control of most big cities, there were very few explicit pointers. MORE

French mayors salariesSalaries of French mayors
Mayors / Finance: No other European country has as many elected local government officials as France. In the 2014 local elections voters across France elected some 580,000 local representatives, including the mayors of Paris, Lyon and Marseille but also mayors and councillors in thousands of small towns and villages. In France, the remuneration of mayors depends on the size of their communities. Mayors of villages with less than 500 people receive a monthly payment of €646, while those of cities between 50,000 and 100,000 inhabitants are paid €4,181 per month. The largest salaries are awarded to the mayors of Paris (€8,650 / month), Marseille (€8,137 / month) and Lyon (€8,227 / month). MORE

British mayors salariesSalaries of British mayors
Mayors / Finance: In the UK local politics has long been seen as community service rather than a professional career and this is reflected in the salaries paid to elected mayors. By contrast, senior officials in city administrations are often paid more than double the mayor’s salary. For instance, the Metro Mayor of the Tees Valley receives a modest £37,000 per year, yet the authority’s chief executive takes home a more impressive £139,000, collecting over £100,000 more. While mayoral and councillors’ remuneration is recommended by independent external advisers, councils are free to set their own political pay rates, though most reduce or freeze against the recommended level, mindful of local voters’ reactions. MORE

E-scooters in EuropeE-scooters in Europe:
They do not reduce car use
Transport: Two years ago, electric scooters - the step-on types - were predicted to offer an additional mode of clean, cheap transport for inner urban areas. Now cities across Europe are not so sure. Instead of persuading car users to switch to a combination of public transport and e-scooters, they are mostly used by tourists and young people for short walkable distances. And they are not cheap. Hiring an e-scooter for 20 minutes can easily cost five euros (US$5.50). While it was originally thought that commuters arriving at rail or bus terminals would pick up an e-scooter for the last mile to the office, it has not worked out like that. E-scooters are not seen as a serious mode of transport. A French survey concluded that e-scooters had so far made no impact on car ownership. The authors wrote that the scooters diverted users from other forms of ‘green’ transport. “44 per cent of respondents said their e-scooter ride substituted a walk and another 30 per cent said they would have used public transport had e-scooters not been available.” MORE

Turkish mayorsTurkish local government
and Mayors of largest cities

Mayors: Despite the numerical, economic and cultural importance of Turkish cities, Turkey remains a highly centralised unitary state. While, as a member of the Council of Europe, Turkey is obliged to guarantee the political, administrative and financial independence of local authorities, the Council’s monitoring committee has reported ‘fundamental deficits in implementation’. While the findings were announced well before the March 2019 local elections, the annulment of the initial results of the mayoral election in Istanbul and the dismissal of the elected mayors of Diyarbakir and Van over allegations of links to Kurdish separatists in August 2019, strengthen the authors’ assertions that the independence of local authorities in Turkey is still threatened by central government. 2019 EDITION

US cities are waking up to
the harm done by trauma
in childhood and adult life

Society: The challenges facing US cities and US mayors are well-known: crime and gun violence, public health, public education, housing, economic change and growth, social justice and access to opportunity, infrastructure, and climate change adaptation, among others. One of the major underlying issues which affects how mayors can respond to many of these challenges is also one of the least discussed politically and publicly: Trauma. People living in high-poverty neighborhoods in US cities are typically exposed to multiple on-going traumas, such as generational school failure, substance abuse, incarceration, violence in the home and surrounding neighborhood, and teen pregnancy. Exposure to chronic trauma increases the likelihood of negative outcomes for individuals and their families and for neighborhoods and cities. MORE

European mayorsMayors in Europe
Powers & Politics

Local government: A plethora of city leadership models exist across Europe, depending on history and political culture, though the challenges facing urban areas are mostly identical. While in France, Spain, Greece and Portugal the mayor is head of the party list on the council, in Luxembourg and the Netherlands mayors are appointed by the central government for a six-year term. In Germany, mayors are directly elected, as are all metro mayors in England. In many European countries mayors enjoy considerable powers and their responsibilities cover a wide array of day-to-day activities as well as longterm projects such as health, education, policing, environment and culture. 2019 EDITION

French mayorsFrench local government
and Mayors of largest cities

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 full ones were 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. Following the elections of President Macron and a new national parliament in 2017, a number of cities elected new mayors. 2019 EDITION

German mayorsGerman local government
and mayors of largest cities

Mayors: Germany is a country made up of thousands of towns and cities, all with directly elected mayors. A city (Großstadt) is officially defined as an administration unit with a population greater than 100,000. As of 2013, there are 76 cities in Germany. Only four cities, Berlin, Hamburg, München (Munich) and Köln (Cologne), are Millionenstädte - cities with a population of more than one million. Nine cities have a population of more than 500,000 people. The mayors’ terms of office vary between five and nine years, depending on the state. Each municipal council is headed by an elected mayor, known as Bürgermeister  - or Oberbürgermeister (lord mayor) in most larger cities. 2019 EDITION

Spanish local government
and mayors of largest cities

Mayors: The governance of the Spanish municipalities belongs to the City Council. It is a collegiate organ that leads the municipal administration.  The City Council is made up of Councillors, elected by popular vote. The number of councillors may vary according to the number of residents, from five to 25. The president of the City Council is the Mayor, who is elected by and from the councillors. 2019 EDITION

Ancona MayorLocal government in Italy
and mayors of largest cities

Mayors: Mayors play a central role in Italian national life and are a settled feature of the political system. The more than 8,000 communes are each headed by a mayor (sindaco) and elected council (consiglio comunale) of between 15 and 80 members. From the capital Rome to the smallest village, Italian communes coexist on an equal basis, although the mayors of Rome and Milan can be seen as national political figures in their own right. They also enjoy high levels of allegiance from their local populations, making their boundaries hard to amend or reform. In addition to civil registration and local public services, including roads, communes are able to run their own local police forces and provide local healthcare services. The Italian capital Rome is served by 19 municipal entities, the Municipi. 2019 EDITION

Canadian mayorsCanadian local government
and Mayors of largest cities

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. For the most part, serving as the Chief Executive of the city and Chair of council, Canadian mayors are given the title His Worship or Her Worship in English and Son Honneur in French for both males and females. 2019 EDITION

Britsh mayorsLocal government in England
and mayors of cities and regions

Mayors: In London and several metropolitan areas, England’s cities are led by elected Mayors, while in all but 15 of the 317 local councils in England are run by a Council Leader elected by their fellow councillors. Since 2002 a number have been led by mayors elected directly by local voters. Most of the local authority elected mayors in England have responsibility for all local services, with two district council mayors responsible for only environment, planning and housing. In London and the metro area Combined Authorities, the Mayor is responsible for transport, economic development, skills and spatial planning, as well as other fields as devolved.  All England’s elected mayors are elected on four-year terms by the instant run-off Supplementary Vote. There are no elected mayors in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. 2019 EDITION

Belgian mayors
Belgian local government
and mayors of largest cities

Mayors: In addition to three regions and three cultural communities, Belgium is also divided into 10 provinces and 589 municipalities. The provincial governments are primarily administrative units and are politically weak. A governor appointed by the King presides over each province. Each governor is supported by an elected Provincial Council of 47 to 84 members (depending on the size of the province), which sits only four weeks a year. Municipal governments, on the other hand, are vigorous political entities with significant powers and a history of independence dating from medieval times. 2019 EDITION

Corrupt mayorsCorrupt US mayors pose a
threat to decency in society

Society: 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 Federal Bureau of Investigation (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 brought to justice thousands of elected officials, who used their positions to enrich themselves. Among those convicted are leaders of some of the largest US cities, including Nashville, Detroit, New Orleans or Baltimore, but also many mayors from small-town America. FULL REPORT

Polish mayors2019 Editions of mayors of largest
cities of Canada, Japan and Poland

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. ||| In Japan, The nature and role of local government is codified in the Local Autonomy Law issued under the post-war Constitution of Japan of 1947, which guarantees local autonomy against the national government, who retain a degree of control over localities through subsidies. ||| Rural districts and urban municipalities are Poland’s third level of local government. Counties are usually divided into several types of districts (gminy): urban, mixed urban-rural and entirely rural. In all three types of districts, voters directly elect local councillors and mayors. Mayors in cities with more than 400,000 people are called city presidents. CANADIAN MAYORS ||| JAPANESE MAYORS ||| POLISH MAYORS |||

US povertyIn the US, cities lead
in fighting poverty

Society: Income inequality and social mobility generate intense discussion in the United States. A number of recent studies suggest that people at the bottom of the income ladder are unlikely to climb very far over the next twenty or more years; in fact, they will likely see the gap widen between them and the next rung of the ladder. Poverty in the US, it seems, is persistent, if not intractable. Many cities are inspired by the success of New York City’s anti-poverty program. Between 2013 and 2016 the number of New Yorkers in poverty or near poverty (the percentage living below 150% of the city’s poverty threshold) decreased by 141,000, and the city is on pace to reach its target of moving 800,000 people out of poverty or near poverty by 2025. MORE

Amazon HQ2The ups and downs of Amazon’s
search for a second headquarter

Economics: When Amazon announced that the New York City borough of Queens would be the location of a major new investment by the company in November 2018, the news could reasonably have been expected to have been met with a shrug. After all, Amazon’s promised 25,000 new jobs over 20 years, or an average of 1,250 jobs per year, are a drop in a bucket in a City that is projected to add 170,000 jobs annually through 2024. Even if all the growth were concentrated in Queens (population 2.4 million), the new jobs and new residents could likely be accommodated and major disruptions avoided with proper planning. Instead, Amazon’s announcement provoked heated debate around issues of inequality and local control. MORE

Tesla GigafactorySpatial Planning in the USA:
Economic growth is of
paramount importance
Development: Spatial planning and development in the US is quite different from Europe in many regards.  One of the biggest differences between planning in the US and Europe is that spatial planning and development in the US is almost exclusively a local government responsibility. Spatial planning and development does not happen in a vacuum, of course. It is part of a whole socio-economic environment. Federal government policies on taxation, workers’ rights, property rights, etc. impose limits on what can be done. But the local government context is extremely important for understanding modernization in the US. MORE

Richest citiesRichest and most expensive
cities in the world

• Swiss cities are expensive but residents enjoy strong purchasing power.
• The price of a cup of coffee varies from US$6.40 in Doha to $0.62 in Lagos.
• A Big Mac is most affordable in Hong Kong
Economics: Zurich, Geneva, Oslo, Copenhagen and New York City are the five most expensive cities in the world, with Tokyo, Milan, London, Chicago and Helsinki completing the top ten. The ‘Prices and Earnings Survey’, conducted by the Swiss financial institution UBS every three years, measures how much people earn and how much the items in their average shopping basket cost. While Zurich and Geneva may seem expensive to visitors, the cities residents, because of high earnings, enjoy some of the highest purchasing power in the word. The world’s highest average earnings are enjoyed in Geneva, Zurich, Luxembourg, Los Angles and Copenhagen. For example in Zurich, the average office employee has to work only 13 minutes to be able to afford a Big Mac. A New Yorker has to toil for 15 minutes to pay for a hamburger, while in Nairobi, the city with the lowest purchasing power, the average resident has to spend more than two hours at work to be able to afford a Big Mac. MORE

World Mayor 2018The World Mayor Project
honours women mayors
World Mayor: The 2018 World Mayor Project was dedicated to women in local government. It featured the achievements of women mayors from across the world and honours the best of them. The all-women long- and shortlists included mayors from towns and cities of all sizes who have served with integrity, determination and imagination. The 2018 World Mayor Prize and Commendations as well as the title Mayors of Distinction were conferred on female mayors who have instigated outstanding and long-lasting improvements to their communities and contributed new thinking to local government. The mayors' achievements are recognised beyond their cities and even countries. Winner of the 2018 World Mayor Prize: Valeria Mancinelli, Mayor of Ancona, Italy. World Mayor Commendations awarded to: Ros Jones, Mayor of Doncaster, UK; Nathalie Appéré, Mayor of Rennes, France; Charlotte Britz, Mayor of Saarbrücken, Germany; Beng Climaco, Mayor of Zamboanga City, Philippines. 2018 Mayors of Distinction: Henriette Reker, Mayor of Cologne, Germany; Betsy Prize, Mayor of Fort Worth, USA; Martine Aubry, Mayor of Lille, France; Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris, France; Jasna Gabric, Mayor of Trbovlje, Slovenia; Souad Abderrahim, Mayor of Tunis, Tunesia. FULL RESULTS

Voter turnoutInternational comparison of
voter turnout in mayoral elections

Politics: Voters’ interest in municipal affairs is at an all-time low in the US. Research in 2017 and 2018 shows that mayoral elections in some the largest American cities attract seldom more than 30 per cent of people eligible to vote. In Dallas only six per cent of voters took part in the mayoral election. In Britain, the first group of English regional mayors, who have considerably political and economic clout, was elected in May 2017 and 2018 by a decidedly unenthusiastic electorate. Voter participation in German mayoral elections is usually between 40 and 50 per cent, while in Italy turnout between 50 and 60 per cent is not uncommon. In Japan, the average voter turnout in the 62 mayoral elections in 2015 stood at a record low of 50.5 per cent, Voter participation in German mayoral elections is usually between 40 and 50 per cent, while in Italy turnout between 50 and 60 per cent is not uncommon. MORE

Japanese mayors receive
upper management salaries

Mayors / Finance: Mayors in Japan are typically among the highest earners in their municipal government with a salary that is comparable to that of upper-middle management in a large firm. Topping the table of highest earning mayors is Fumiko Hayashi of Yokohama City who receives an annual salary of ¥19.2 million, while at the other end of the scale Takashi Kawamura of Nagoya receives just over a quarter of this figure with an annual pay packet of ¥5.3 million. There are numerous factors to take into account when gauging whether these salaries should be considered as relatively high or low when comparing with professions that offer similar pay. Japanese businesses often reward higher salaries and senior positions to employees on the basis of time served at the company. The 38-year-old Toshihito Kumagai of Chiba City, who is the youngest mayor on the list, should be considered as having a relatively high salary for his age bracket, given that the average age of a manager of a large company to reach the same salary would be 45 to 49 years old. MORE

Big Mac GuideThe Big Mac Guide: Time at work
it takes to afford a Big Mac

Economics: The McDonald’s Big Mac hamburger is sold in some 120 countries around the world. Since it was first introduced in the US in 1967, it has become a truly global product. While in most Western countries the hamburger is an inexpensive convenient meal, for consumers in developing it is often a luxury compared to local dishes. People in cities such as Hong Kong, Tokyo, Zurich or Los Angeles need to work less than 15 minutes to be able to afford a Big Mac, while the cost of the McDonald’s hamburger in cities like Istanbul, Jakarta or Mexico City is higher than the average hourly wage. In Nairobi, hungry residents need to work for more than two hours to be able to pay for a Big Mac. MORE