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.

About us

World Mayor 20/21
Mayors wanted for
Stronger | Fairer | Greener cities

Brasil’s right-wing President faced
with defeats in mayoral election

Racism in American cities
An American Dream for the 21st century

Public health and racism in the US

City Equity Offices to counter systematic racism in America

List of US City Equity Offices

Opinion: Fighting racism in America

African American Mayors

Ending racism in American cities - a conversation with Rochester's (NY) first black mayor

Police killings of Black Americans

COVID-19 hits African Americans hardest

CoronaVirus COVID-19
US cities and Covid-19: Six pages of research & tables

US mayors support universal basic income

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

Green buildings USA

An American Dream for the 21st century
Police killings of Black Americans
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

Local government in Japan
US local government structures
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

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

Capital cities and their mayors

African American Mayors
Belgian Mayors (2020)
British Mayors (2020)
Canadian Mayors (2021)
French Mayors (2020)
German mayors (2021)
Indian mayors (2020)
Italian mayors (2021)
Japanese mayors (2020)
Polish mayors (2020)
Spanish mayors (2020)
Turkish mayors (2019)
US mayors (2020)

Post Covid-19, the 20/21 World Mayor Project is devoted to Stronger | Fairer | Greener cities. Cities must become more resilient - economically, socially and environmentally. World Mayor wishes to honour mayors who understand the challenges and are preparing to meet them.

Urban society

After nationwide race riots in the 1960s, a commission concluded that racism and police brutality were the primary cause of the riots. One sentence summed up the state of US society: “America is moving toward two societies, one black, one white – separate and unequal.”

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

US mayors and cities lead government efforts to mitigate the harmful impacts of climate change, filling a vacuum left by a lack of natiuonal leadership. Most cities focus their efforts on city-owned buildings. Cities are reluctant to deal with private buildings for fear of legal challenges.

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.

Brazil local electionsBrazil’s right-wing President faced
with defeats in mayoral elections

30 November 2020: Mayoral elections held in Brazil over two rounds on 15 and 29 November 2020, saw candidates backed by the country’s right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro lose in the big cities. Only in Vitória, the capital city of the state of Espírito Santo, did a candidate supported by the Brazilian president win. The other big loser of the elections was the left-wing Workers Party (PT) of former President Lula da Silva. It failed to win a single state capital and took only four of 15 cities it contested. Its poor performance confirmed voters had not yet forgiven it for the economic recession and corruption scandals that marked the last of its 13 years in power. MORE

German mayorsGerman local government
and Mayors of largest cities

Local government: 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. 2021 EDITION

Canadian mayorsCanadian local government
and Mayors of largest cities

Local government: 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. 2021 EDITION

Italian mayorsItalian local government
and Mayors of largest cities

Local government: 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. 2021 EDITION

American Dream for 21st centuryAn American Dream
for the 21st century

It seems that America has once again reached a point where the nation’s consciousness is waking up, or owning up, to what Americans experiencing discrimination are saying. If more Americans, especially white Americans, are “woke”, or alert, to economic and social inequality and injustice - and the inseparability of race from inequality - it is because the politics of awareness has changed. American cities and the mayors who lead them are at the forefront of the changing moral awareness. MORE

Racism and public healthAmerican mayors declare
racism a public health crisi
Public health in the United States is a shared responsibility of the federal, state, and local governments. In recent years, the local level has been the primary driver of changing perceptions of public health. Between May and August 2020, at least 51 cities and mayors and 23 counties in the US have officially declared racism a public health crisis. These local governments include some of the largest cities in the US, such as Los Angeles (population 4,016,000) and some of the smallest, such as Bloomfield, Connecticut (population 20,000). The focus on racism is the latest effort by local governments to expand the public’s understanding of the biological, environmental, and social factors that contribute to an individual’s physical and mental health. MORE

Spanish mayorsSpanish local government
and Mayors of largest cities

Local government: Spanish local government is considered the tier closest to citizens. It is most directly concerned with the daily life of people. Spain is divided into Municipalities (Municipios), with the exception of the Royal Bardenas, in Navarre, a territory declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. The governance of the 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. In the municipal elections, all European Union citizens, regardless of nationality, may vote and stand for office, though of course they must reside in the Municipality (Municipio) concerned. The president of the City Council is the Mayor, who is elected by and from the councillors. Mayors organize, suspend and lead the sessions and debates of the plenary and of other municipal organs. 2020 EDITION

Belgian mayors
Belgian local government
and Mayors of largest cities

Local government: In addition territorial regions and linguistic communities, Belgium is 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. Many national politicians originate from municipal political bases; and many often double as mayor or alderman in their hometowns in addition to their federal and regional political positions. The last nationwide municipal elections were held in October 2018, the next elections are due in 2024. 2020 EDITION

City equity offices in the USACity Equity Offices to counter
systematic racism in America

In August 2014, a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old Black man. The killing precipitated protests in Ferguson and soul searching throughout America over racial discrimination. Within a few years of the death of Michael Brown, at least 32 cities in the United States established or strengthened a municipal equity office, including Austin, Louisville, Boston, and Oakland. These offices represented the first efforts ever undertaken by American cities to focus explicitly on systemic racism. The offices examine city governments’ internal processes and/or delivery of public services with a goal of eliminating institutional inequities and the discrimination born of it ||| ANALYSIS ||| FULL LIST |||

African American MayorsBlack Americans have become
instrumental in US local government

US Mayors: It is thought that America’s first elected black mayors were Pierre Caliste Landry from Donaldsonville in southern Louisiana and Stephen Swails from Kingstree, South Carolina. Both men were elected in 1868, the year the 14th amendment to the US Constitution was adopted. The amendment gave citizenship to all persons born or naturalised in the USA. It took, however, another 100 years for an African American to be elected mayor of a large US city. In 1970, Newark (NJ) and Dayton (OH) both elected Black American Democrats as mayors. In the last quarter of the 20th century and the first two decades of the 21st, African Americans increasingly became involved in all levels of local government. FULL SEPTEMBER 2020 RESEARCH

Green buildings USAPrivate property rights
limit US cities’ efforts
to conserve energy

Environment: US mayors and cities lead government efforts to mitigate the harmful impacts of climate change, filling a vacuum left by a lack of leadership at the federal level. However, most local governments focus their efforts on city-owned buildings and public spaces. Cities are reluctant to impose regulations on privately-owned properties for fear of legal challenges, and thus rarely take advantage of significant opportunities to reduce the cities’ overall carbon footprints. For example, private residential and commercial buildings account for 40 per cent of total energy consumption and significant greenhouse gas emissions in cities, but these private properties are not included in most municipalities’ environmental and energy initiatives. Exceptions are 33 US cities with mandatory energy benchmarking ordinances for privately-owned buildings. MORE

French MayorsFrench local government
and Mayors of largest cities

Local government: 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 (first round) and, after a delay due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the second round took place in July 2020. In the 2020 municipal elections the Greens (EELV) made significant gains, capturing large cities like Marseille, Strasbourg, Bordeaux and Lyon, while France’s ruling party, En Marche, lost its two remaining city halls. The French Socialist Party recorded three gains and three losses but held on to Paris, Lille, Rennes and Dijon The centre-right Republicans, while winning in Toulouse, Metz, Nice and Saint-Étienne, lost one city hall to the Socialists and another to the far-right. The far-right National Rally, formerly the National Front, captured the mayoralty of the southern city of Perpignan from the centre-right Republicans. 2020 EDITION

Fighting racism in America
Opinion: "We are at this place in history because of the swift, excruciating and unlawful death of George Floyd at the knee of a law enforcement officer, a person who had taken an oath to faithfully uphold the law - and a person who had been professionally trained to discharge his duties in a fair and non-discriminatory manner. In this specific instance, he desecrated his oath, and repudiated every training protocol he had been taught. Many people have taken to the streets and airwaves in protest, because they are tired that the body count continues to increase. That body count is disproportionately Black and male. The leading objective of this massive movement is the end to unconstitutional and targeted policing in this country, most visibly reflected in the actions of the officer who took George Floyd’s life. And while we are at it, the rest of the inequity/disparity agenda must be remediated." An African American former Mayor and City Mayors' US-based Senior Fellow write

Japan local governmentA variety of taxes funds Japan’s
prefectures and municipalities

Government: In a country more recently associated with a spate of natural disasters and decades of economic slump ahead of hosting its deferred Olympic Games in 2021, the Japanese system of local government has bedded down well with the guarantee of local autonomy enshrined in its post-war constitution. As with other historic aspects of Japanese society, there remains an appreciable level of civic pride among many people and interest in community affairs remains strong. Japan’s system of local government, in place for over 70 years, is relatively straightforward to understand, though it does not hit the headlines outside of Japan very often and is therefore not understood by many in the local government community internationally. MORE

US cities and Covid-19Covid-19: The worst affected
and best performing US cities

CoronaVirus: It has been widely reported that of all American cities New York has been worst affected by the CoronaVirus pandemic. Not only has the East-Coast metropolis witnessed overall the highest number of cases and related deaths, its per-capita numbers are also worse than those of any other major US city. A lesser know fact is that Kansas City (Missouri) has, by a combination of circumstances and good local management, done better than other large American conurbations. In Detroit and New York City a frightening high number of residents with Covid-19 symptons died. While across the US, some 4.2 per cent of infected patients died of illnesses linked to the virus, the percentages for Detroit and New York stood at 11.5 and 10.2 per cent respectively. Cities with low rates of death include Jacksonville (0.6%), San Antonio (0.9%) and Houston (1.0%). FULL RESEARCH REPORT & TABLES

France: Mayor to President
French mayors who
became Presidents

Government: It is almost obligatory for French presidents, prime ministers and cabinet ministers to start their political careers in local government. Since the formation of the Fifth Republic in October 1958, five of France’s eight heads of state were mayors prior to being elected to the country’s highest office. Jacque Chirac was Mayor of Paris for more than 18 years. Other former presidents such as Giscard d’Estaing, François Mitterand, Nicolas Sarcozy and François Hollande all served their political apprenticeships in local government. Only the Fifth’s Republic’s first two presidents, Charles de Gaulle and Georges Pompidou and the current president Emmanuel Macron did not serve as mayors. FULL LIST

Racism in US citiesEnding racism in
American cities

Society: The police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May 2020 underscores how race lies at the heart of political, economic, and social concerns in the United States. The resulting protests and civic unrest in over 400 American cities constitute a stunning demand that the US honor its legal commitment to opportunity for all and finally end patterns of racial inequality. A conversation with Rochester's (NY) first black mayor. MORE

US local governmentUS local government under
spotlight following COVID-19

Government: The US$2 trillion CoronaVirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, passed by the US Congress on 30 March 2020, includes financial aid for US state and local governments to cover costs associated with the Covid-19 pandemic. The CARES Act provides all states with direct funding based on population. However, only cities and counties with populations greater than 500,000 are eligible to receive funding directly from the federal government. Smaller local governments must negotiate with their state governments for a portion of the funding the state received. Many US mayors are questioning the population threshold for direct funding. MORE

Police killing of Black AmericansBlack Americans three times
as likely to be killed by police
than white Americans

US Society: After nationwide race riots in the second half of the 1960s, the Kerner commission set up by US President Lyndon B Johnson concluded that racism and police brutality were the primary cause of the riots. One sentence in the report summed up the state of American society: “America is moving toward two societies, one black, one white – separate and unequal.” The police killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man from Minneapolis, Minnesota, on Monday, 25 May 2020, like many similar tragedies in the past ten years, shows that the words of Illinois Governor Otto Kerner are as relevant today as they were in 1968. LZ Granderson, who writes for the Los Angeles Times, added: “How can a nation born out of genocide, built on slavery and a system, which places minorities firmly behind their white counterparts…have peace.”

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

Local government: 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

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

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

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

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

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. 2020 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

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

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

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