Stronger, fairer, greener cities
for prosperous urban societies

In this century, towns and cities, rather than nation states, shape the world's social, environmental, cultural, technological and economic agendas. This process will lead to increased competition for human, intellectual and material resources but will also force cities to co-operate with and learn from one another. Established in 2003, the City Mayors Foundation works with large and small communities from across the world in their strive to strengthen social equality, build a sustainable future and obtain the resources to withstand natural and man-made disasters. The City Mayors Foundation campaigns against any kind of corruption in local government. It recognises the role women play in city halls and seeks to increase the number of women mayors. IN GREATER DETAIL


Local government
Local government:
Powers and Politics

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. IN GREATER DETAIL

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A quarter of capital cities
are led by women mayors

While it is estimated that internationally less than 15 per cent of mayors are women – some research studies put the figure even lower – a quarter of the world’s capital cities are led by women. In Europe, capitals like Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Oslo and Stockholm have female mayors, while in Africa, Dakar, Freetown, Tunis, Addis Ababa, Nairobi and Rabat are led by women. In Latin America, some of the largest capital cities, such as Mexico City, Caracas, Bogota and Montevideo have women mayors. Asian capitals with women leaders include Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo.

In 2021, women assumed the post of mayors in Accra, Addis Ababa, Berlin, Dublin, Luanda, Nairobi, Rabat, Santiago de Chile, Sarajevo, and Skopje. (Virginia Raggi, Mayor of Rome from 2016 to 2021, failed to be re-elected in October.) The list of longest-serving female leaders includes the mayors of Sydney (since 2004), Zurich (since 2009), Sofia (since 2011) and Paris (since 2014). IN GREATER DETAIL

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Japanese local government
and mayors of largest cities

Japan, the world’s third-largest economy by GDP and 10th largest country by population, is a unitary state, governed at national level by a Prime Minister and Cabinet largely chosen from the bi-cameral National Diet. The two-tier local government system in Japan is composed of 47 prefectural governments (roughly akin to a county), each headed by a directly-elected Governor (elected on a four-year term) and 1,719 municipalities, each headed by a directly-elected Mayor (elected likewise). IN GREATER DETAIL

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After a turbulent process, the 2020
US Census still faces challenges

The 2020 US Census was marked by challenges related to Covid-19, especially the suspension for months of traditional door-to-door canvassing. The 2020 Census was also marked by the Trump Administration’s efforts to politicize the Census process and the data generated. The United States federal government conducts a census of the nation’s population at the beginning of every decade. The results of a census help determine the amount of federal funds disbursed to state and local governments over ten years, and thus are critical to cities. The US Conference of Mayors, representing more than 1,400 cities, created a task force specifically to monitor the 2020 census process. Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms of Atlanta, Georgia, and Mayor Ron Nirenberg of San Antonio, Texas, are currently the task force’s chair and co-chair, respectively. IN GREATER DETAIL

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Polish mayorsPolish local government
and mayors of largest cities

Since 1999, Poland has been divided into provinces, counties and districts. The 19 provinces (voivodeships) represent the highest-level of local government. They are mostly named after historical or geographical regions. Provincial powers are shared between a governor, a regional parliament and a marshal. 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. Two of them are in their fourth term of office. Gdansk Mayor Aleksndra Dulkiewicz was elected in March 2019, after the murder of her predecessor Pawel Adamowics. IN GREATER DETAIL

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World Mayor 2021
The winners of the 2021
World Mayor Prize and Awards

The 2021 World Mayor Project was launched at the start of the Covid crisis and conducted during the various waves of the pandemic. Villages, towns and cities in all parts of the world fell victim to Covid. The pandemic has made it clear that cities need to become better prepared for future man-made or natural disasters. In recognition, the 2021 World Mayor Project was dedicated to Stronger | Fairer | Greener cities. At a time, when human and civil rights in many parts of the world are questioned and, worse, violated, World Mayor 2021 has commended mayors who uphold these values. The list of mayors honoured by World Mayor in 2021, includes city leaders from large metropolises, medium-sized cities and small communities. Their conduct, goals and achievements have been endorsed by their fellow citizens. IN GREATER DETAIL

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Italian local government
and mayors of largest cities

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. Since the October 2021 mayoral elections, Italy’s four largest cities – Rome, Milan, Turin and Naples – are led by centre-left mayors. The social-democrat Democratic Party (PD) captured Rome and Turin from the populist 5-Star-Movement. Milan’s PD Mayor Giuseppe Sala was re-elected in the first round of voting with 57 per cent of the vote, while Naples elected an independent centre-left candidate. The new Mayor of Bologna is also a member of the Democratic Party. IN GREATER DETAIL

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US mayors caught up
in nation’s culture war

US mayors are once again being forced to take sides in America’s culture wars. A new front opened with the police killing of George Floyd and the intense backlash on city streets. Many American cities were already advancing equity initiatives when Floyd was killed, but his murder prompted renewed efforts by mayors to achieve racial justice by rethinking policing, and, provocatively for some, applying critical race theory to teaching, training, and discussions on equity. Critical race theory looks at power relationships in the United States through the lens of race. It explores how racism and inequity can become a part of everyday American life by examining the historical record and current laws and social practices. The goal is to promote a more equitable society through dialogue, understanding, and the implementation of more equitable and inclusive processes. While critical race theory has been taught for 40 years in the United States, it has recently come under political attack, with US mayors often drawn into the controversy. IN GREATER DETAIL

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British mayors
Local government in England
and directly elected Mayors

In London and several metropolitan areas, England’s cities are led by elected Mayors, while in all but 15 of the 309 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. IN GREATER DETAIL

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American gun laws
While Congress dithers, US
mayors push for gun control

Guns and gun violence are seemingly normal in American culture. More than 40,000 Americans die each year from gun violence. The average number of gun deaths has risen over the past 20 years, as federal regulations on gun ownership have eased and American buy and use more guns. The pandemic, recent police shootings of unarmed African-Americans, and a flurry of mass shootings have highlighted the racial, social, and economic inequalities in America. There’s a sense that American don’t want to go back to normal about a lot of things, including gun violence. Mayors in the United States are using their rhetoric and concrete proposals to try to reframe the debate about gun violence while dealing with immediate policing issues related to the use of firearms and implementing long-term efforts to reduce crime. IN GREATER DETAIL

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American women mayorsWomen mayors in America
Boston elects female mayor

Some of America’s largest cities, including Chicago, San Francisco, Washington DC and Boston, are governed by women mayors. Most are members of the Democratic Party. Of the 30 largest cities with women as their leaders, only four have Republican mayors. Some 21 cities are led by Democrats, while five mayors are independents. Carolyn Goodman, Mayor of Las Vegas, who assumed office in 2011, is the longest-serving mayor among the top 30. Five mayors joined the list in 2021. In Boston, Michelle Wu replaced the city’s first female mayor, Kim Janey, on 16 November 2021. Mayor-elect Janey won the run-off election against another female candidate, Essaibi George. IN GREATER DETAIL

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The City Mayors Foundation
London SW1
Tel: +44 20 8439 7978
Local government
City Equity Offices in America
African American Mayors
French mayors who became heads of state
Salaries of Japanese mayors
European mayors: Power and Politics
Capital cities and their mayors
Code of Ethics for mayors
Covid: How cities from around the world were affected