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Women in US local government
World Mayors and politics
Voter turnout - an international comparison

Salaries of German mayors
Salaries of British mayors

German local government
Indian local government
Ireland local government
Italian local government
Russian local government
UK local government
US local government

World Mayors and politics
Voter turnout - an international comparison

Mass shootings in the USA
German cities on social media

America's undocumented immigrants pay billions in taxes
US mayors reject Trumpcare
US mayors defy Trump over Paris Accord
US sanctuary cities

Germany's greenest cities

Belgian Mayors (2016)
British Mayors (2017)
Canadian Mayors (2018)
French Mayors (2017)
German mayors (2017)
Italian mayors (2017)
Japanese mayors (2017)
Polish mayors (2017)
Spanish mayors (2018)
US mayors (2018)

The largest cities and their mayors (2017)
The largest cities with women mayors (2017)
Capital cities and their mayors (2017)

City Mayors Foundation

Despite another school massacre
America’s gun culture will not change

Report from states and cities
US Society: Since America did nothing after 20 young school children and six adults were massacred at Sandy Hook (Connecticut) in December 2012, there is little hope that the latest mass killing at an American school will change the country’s fascination with guns or its quasi-religious belief in the US Constitution’s Second Amendment. On 14 February 2018, 17 students were shot dead at a high school in Parkland, Florida by a 19-year old teenager, using the same type of gun that was used at Sandy Hook. REPORT FROM US STATES AND CITIES

Mayors in Europe
and their powers

European mayors: 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 Belgium, 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. 2018 EDITION

Japanese mayors receive
upper management salarie
Japanese mayors: 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. MORE

Britain’s public service ethos
curbs elected mayors’ salaries

British mayors:
In the UK local politics is 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 new Metro Mayor of the Tees Valley receives a modest £35,800 per year, yet the authority’s chief executive takes home a more impressive £135,000, collecting almost £100,000 more. MORE

Germany's big-city mayors receive
relatively modest financial rewards

German mayors: The salaries awarded to the mayors of Germany’s largest cities are relatively modest compared to the remuneration packages enjoyed by senior management in industry and business. The Mayor of Berlin, who also functions as a state prime minister, has a basic annual salary of some €168,000 (US$198,000), while the mayors of Cologne and Munich earn €143,000 and €147,000 respectively. Mayors of smaller large cities (Grossstädte) such as Ingolstadt, Saarbrücken or Osnabrück receive little more than €100,000 per year. MORE

US local government and
mayors of largest cities

Government: 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. Towns with populations of 5,000 or less (varies between states) are not allowed to incorporate and are overseen by the county government. Mayors, and the city council, are directly elected. The length of a term and the number of term limits are in the city charter, as is the day of election. Most mayoral elections take place on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November to coincide with Federal elections, which take place then (as per the US Constitution), but not all municipalities do this. 2018 EDITION

Spanish local government
and mayors of largest cities

Government: 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. 2018 EDITION

Canadian local government
and mayors of largest cities

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. Municipalities are broadly categorized as ‘Upper tier’ municipalities and ‘Lower Tier’ municipalities. The prior includes Regional Municipalities, Counties, and Districts lead by a Chair or a Warden. Existing with the upper tier municipalities, the latter includes Cities, Towns, Townships, and Municipalities, which are lead by a Mayor or a Reeve. 2018 EDITION

Green spaces dominate
Germany’s largest cities

Environment: Almost 70 per cent of the land areas of Germany’s largest cities is taken up by green spaces. Added together, the urban areas of all of Germany cities with more than 100,000 people total 13,564 square kilometres, equivalent to the size of Montenegro, while their green spaces amount to 9,457 sq km, an area roughly the size of Cyprus. University cities like Siegen, Göttingen, Aachen and Freiburg are among the top 10. Green spaces include parks, woodland and agricultural land within city borders and also private gardens. MORE

Japanese local government
and Mayors of largest cities

Government: 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. 2017 EDITION

French local government
nd Mayors of largest cities
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 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. 2017 EDITION

French Presidents and
Prime Ministers learn their political
trade in local government

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. MORE

Women in US local government:
Cities where women thrive in politics

After earlier this year in San Antonio, the only female mayor of a top-ten US city was ousted by a male rival, Forth Worth became the largest American city with a women at the helm. There are now only two women in charge of any of the 20 largest US cities – in Fort Worth (TX) and Charlotte (NC). But while the number of female mayors among American cities with more than 200,000 residents is still pitiful low, women are increasingly successful in being elected to city councils. New research conducted by City Mayors shows that while just under 20 per cent of the largest American cities have female mayors, more than 32 per cent of municipal councillors are women. MORE

World's capital cities
and their mayors

Research: More than 90 of the world's most important capital cities are governed by elected mayors – either directly elected or chosen by the city
council. Some 19 mayors were appointed, mostly by the respective countries’ governments. Only 19 capital cities (15.4%) have female mayors, although in Tokyo, Paris, Rome, Madrid, Warsaw, Oslo and Havana women are in charge of municipal government. The longest serving mayors are Vienna’s Michael Häupl and Georgetown’s (Guyana) Hamilton Green. Both men have been in office since 1994. MORE

US mayors tell President Trump:
“You will not deport our Dreamers”

American mayors called US President Donald Trump’s decision to terminate the DREAMers programme “deeply flawed”, “morally deficient”, “deeply disheartening”, “cruel”. US Attorney General Jeff Sessions declared that the government would wind down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals programme, which was introduced by former President Barack Obama in 2012 to provide some 800,000 young immigrants with a reprieve from deportation and allow them to work legally in the US. MORE

German cities on social media:
Usage, ranking and followers

The use of social media by German cities has become increasingly popular during the past ten years. The cities’ town halls, their marketing and tourism offices use Facebook, Twitter and other platforms to inform residents, promote tourism and investment as well as provide visitors with details of cultural and sporting events. Hamburg and Dresden were one of the first major German cities to open Twitter accounts in 2007. By 2009, cities like Munich, Bremen, Nürnberg and Münster had all signed up to the 140-character social media service. However, during the past five years, Facebook has replaced Twitter as the most popular social media platform among towns and cities in Germany. MORE

Italian local government
and Mayors of largest cities

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 communal) 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. 2017 EDITION

America’s undocumented immigrants:
Where they live and pay billions in tax

Society: At the start of the Trump presidency, in January 2017, more than eleven million undocumented immigrants not only lived and worked in the US but also contributed substantially to the American economy. A study by the Institute of Taxation and Economic Policy, published in February 2016, found that undocumented immigrants pay some US$11.6 billion annually in state and local taxes. The Institute estimates that undocumented immigrants nationwide pay roughly eight per cent of their incomes in taxes and compared this figure with the effective tax rate of 5.4 per cent paid by the top one per cent of US taxpayers. MORE

Chicago and other sanctuary cities
prepare to fight President Trump’s
administration over immigration

Society: Chicago has joined a number of US cities and states suing the Trump administration over its threats to deny federal funding to so-called sanctuary cities, cities which provide undocumented immigrants with some protection against deportation. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the city would not let police officers become political pawns in a debate on immigration. "Chicago will not let our residents have their fundamental rights isolated and violated. And Chicago will never relinquish our status as a welcoming city,” the Mayor detailed. Jeff Sessions, America’s Attorney General (justice minister), has said that his department would withhold justice assistance grants from cities that fail to comply with new requirements to allow federal Homeland Security officers to enter local prisons. In the past, cities have used the grants to finance police training programmes or buy police equipment. BACKGROUND & DEFINITION

American mayors quote John F Kennedy
in condemnation of racism and discrimination

News: Following the horrific events in Charlottesville, Virginia, on 11 and 12 August 2017 and the ambiguous response by US President Donald Trump, American mayors issued a rallying call to defeat groups that preach bigotry, hatred or violence. Mitch Landrieu, Mayor of New Orleans and President of the US Conference of Mayors, recalled how, in 1963, President John F Kennedy asked mayors to help him provide every American with a fair chance to develop in full whatever talents he has and to share equally in the American dream. “This is our history and our legacy and our beacon forward,” Mayor Landrieu said. MORE

Opposition mayors undeterred
by Venezuelan crack down

Politics: Following the controversial referendum for a national constitutional assembly, Venezuela’s security forces re-arrested two of the country’s most prominent opposition leaders. Antonio Ledezma and Leopoldo Lopez, both former mayors in Caracas and World Mayor finalists, were taken from their homes to the Ramo Verde military prison. The arrests came after some of the mayors of Venezuela’s largest cities voiced their opposition to the government of President Nicolas Maduro and its plans to re-write the country’s constitution. MORE

The largest cities in the
world and their mayors

Research: The mayors of the world’s 25 largest cities are each responsible for more people than most national prime ministers. For example, London, ranked 23rd in the world, has more
residents than nations like Paraguay, Denmark, New Zealand or Ireland, and if Shanghai, globally the largest city, was a country it would rank just below Australia but above Chile, the Netherland or Greece. The combined population of the world’s 19 megacities - cities with more than 10 million inhabitants – is greater than that of Brazil, the world’s fifth largest country. INTRODUCTION ||| TABLES

The largest cities in the
world with women mayors

Research: The table lists the largest cities in the world with women mayors. Of the world’s largest 300 cities only 25 are governed by women, although a
number of European capitals, including Rome, Madrid, Paris, Warsaw and Stockholm, have women mayors. The world’s most powerful woman in local government is Yuriko Koike the Governor (Mayor) of Tokyo. Other influential female city leaders include the mayors of Sydney, Surabaya, Havana, Perth, Barcelona and Cape Town. MORE

Mayors of Japan’s largest cities are
among the most powerful in the world

Some 40 Japanese cities with populations of 200,000 or more are known as ‘Special Cities’ and are entitled to provide some degree of prefectural services (such as care services, health, environmental services, urban planning, teacher training etc.) locally, while a further 41 of 300,000 or more residents are known as ‘Core Cities’ and can provide further additional services. The 20 ‘Designated Cities’ each have populations above 700,000 (as well as density requirements and ‘regional’ status) and carry out most services within their jurisdiction rather than under the prefectural government. Tokyo is today unique within Japan as a metropolis (‘to’) rather than prefecture or city level government, with Tokyo Metropolitan Government (headed by a Governor, rather than Mayor) sitting above 23 ‘Special Wards’ in the centre and a further 26 cities, five towns and eight villages in the periphery. 2017 EDITION

Polish local government
and mayors of largest cities

Government: Since 1999, Poland has been divided into provinces, counties and municipalities. The country has currently 16 provinces, 379 counties, including 65 cities with county status, and 2,479 communes or municipalities. Some 61 per cent of Poland's population of 38.6 million live in cities. The country's capital Warsaw is home to 1.7 million people, while there are four other cities with populations of more than 500,000. Eleven cities have populations of between 200,000 and half a million. 2017 EDITION

American public and mayors agree:
Keep Obamacare, forget Trumpcare

Society: It took seven years and 61 attempts, but, in May, the US House of Representatives managed to repeal the ‘Affordable Care Act’, commonly known as Obamacare, and replace it with the ‘American Health Care Act’ (call it Trumpcare). The fate of Trumpcare is now in the hands of the US Senate, which could pass the House's bill without changes, modify it, or ignore it. Until it is repealed by the Senate, Obamacare remains the law. Mayors of US cities have been outspoken in their condemnation of the House's repeated actions to repeal and replace Obamacare with Trumpcare. MORE

Defiant US mayors disagree with
President Trump and pledge to
uphold Paris Climate Accord

Environment: Within a few days of US President Trump’s announcement on 1 June 2017 that the US would withdraw from the international Paris Climate Agreement, mayors from across the country re-committed their cities to the Paris goals. In a statement, almost 200 mayors, who represent more than 50 million Americans, confirmed that their cities would “adopt, honour and uphold” the accord signed by all but two of the world’s countries in Paris in December 2015. MORE

International comparison of voter
turnout in mayoral elections

Politics: Devolution of economic power from London to the English regions and the creation of regional/metro mayors was the flagship political initiative of Britain’s 2010-to-2015 coalition government. The first group of English regional mayors, who will have considerably political and economic clout, was elected on 4 May 2017 by a decidedly unenthusiastic electorate. However, voters’ interest in municipal affairs is even lower in the US. Mayoral elections in some of the country’s largest 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 last mayoral election. 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, MORE

English City and
Regional mayors

Local government: In London and several metropolitan areas, England’s cities are led by elected Mayors, while in all but 16 of the 326 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. There are no elected mayors in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. 2017 EDITION

History and many post-war reforms
shape local government in the UK

Local government: There is no single pattern of local government in the United Kingdom. Instead arrangements vary in the four ‘home nations’ of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. In Scotland, Wales and urban England, with the exception of London, single-tier unitary authorities provide all local services, whereas non-metropolitan England is served by a two-tier system split between district and county councils. 2017 EDITION

World mayors, their
parties and politics

Local government & politics: Well into the second decade of this century, the global pattern of urbanization remains wedded to governance by mayors and city leaders of differing political colours. In this biennial survey of urban political allegiances (since 2009), City Mayors examines the role of partisan politics in how mayors are chosen to lead the world's largest cities, even in what is occasionally termed an anti-political era. Europe recorded a number of minor upsets to the established order since the last survey, but the bigger story here is perhaps the clean sweep witnessed in Latin America of parties of the centre-right. MORE

More public involvement in law
enforcement needed to ease strain
between police and US communities

Society: If a city in the United States wants to build a road, it will have to follow strict design and construction standards regarding pavement depth and materials, lane width, and traffic speed, among other regulations. City codes typically also regulate such actions as sidewalk vendors and property maintenance. Often, local urban planning and economic development proposals require public hearings. Local policing, however, is rarely regulated in the same way. MORE

American cities save money
by replacing obsolete urban
infrastructure with green spaces

Environment: What do urban agriculture, the dark sky movement, and low-impact storm water management have in common in the United States? Very often these sustainable development practices involve the decommissioning of public infrastructure. And the impetus to implement these techniques often has more to do with saving money than saving the environment. MORE

World’s most violent cities
are in Latin America,
South Africa and the USA

Security: Latin America's cities are the most dangerous in the world. Drug trafficking, gang wars, political instability, corruption, and poverty are the main causes of the continent’s extreme urban violence. Residents of cities in Venezuela, Brazil, Mexico and Colombia are particularly at risk of being caught up in battles between warring gangs. Outside Latin America, US cities like St Louis and Baltimore as well as the South African cities of Cape Town and Johannesburg have also witnessed an increased number of homicides. MORE

English local government
and directly elected mayors

Government: All but 16 of the 326 councils in England are led by a Council Leader elected by their fellow councillors. Since 2002 a small number, as well as Greater London, have been led by mayors elected directly by local voters. Most of the elected mayors in England have responsibility for all local services, with two district council mayors responsible for only environment, planning and housing. All 17 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. View complete update following May 2016 elections

Smart cities – a delusion
of misplaced priorities

Development: According to a study by MIT Media Lab, in the future, cities will account for 90 per cent of the global population growth, 80 per cent of wealth creation and 60 per cent of total energy consumption. Developing better strategies is therefore imperative for improving the living environment in our existing cities. Expanding current metropolises by rational planning, and refurbishing infrastructure and amenities in existing cities can be intelligent and sustainable options but are highly challenging in the context of the meager fiscal and other resources and lack of political will. The policymakers are, instead, looking at creating ‘smart cities’ for the future! More

American cities use knowledge
technology to reduce urban stress

Technology: “Platform” is one of the current trendy words in American English. It is a generic term for the operating system of a computer. But it is also a metaphor for a stage upon which a person or an organization can rise above the commonplace and engage with people in a meaningful way. In the United States, the current fashion in public administration is to view local government as a platform, and progressive mayors as leaders who can build that platform. Based not on the traditional means of citizen participation - volunteerism, voting, public meetings - government as platform relies on technology to engage people. Its point of departure is the idea that data are a vital resource, which can empower people by allowing them to create their own solutions. MORE

Songs written for
American cities

Culture: It is said there is a song for every city in America. While some songs never got much further than the city limits others became international hits. Gerard Kenny’s 1978 ode to his hometown ‘New York, New York - So Good They Named It Twice’ spelled the re-birth of America’s largest metropolis after it almost went bankrupt in 1975 and one year after a city-wide blackout shut it down for 25 hours. The song ‘If you're going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair’ sung by Scott McKenzie in 1967 became the anthem for the worldwide flower power movement. MORE

Corrupt US mayors pose a
threat to decency in society

Politics: 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 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 investigated hundreds of elected officials, who used their positions to enrich themselves. Among those convicted are leaders of some of the largest US cities, including Detroit, New Orleans or Baltimore, but also many mayors from small-town America. MORE

The largest US cities:
Nine cities with more than one million people
New York City and Los Angeles grow fastest

Population: The US has nine cities with populations topping one million. New York City, with more than eight million residents, is by far the largest US city. Los Angeles, in second place, has a population of just below four million people. Both Chicago and Houston have populations of more than two million. Other cities with more than one million citizens include Philadelphia, Phoenix and San Diego. | Introduction | Largest 1 - 100 | Largest 101 - 200 | Fastest growing | Fastest shrinking |

Megaregions are predicted to propel
US population and economic growth

Development: It’s a commonplace among urban planners and many policymakers that regions are the basic unit of economic competitiveness in the global economy. America 2050, part of the Regional Plan Association, reckons that America’s population growth and and even a larger share of the country’s economic expansion will occur in 11 megaregions. Yet nowhere in the industrialized world are regions given fewer resources and less power than in the United States. MORE

Flourishing cities
embrace immigrants

Society: Without migration homo sapiens would not dominate today’s world. Had our ancestors stayed in central Africa some 50,000 years ago, the human race would have developed very differently. The drive to spread out geographically, for whatever reason, is part of our make-up and is behind Man’s success story. Many recent scientific and technological advances - e.g. the telephone, the internet, space exploration - are the result of our need to move beyond local boundaries. Migration will remain a dominant feature of further human development, a fact recognised by many progressive city mayors from around the world. MORE

Directories of European
and North American cities

City Mayors' internet directories provide one-click access to the websites of European and North American cities. EUROPE | NORTH AMERICA

Urban population growth
between 1950 and 2030

Statistics: In 2008, the world reached an invisible but momentous milestone: For the first time in history, more than half its human population, 3.3 billion people, lived in urban areas. By 2030, this is expected to swell to more than five billion. Urbanisation has already surpassed the 90-per-cent mark, not only in city states like Singapore and Kuwait, but also in Belgium, Venezuela, Uruguay, Argentina, Israel and the UK. In the US, where for the past 100 years the majority of people have been living in cities, more than 82 per cent of the total population now reside in urban areas. MORE

Women in cities give much
but take far less than men

Society: Women in developing countries contribute significantly to the prosperity of cities but they are often the last to benefit. This becomes evident, a new report says, in notable gender gaps in labour and employment, pay, tenure rights, access to and accumulation of assets, personal security and safety and representation in formal structures of urban governance. The report Gender and the Prosperity of Cities recommends that cities formulate gender policies, strengthen accountability for gender equality and enhance strategies for the economic empowerment and livelihoods of women. MORE

The City Mayors Foundation was established in 2003 to promote, campaign for and facilitate good, open and strong local government

PRIZE 2018

Nominate exceptional women mayors for the World Mayor Prize

The 2018 World Mayor Project is dedicated to women in local government. It features the achievements of women mayors from across the world and will honour the best of them.

Please nominate your candidate now

Women have fought prejudice and struggled for equal rights and opportunities for hundreds of years. They did it with courage and resolve. In the 20th and early 21st centuries, women have achieved success in many spheres previously reserved to or monopolised by men, but their contributions are still often undervalued and their potential not recognised enough. Only some 20 per cent of the world’s mayors are women.

The 2018 World Mayor Project aims to encourage more women to consider a career in local government and stand for political office.

Please nominate
exceptional women
mayors for the 2018
World Mayor Prize
and honours