Avinyó, 15
08002 Barcelona (Spain)
Tel: +34 93 342 94 60
Fax: +34 93 342 94 66

About us

Urbanisation - threats and benefits
Green mega cities
Urban population growth
Urban development in Asia
Urban Africa
New Urbanism
India's pavement dwellers under threat
US built environment in 2030
Sustainable communities
Slow Cities
South Korean Intelligent Cities
The world's largest cities
Urban slums
Moscow seeks investors
Problems facing Eastern European Cities

City Mayors reports news from towns and cities around the world. Worldwide | Elections | North America | Latin America | Europe | Asia | Africa | Events |

Mayors from The Americas, Europe. Asia, Australia and Africa are competing for the annual World Mayor Award. More

City Mayors ranks the world’s largest as well as richest cities and urban areas. It also ranks the cities in individual countries, and provides a list of the capital cities of some 200 sovereign countries. More

City Mayors reports political events, analyses the issues and depicts the main players. More

City Mayors describes and explains the structures and workings of local government in Europe, The Americas, Asia, Australia and Africa. More

City Mayors profiles city leaders from around the world and questions them about their achievements, policies and aims. More

City Mayors deals with economic and investment issues affecting towns and cities. More

City Mayors reports on how business developments impact on cities and examines cooperation between cities and the private sector. More

City Mayors describes and explains financial issues affecting local government. More

City Mayors lists and features urban events, conferences and conventions aimed at urban decision makers and those with an interst in cities worldwide. More

City Mayors reports urban environmental developments and examines the challenges faced by cities worldwide. More

City Mayors reports on and discusses urban development issues in developed and developing countries. More

City Mayors reports on developments in urban society and behaviour and reviews relevant research. More

City Mayors deals with urban transport issues in developed and developing countries and features the world’s greatest metro systems. More

City Mayors examines education issues and policies affecting children and adults in urban areas. More

City Mayors investigates health issues affecting urban areas with an emphasis on health in cities in developing countries. More

City Mayors examines the importance of urban tourism to city economies. More

City Mayors examines the contributions history and culture make to urban society and environment. More

City Mayors describes the history, architecture and politics of the greatest city halls in the world. More

City Mayors invites readers to write short stories about people in cities around the world. More

City Mayors questions those who govern the world’s cities and talks to men and women who contribute to urban society and environment. More

City Mayors profiles national and international organisations representing cities as well as those dealing with urban issues. More

City Mayors reports on major national and international sporting events and their impact on cities. More

City Mayors lists cities and city organisations, profiles individual mayors and provides information on hundreds of urban events. More

Global urbanisation:
Threats and benefits

The 8th Metropolis World Congress

22 May 2005: The population of cities around the world is growing at the rate of about 180,000 a day, delegates at the 8th World Congress of Metropolis were told in Berlin. Many regard this massive drift from rural to urban areas as a threat with disastrous consequences for developing countries.

Review of Metropolis

UN Habitat, the UN Human Settlement Program, says that by 2030 there would be two billion new city dwellers. “Many of them will end up in slums. Already, one in ten city dwellers lives in slums; in Africa that is seven out of ten. Around 900 million people are currently living in slums.” Anna Tibaijuka, Executive Director of UN Habitat said in Berlin that chaotic urbanisation was the most important global problem that needs to be tackled after the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

However others attending the Congress described global urbanisation as inevitable and on the whole beneficial to society. "People move to cities because they hope for a better life, and they normally get it, even if they live in slums," said Reiner Klingholz from the Berlin Institute for Population and Development told IPS.

While some city mayors at the world congress perceived the rapid growth as a threat, Reiner Klingholz looks at the positive side of the development. "It is a logical consequence of an intensification of agriculture," he said. He argued that as farmers became more efficient, fewer people are needed for food production. That gave more people the freedom to move into jobs in industrial production and commodity chains. "All countries left the poverty trap in this way," he said. “Most slum dwellers have no access to clean drinking water and sewage or waste management. But the situation is still generally better than in rural areas,” Mr Klingholz added. "Cities have the big advantage of providing services covering a small distance. Food supply is also normally better in cities.”

The Congress also heard from Ashok Kumar Walia, Minister for urban development in India. He believes that in ten years time there would be some 27 mega cities, most of them in Asia. (‘Mega cities’ is a term that describes urban areas with populations of more than 10 million.} The Indian Minister told delegates that female dwellers would have a key role to play in solving the problems of mega cities. “"If the woman get educated, the whole family gets educated. And then health is taken care of and population growth is controlled," the minister explained.

Many representatives at the Metropolis World Congress complained that access to finance for development of their cities was restricted. Others pointed out that as cities grow they would need the support of international agencies and national governments. Patrick Ramiaramanana, the mayor of Antananarivo, capital city of Madagascar, suggested that the World Bank should engage directly with local governments and mayors. “Problems in urban communities can only be solved from the bottom up,” he said.

The 8th Metropolis World Congress took place in Berlin from 13 to 15 May 2005. Joan Clos, Mayor of Barcelona, was re-elected President of Metropolis. The Barcelona-based organisation for large cities also welcomed six new cities as members: Almaty (Kazajstan), Dili (East Timor), Kazan (Russia), Manchester (UK), Porto Alegre (Brazil) and Puebla (Mexico). The Metropolis Award 2005 was given to Antananarivo, Seoul and Alexandria for the outstanding urban projects.

World Mayor Nominations