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Separate research by the Hurun Research Institute reports that London has most multi-millionaires (those enjoying net wealth of between US$30 million to one billion) with Tokyo and Singapore placed second and third respectively. Mere millionaires meanwhile, seem to prefer Tokyo over New York and London. The number of multi-millionaires in London is reported to stand at 4,224, while 281,000 millionaires call the British capital their home. Some 461,000 millionaires live in Tokyo with another 389,000 in New York.
Asian cities most at risk
from natural disasters
Zurich, 22 September 2013: Asia’s mega metro areas are most at risk from natural disasters, with Tokyo topping the list of the most vulnerable cities in the world. Research by insurance giant Swiss Re warns that the populations of some of the world’s fastest growing mega cities, including Jakarta, Kolkata and Shanghai, should be prepared for devastating floods and earthquakes. "Already today, major river floods alone have the potential to affect 380 million people living in cities; and some 280 million people could be impacted by severe earthquakes," the author of the survey said.
The Swiss Re survey Mind the risk: A global ranking of cities under threat from natural disasters shows that floods endanger more city people than any other natural peril, followed by earthquakes and storms. When they occur, they can affect millions of people and significantly disrupt the economy. Urban dwellers in Asia's mega cities are especially at risk, with Tokyo, Manila and Hong Kong-Guangzhou topping the population-at-risk index. Although smaller in size, European and US cities could also face huge economic repercussions in the event of a major disaster. Amsterdam-Rotterdam, Los Angeles and New York all feature in the top ten cities with the highest loss potential.
When essential infrastructure breaks down and people can no longer get to work, natural catastrophes can significantly disrupt the local and national economy. The report finds that metropolitan areas such as Tokyo, Los Angeles, New York and Amsterdam-Rotterdam rank high in terms of potential lost productivity, measured by the value of working days lost. For example, the report shows that while a devastating earthquake in Los Angeles could affect just as many people as in Jakarta, the resulting value of working days lost would be 25 times higher.
In some conurbations, a natural disaster can have a devastating effect on the economy of the entire country. This is the case in larger cities such as Lima, but also in smaller cities such as San Jose in Costa Rica. Although potential economic losses in these cities are relatively modest, their importance as national centres of production places them among the top ten riskiest cities when measured by the expected fallout for their home countries.
Across the metropolitan areas studied, river flooding poses by far the largest risk. India and China have the most people exposed to flooding. However, the economic loss potential from river flooding pushes European cities such as Amsterdam-Rotterdam, Paris, Milan and London higher in the rankings.
World's most vulnerable cities
Tokyo / Yokohama, Japan (57.1 million)
Manila, Philippines (34.6 million)
Pearl-River Delta, China (34.5 million)
Osaka / Kobe, Japan (32.1 million)
Jakarta, Indonesia (27.7 million)
Nagoya, Japan (22.9 million)
Kolkata, India (17.9 million)
Shanghai, China (16.7 million)
Los Angeles, USA (16.4 million)
Tehran, Iran (15.6 million)
The most ‘expensive’
mayors in the world
London, 16 September 2013: Rome Mayor Ignazio Marino caused controversy when, shortly after being elected in June, he indicated that his salary of US$72,000 (€54,000) per annum was insufficient and did not compensate him adequately for his duties and responsibilities. He argued that even most of his senior staff was being paid more. (The city’s press officer is on €125,000, the mayor’s spokesman on $90,000 and various heads of department can expect remuneration packages of between €95,000 and €105,000.) Indeed, new research will show that the Mayor of Rome is one of the lowest paid leaders of major capital cities and that, per capita, he provides more value for money than the mayors of London, Paris or Berlin.
Research to be published by City Mayors later this year is also likely to show that while the Governor of Tokyo may be the highest paid city leader in the world, he is by no means the most expensive. Naoki Inose costs every Tokyo resident some 2.8 US cents per year, while the citizens of Helsinki contribute almost four cents each to their mayor’s salary.
Salaries and per capita costs for selected mayors
Extracts from research to be published by City Mayors in late 2013. Earning and population figures are based on 2012 and 2011 data respectively.
*Michael Bloomberg does not draw his salary.
Please email the City Mayors’ editor if you want your city and mayor to be included in our salary survey, inserting Salary Survey 2013 in the subject line.
Syria and doping issues put an
end to Istanbul’s Olympic dream
Buenos Aires, 9 September 2013: Istanbul’s Mayor Kadir Topbas was gracious in defeat after it was announced that Tokyo had won the right to host the 2020 Summer Olympics. “Naturally we are disappointed that a city that has hosted the Games before was elected but we wish Tokyo well,” he said. But some members of the 600-strong Turkish delegation put the blame on the civil war in Syria for their city’s defeat. “The threat of an imminent American missile attack on Syrian targets - some close to the Turkish border - and the general upheaval in the Middle East had delegates vote for the ‘safe’ option,” City Mayors was told by sources close to the Turkish bid.
The Turkish assessment was backed by leading IOC (International Olympic Committee) members. Prince Albert of Monaco told the French Press Agency (AFP) that the unstable situation in the region had harmed Istanbul’s cause. “The geopolitical situation certainly played a role. IOC members prefer surefire bets. Istanbul, like the others, was a really good candidacy. However, Tokyo offered a safe pair of hands,” he said. IOC Vice-President Thomas Bach also agreed that the instability in the Middle East hurt Istanbul’s chances. Other IOC members also mentioned the public unrests Istanbul experienced during the summer. One observer told City Mayors that one shouldn’t forget that the IOC was an organisation run mostly by ‘old’, risk-adverse men. “They feel more at home in Japan than in Turkey.”
IOC President Jacques Rogge commented after the vote that doping also weighed heavily on members minds. It was widely agreed in Buenos Aires that several of them had not made their choice until the final presentations. During these neither Madrid nor Istanbul were able to deal effectively with questioning on their countries’ doping control records led by the UK member Adam Pengilly. The London-based Guardian newspaper reported that athletes had asked the British IOC member Adam Pengill not to vote for Madrid or Istanbul over unresolved doping issues. (More than 30 Turkish athletes failed drug tests in recent months.)
Sunday’s vote was the fifth time an Olympic submission by Istanbul was unsuccessful. Previously, the city, which straddles Europe and Asia, bid to host the 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012 Summer Games.
Tokyo Governor Naoki Inosi said throughout the next seven years Team Japan would carry out its delivery plan. “By hosting the 2020 Tokyo Games we will create hope. We will offer dreams and hope to future generations and our hosting of the Games will accelerate the recovery of Japan’s tsunami affected area. Tokyo will be an environment where athletes can perform at their best and we will offer guests from every corner of the world our excellent hospitality.”
IOC delegates eliminated Madrid after the first round of voting. Both Madrid and Istanbul were tied with 26 votes each after a first ballot - meaning Tokyo comfortably topped that round with 42 votes - and it had to be put to a second decisive vote to see who would be eliminated. Istanbul then garnered 49 of the 94 votes cast to progress and kept their hopes alive of bringing the Games to Turkey for the first time.
Tokyo hosted the Summer Olympics in 1964. The Winter Olympics were held in Japan in 1972 and 1998. Barcelona hosted the Summer Games in 1992.
Mixed response to demands
to cut ties with Russian cities
Chicago, 19 August 2013: In Russia, this article is deemed unsuitable for readers under the age of 18. Cities right across the US have been urged to sever or suspend their sister-city ties with Russian municipalities. Human rights organisations say that Russian cities, rather than opposing the country’s recent anti-gay laws, have actually pioneered them. In March last year, the governor of St Petersburg signed a law, which banned ‘homosexual propaganda’ in the city. While, similar restrictions had already been enacted by cities like Ryazan, Arkhangelsk and Kostroma, the ban in St Petersburg, Russia’s most European city and a community with a lively gay scene, caused international anger. The law, which the Duma (the Russian parliament) passed unanimously in June, is modelled on the St Petersburg decree.
Some 28 US cities have now been asked to end their twinning arrangements with their Russian counterparts. They include Los Angeles, twinned with St Petersburg; Philadelphia, twinned with Nizhny Novgorod; Charlotte, twinned with Voronezh; Honolulu, twinned with Kyzyl; Oakland, twinned with Nakhodka; San Jose, twinned with Ekaterinburg and Cleveland, twinned with Volgograd.
Lansing, Michigan, has been the first US city to have severed the relationship with its Russian sister city, a district of St Petersburg. But Chicago has said it would not suspend its ties with Moscow despite a plea from the publisher of the city’s Windy City Times urging City Hall to send a message to Russia by either cancelling or suspending its sister-city partnership with the Russian capital. "The entire Sister Cities International organisation should be involved in putting pressure on sister cities in Russia to work against this anti-gay law," Tracey Baim wrote. Back in Lansing, City Council President Carol Wood said: "We want to make sure that we're supporting the LGBT community not only in our own city but in cities across the world. When we see atrocities like this, this is how we speak, through our resolutions. This is our opportunity to say that this is not right."
But there are others, even within the gay community, who argue that US cities, rather than cutting their ties with their Russian partners, should use their influence to urge moderation. San Jose councillors Ash Kaira, who sits on the board of Sister Cities International and whose city is twinned with Ekaterinburg, agrees a strong statement condemning Russia’s anti gay legislation should be made but doesn’t believe US cities should suspend relations with their Russian counterparts. Commentators also pointed out that there are no calls for Lansing to cancel its twinning arrangements with Akuapem in Ghana, where homosexuality is still illegal.
The mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina, also said that the city would not sever ties with its Russian sister city Voronezh. In an open letter, Mayor Patsy Kinsey wrote that as a longtime advocate for LGBT rights in Charlotte and across America, she strongly condemned anti-LGBT legislation and violence anywhere in the world. “However, severing our ties with Voronezh would do nothing to help the LGBT community there. On the contrary, it would deprive us of the best means we have to ameliorate the situation,” she stressed.
In Europe, Bjorn van Roozendaal, a director with the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) wrote US cities with sister links to Russian communities could probably better use their relations to foster dialogue and support local LGBT communities in their twinning cities.
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World cities in rush to launch own top level internet domain names
Uncertainty over EU and financial scandals cost London its crown
Rio de Janeiro mayor new boss of C40 cities
World cities fight over billionaires
Asian cities most at risk from natural disasters
The most 'expensive' mayors in the world
Syria and doping issues put an end to Istanbul’s Olympic dreams
Mixed response to demands to cut ties with Russian cities (Photo: It is now illegal to fly the Rainbow flag in Russian cities)