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Tel Aviv and Jerusalem
in addition to 12 US cities
to receive Bloomberg grants

New York City, 16 December 2014:
Bloomberg Philanthropies yesterday announced that Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in addition to 12 US cities have been selected to participate in the $45 million expansion of its Innovation Teams programme. The programme aims to improve the capacity of City Halls to effectively design and implement new approaches that improve citizens’ lives – relying on data, open innovation, and strong project and performance management to help mayors address pressing urban challenges.

The grants announced will go to the US cities of Albuquerque, NM; Boston, MA; Centennial, CO; Jersey City, NJ; Long Beach, CA; Los Angeles, CA; Mobile, AL; Minneapolis, MN; Peoria, IL; Rochester, NY; Seattle, WA; and Syracuse, NY. Funding will allow mayors in each of these cities to create dedicated innovation teams - or “i-teams” - to develop and deliver new approaches to issues such as affordable housing, public safety, infrastructure finance, customer service, and job growth.

Bloomberg Philanthropies also announced that two Israeli cities would receive innovation team grants: Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Mayor Nir Barkat of Jerusalem will use his i-team to focus on poverty and economic development, while Mayor Ron Huldai of Tel Aviv-Jaffa will focus on cost of living and illegal immigration.

“Successful innovation depends as much on the ability to generate ideas as it does the capacity to execute them – and i-teams help cities do both,” said Michael Bloomberg, who was Mayor of New York from 2002 to 2013. “More and more city governments around the world are eager to innovate, so we’re excited to work with 12 new US cities, and to expand the program beyond our borders by bringing i-teams to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv-Jaffa.”

Grant funds will allow mayors to hire and fund i-teams for up to three years. These teams function as in-house innovation consultants, moving from one mayoral priority to the next.

“The fact is there are very few tools or reliable approaches available to mayors who want to innovate more often, more effectively, and with a better return on that investment for residents,” said James Anderson, head of Government Innovation programs for Bloomberg Philanthropies. “The Bloomberg Philanthropies’ i-teams programme helps City Halls get better at innovation, which is vital given the increasing constraints under which so many of our mayors work today.”

This is the second round of i-teams grants made as part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Government Innovation portfolio, which focuses on promoting public sector innovation. The first round of grants were made to the cities of Atlanta, Chicago, Louisville, Memphis, and New Orleans. Successes include reducing retail vacancies in Memphis, minimizing unnecessary ambulance trips to the emergency room in Louisville, cutting licensing time for new restaurants in Chicago, reducing homelessness in Atlanta, and reducing the murder rate in New Orleans.

More than 90 American cities were invited to apply; eligible cities had at least 100,000 residents and mayors with at least two years left in office. Cities will receive from $400,000 to $1,000,000 annually for up to three years. In addition to the grants, cities receive implementation support and opportunities to exchange lessons learned and best practices with peers in other cities. Newly formed i-teams will hit the ground running in each city no later than spring 2015.

Points of interest:
• 5 of the 12 US mayors are in their first 12 months of office (Boston, Long Beach, Minneapolis, Seattle, Rochester)
• 4 of the 12 US cities are led by female mayors (Centennial, Minneapolis, Rochester, Syracuse)
• 5 of the 12 US cities will initially focus on economic development (Albuquerque, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Mobile, Seattle)
• 4 of the 12 US cities have populations less than 200,000 (Centennial, Mobile, Peoria, Syracuse)
• Largest city by population receiving grant: Los Angeles (3,884,307)
• Smallest city by population receiving grant: Centennial (106,114)


Rockefeller Foundation
adds additional 35 cities to
its Resilient Cities network

New York City, 5 December 2014:
The Rockefeller Foundation announced that 35 additional cities from around the world have been invited to become members the 100 Resilient Cities (RC100) network. This second wave of cities will join 32 cities that won last year's 100 Resilient Cities Challenge, forming a growing network of urban centres around the world that are ready to respond to the social, economic and physical shocks and stresses that are a growing part of the 21st century. 100 Resilient Cites was created by an initial US$100 million commitment by The Rockefeller Foundation as part of its Centennial last year, recognising the trends of urbanisation and globalisation that characterise this century.

The new cities joining RC100 include many from developing countries such as the Ghanaian capital Accra, Enugu in Nigeria and Chennai, India, as well as western cities including London, Paris and Milan. About 30 other cities were named last year and more applications will be taken next year.

Judith Rodin, President of the Rockefeller Foundation said that members of the 100 Resilient Cities network were leading the world in showing that not only was it possible to build urban resilience in every kind of city, but it was an imperative. "Cities are learning that by building resilience, not only will they be better prepared for the bad times, but also life becomes better in the good times, especially for the poor and vulnerable. It's smart investment, and yields a resilience dividend that is a win for everyone,” she explained.

As the number of people living in urban areas grows from 50 per cent of the world's population to an estimated 70 per cent in 2050, cities around the world must cope with effects of rapid urbanisation, globalisation, climate change, and natural and man-made disasters.

Urban resilience is the capacity of individuals, communities, institutions, businesses and systems to survive, adapt and grow no matter what kinds of chronic stresses and acute shocks they experience. From the impact of super-typhoons, to growing socio-economic inequality or the ability of city systems to respond to booming populations and waning food supplies, 100 Resilient Cities aims to equip urban areas with the tools and support network to design, develop and implement holistic solutions.

Each city on the network is eligible to receive grant funding to hire a Chief Resilience Officer, who will lead the analysis, planning and implementation of the city's resilience strategy, working with different government agencies and across sectors of society. They will also receive technical support and services they need as they work towards implementing that strategy, as well as access a variety of platform partners in the private, public and non-profit sectors. These partners will offer tools in areas such as innovative finance, technology, infrastructure, land use, and community and social resilience.

Cities currently accredited
to the 100 Resilient City Network
AFRICA
• Accra, Ghana
• Arusha, Tanzania
• Dakar, Senegal
• Durban, South Africa
• Enugu, Nigeria
• Kigali, Rwanda

ASIA
• Amman, Jordan
• Ashkelon, Israel
• Bangalore, India
• Byblos, Lebanon
• Chennai, India
• Da Nang, Vietnam
• Deyang, China
• Huangshi, China
• Mandalay, Burma
• Phnom Penh, Cambodia
• Ramallah, Palestine
• Semarang, Indonesia
• Singapore, Singapore
• Surat, India
• Toyama, Japan

AUSTRAL ASIA
• Christchurch, New Zealand
• Melbourne, Australia
• Sydney, Australia
• Wellington, New Zealand

EUROPE
• Athens, Greece
• Barcelona, Spain
• Belgrade, Serbia
• Bristol, UK
• Glasgow, UK
• Lisbon, Portugal
• London, England
• Milan, Italy
• Paris, France
• Rome, Italy
• Thessaloniki, Greece
• Vejle, Denmark

NORTH AMERICA
• Berkeley, USA
• Boston, USA
• Boulders, USA
• Chicago, USA
• Dallas, USA
• El Paso, USA
• Jacksonville, USA
• Juarez, Mexico
• Los Angeles, USA
• Mexico City, Mexico
• Montreal, Canada
• New Orleans, USA
• New York City, USA
• Norfolk, USA
• Oakland, USA
• Pittsburgh, USA
• San Juan, Puerto Rico
• Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic
• St. Louis, USA
• Tulsa, USA

SOUTH AMERICA
• Cali, Colombia
• Medellin, Colombia
• Porto Alegre, Brazil
• Quito, Ecuador
• Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
• Santa Fe, Argentina
• Santiago (Metropolitan Region), Chile


World Mayor honours
often a stepping stone
to higher national office

London, 24 July 2014:
With Tuesday’s announcement that Joko Widodo has won the presidential election in Indonesia, another finalist of the bi-annual World Mayor Project has successfully made the move from running a city to occupying a high national office. Joko Widodo, popularly known as Jokowi, served as Mayor of Surakarta (Java) from 2005 until he was elected Governor of Jakarta in October 2012. His success in transforming Surakarta from a crime-ridden city into a regional centre for arts and culture, which has started to attract international tourism, and his campaign against corruption earned him a nomination for the 2012 World Mayor Prize.

Other city leaders, who were honoured by the World Mayor Project since 2004 and stepped up from local to national and even international office, include the former mayors of Mexico City, Sofia, Tirana, Cape Town, Athens, San Francisco, Baltimore, Lisbon and Florence.

Selection of World Mayor finalists
who succeeded to higher office

Mayor
City
World Mayor honours
Move to higher office
Petro Santana Lopes Lisbon, Portugal 2004 finalist Prime Minister of Portugal
Larry Campbell Vancouver, Canada 2004 finalist Canadian Senator
Edi Rama Tirana, Albania Winner of the 2004 Prize Prime Minister of Albania
Jean-Marc Ayrault Nantes, France 2004 finalist Prime Minister of France
Wolfgang Tiefensee Leipzig, Germany 2004 finalist German cabinet minister
Jean-Marie Bockel Mulhouse, France 2004 finalist French cabinet minister
Gavin Newsom San Francisco, USA Top-10 finalist in 2005 Lieutenant Governor of California
Dora Bakoyannis Athens, Greece Winner of the 2005 Prize Foreign Minister of Greece
Fernando Damata Pimentel Belo Horizonte, Brazil Top-10 finalist in 2005 Brazilian cabinet minister
Martin O'Malley Baltimore, USA 2005 finalist Governor of Maryland
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Tehran, Iran 2005 finalist President of Iran
Alberto Ruiz Gallardon Madrid, Spain 2005 finalist Spanish cabinet minister
John Hickenlooper Denver, USA 2006 top-10 finalist Governor of Colorado
Patrick Ramiaramanana Antananarivo, Madagascar 2006 top-10 finalist Madagascar cabinet minister
Helen Zille Cape Town, South Africa Winner of the 2008 Prize Premier of Western Cape
Boiko Borisov Sofia, Bulgaria 2008 finalist Prime Minister of Bulgaria
Campbell Newman Brisbane, Australia 2010 top-10 finalist Premier of Queensland
Cory Booker Newark, USA 2010 top-10 finalist US Senator for New Jersey
Carlos Alberto Richa Curitiba, Brazil 2010 finalist State Governor of Paraná
Marcelo Ebrard Mexico City, Mexico Winner of the 2010 Prize President of the UN network on Safer Cities
Joko Widodo Surakarta, Indonesia Awarded third place in 2012 President of Indonesia
Matteo Renzi Florence, Italy 2012 finalist Prime Minister of Italy

The City Mayors Foundation awards the World Mayor Prize every two years to a mayor who has developed and realised a vision for urban living that is relevant to towns and cities across the world.

The 2014 shortlist includes the Mayors of Calgary (Canada), Houston (USA), Oklahoma City (USA), Sacramento (USA), Belo Horizonte (Brazil), Guatemala City (Guatemala), Monteria (Colombia), Sucre (Venezuela), Ghent (Belgium), Bordeaux (France), Jena (Germany), Thessaloniki (Greece), Lampedusa (Italy), Riga (Latvia), Ribera de Arriba (Spain), Bristol (UK), Liverpool (UK), Surabaya (Indonesia), Haifa (Israel), Iloilo City (Philippines), Jeddah (Saudi Arabia), Seoul (South Korea), Izmir (Turkey), Sydney (Australia), Victoria (Seychelles), and Mangaung (South Africa).
Voting for the top mayor for 2014 is now taking place.


World’s water stressed cities
go further and further afield
to source additional supplies

London, 14 June 2014:
The world’s largest cities literally suck the areas surrounding them dry. A recent research study by Global Environmental Change finds that large cities only occupy one per cent of the Earth’s land surface but that the watersheds that provide their water cover 41 per cent of the land surface. Cities that increasingly rely on their neighbours for water supplies include Los Angeles, Boston, Mumbai, Karachi and Hong Kong. Los Angeles receives almost nine billion litres of water a day from areas outside its boundaries. According to the research, Tokyo, Delhi, Mexico City, Shanghai and Beijing suffer from acute ‘water stress’.

The researchers say that despite increasing urban growth, theirs is the first piece of research that assesses the demand for freshwater resources by large cities. They found that collectively the world’s large cities, defined as those with at least 750,000 people, move 504 billion litres of water a day a cumulative distance of some 27,000 kilometres. Los Angeles, with imports of 8.9 billion litres per day from distant rivers, ranks first in the world in cross-basin water transfers.  The city diverts water hundreds of kilometres from the Colorado River Basin, as well as from rivers in central and northern California, to satisfy the demands of its 13.2 million citizens.

The survey’s authors state that these massive transfers of water causes ecological harm in the source watersheds, i.e. the areas supplying urban centres with water, but they relieve urban water stress by making more water available to cities. The findings reveal that some 25 per cent of large cities suffer from water stress. Some of the fastest growing cities of the 21st century are in areas with a geographical limitation of water availability. A spatial assessment of all large cities with severe geographical limitations - defined as cities that have to go out further than 100km to reach an unstressed water source of one billion litres a day - shows that the majority (68%) of large cities with severe geographical limitations are located in low to middle-income countries.

Looking forward, the authors believe that there will be an significant expansion of urban water infrastructure but that much of the new infrastructure will have to be built by cities with relatively few resources. Some of the developing countries with low per-capita income are home to the fastest-growing cities. While in the long-term urbanisation is expected to increase the wealth of these countries, in the short-term, however, cities with few financial resources will have to find ways to quickly build systems to supply water to their fast growing populations.

Cities with the largest amount of water
drawn in from outside its urban agglomeration:
1) Los Angeles (8.9 billion litres per day)
2( Boston, USA, (3.3 billion litres per day)
3) Mumbai (India) 3.2 billion litres per day
4) Karachi (Pakistan) 2.5 billion litres per day
5) Hong Kong (China) 2.4 billion litres per day
Selected others: Tokyo (Japan) 2.2 billion; New York (USA) 1.3 billion; Tel Aviv (Israel) 1.2 billion; Sydney (Australia) 1.2 billion; Athens (Greece) 1.0 billion.

According to the report cities that suffer from high level of water stress include Tokyo, Delhi, Mexico City, Shanghai and Beijing but also Kolkota, Los Angeles, Rio de Janeiro, Moscow, Lima and London.

(Source: Global Environmental Change 27, (2014) 96-105, published by Elsevier)


New York and Paris
mayors reveal similar
visions for their cities

New York City, 31 May 2014:
The mayors of Paris and New York City have pledged to jointly formulate progressive ideas that could be emulated by cities around the world. At a press conference in New York, Anne Hidalgo and Bill de Blasio said Paris and New York had much in common as cosmopolitan global capitals with a long history of progressive mindsets. Anne Hidalgo called New York and Paris sister cities, whose residents expected their mayors to be avant-garde and to invent innovative solutions to urban problems.

NYC Mayor de Blasio said he was amazed to have discovered that he and Anne Hidalgo shared such a similar vision of what cities needed. Both mayors stressed the importance of early childhood education, affordable housing and environmental sustainability. "It is absolutely amazing, that two cities, 3,000 miles apart, have come up with very similar ideas."

The mayors agreed to set up internet exchanges between schools in New York and Paris. Mayor Hidalgo explained that she would like to create an internet twinning with schools in New York, allowing children to share together what diverse cities like Paris and New York have in common. The French mayor also stressed the need for major cities to unite to develop solutions to tackle the dangers of climate change and the massive loss of biodiversity.

When asked by journalists, whether New York and Paris would submit competing bids for the 2024 Summer Olympics, both mayors said their priorities were focused elsewhere. Bill de Blasio disclosed that New York was definitely not interested in hosting the Olympics, while Hidalgo said that she loved sport and appreciated what it can bring to a society and a city in terms of dreams and energy. "But today we are all under financial and budgetary restraints that do not make it possible for me to say I support such a candidacy."


London, New York and
Singapore named world’s
top cities of opportunity

London, 24 May 2014:
London has been crowned World City of Opportunity. This year, for the first time, the UK capital posts the highest score among the 30 cities studied by management consultants PwC for its Cities of Opportunity report. London, the only city to finish first in three of ten indicators. was followed by New York and Singapore. Moving up four spots from the last edition, Singapore takes third place overall and finishes first in two indicators—ease of doing business and transportation and infrastructure. Despite not having a top rank in any indicator, New York continues to show strong consistency across most of the categories. Rounding out the top five cities are Toronto and San Francisco.

As for London, the city outperforms New York by a good margin after finishing second in a virtual tie with New York in 2012. Results show London is developing a strong foundation for the future with top economic strength, openness to the world and technology readiness. In addition, London finishes a narrow second to Paris in intellectual capital and innovation and comes in second - virtually tying Sydney - in demographics and liveability.

Cities of Opportunity also highlights the increasing competitiveness of emerging cities across several key indicators. Beijing, which ranked 19th, finishes in the top three in both the city gateway and economic clout categories, while Seoul is top in technology readiness and is the only emerging city to reach the top 10 in the ease of doing business indicator. Seoul and Buenos Aires also break into the top three for transportation and infrastructure, while Johannesburg is in the top three for cost.

The Cities of Opportunity key indicators
and top three cities within each are:

• Intellectual capital and innovation:
Paris, London, San Francisco
• Technology readiness: London and Seoul tied for first place, Stockholm, Hong Kong
• City gateway: London, Beijing, Singapore
• Transportation and infrastructure: Singapore, Toronto, Buenos Aires and Seoul tied for third
• Health, safety and security: Stockholm, Sydney and Toronto tied for second, Berlin
• Sustainability and the natural environment: Stockholm and Sydney tied for first, Paris and Berlin tied for second, San Francisco
• Demographics and livability: Sydney, London, San Francisco
• Economic clout: London, Beijing, New York
• Ease of doing business: Singapore, Hong Kong, New York
• Cost: Los Angeles, Chicago, Johannesburg

Methodology
Cities of Opportunity is based on publicly available data, using three main sources: global multilateral development organizations such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund; national statistics organizations, such as National Statistics in the UK and the Census Bureau in the US; and commercial data providers. The data was collected during the third and fourth quarters of 2013.


Large Western city brands
benefit from popularity
on Facebook and Twitter

London, 7 May 2014:
Cities’ popularity on Facebook and Twitter has become a significant component in Saffron Brand Consultants’ latest ‘place branding survey’, which the firm developed together with The Guardian newspaper. With the number of Facebook likes and Twitter mentions being given equal weight to city assets, such as weather, transport and safety, large cities in Western countries dominate the ranking table. A spokesman for the researchers acknowledged that the Facebook/Twitter-centric methodology placed cities in countries that use non-American social media at a disadvantage.

Los Angeles, the top-ranked city, together with New York, London and Paris were all given a ‘buzz rating’ of 10/10, while Tokyo and Shanghai, although strong in assets, only have ‘buzz ratings’ of 2/10 and 1/10 respectively. Vienna, which in many other popularity surveys consistently achieves top-three places, also falls victim to a low ‘buzz rating’.

Many other smaller European cities which Saffron rated highly in its previous ‘City Brand Barometer’, failed to make the Saffron/Guardian list of top city brands. Cities that are conspicuous by their absence include Munich (ranked third by Saffron in 2008 behind Paris and London), Amsterdam (ranked 4th), Frankfurt (ranked 9th) and Prague (also ranked 9th).

While the findings of the latest Saffron survey published by The Guardian don’t provide methodology details, the ‘buzz rating’ can be described as a kind of social media market share measure, which favours large cities with large numbers of visitors. Smaller cities with strong positive brands like Bath, Oxford, Dublin, Zurich or Bilbao are ignored or undervalued. “The worth of a brand is as much based on perceived quality as on quantity. Surely, that’s why the Apple brand is valued above Microsoft and BMW above Toyota,” said one commentator.


The Guardian / Saffron city brand ranking

Rank

City

Total Strength
(out of 20 points)

Buzz
(out of 10)

Assets
(out of 10)

1

Los Angeles

18

10

8

2

New York City

17.7

10

7.7

3

London

17.3

10

7.3

4

Paris

17.2

10

7.2

5

Seoul

15.9

8

7.9

6

Barcelona

15.8

9

6.8

7

Rio de Janeiro

15.3

9

6.3

8

San Francisco

15.2

8

7.2

9

Las Vegas

15.2

9

6.2

10

Dubai

14.6

9

5.6

11

Istanbul

14.6

9

5.6

12

Madrid

14.4

7

7.4

13

Chicago

14.3

8

6.3

14

Singapore

14

5

9

15

Bangkok

13.6

7

6.6

16

Sydney

13.4

6

7.4

17

Mexico City

13.4

7

6.4

18

Buenos Aires

13.3

7

6.3

19

Mumbai

13.3

8

5.3

20

Sao Paulo

12.2

7

5.2

21

Mecca

12

7

5

22

Atlanta

11.8

6

5.8

23

Melbourne

11.7

6

5.7

24

Milan

11.4

5

6.4

25

Berlin

11.4

5

6.4

26

Rome

11

5

6

27

Bangalore

10.5

6

4.5

28

Tokyo

10.3

2

8.3

29

Riyadh

10

5

5

30

Delhi

9.9

4

5.9

31

Kuala Lumpur

9.9

5

4.9

32

Santiago

9.8

5

4.8

33

Shanghai

9.7

1

8.7

34

Abu Dhabi

9.7

4

5.7

35

Hanoi

9.5

6

3.5

36

Lisbon

9.4

3

6.4

37

Washington DC

9.4

3

6.4

38

Beijing

8.8

1

7.8

39

Vienna

8.8

2

6.8

40

Seattle

8.7

3

5.7

41

Vancouver

8.6

3

5.6

42

Salvador

8.4

4

4.4

43

Lima

7.6

4

3.6

44

Venice

7.3

1

6.3

45

Doha

7.3

2

5.3

46

Macau

7.2

1

6.2

47

Marrakech

6.9

2

4.9

48

Copenhagen

6.8

1

5.8

49

Tel Aviv

6.7

1

5.7

50

Algiers

6.2

4

2.2

51

Sofia

6.1

2

4.1

52

Oslo

6

1

5

53

Lagos

5.6

3

2.6

54

Krakow

5.4

1

4.4

55

Chittagong

4.2

1

3.2

56

Cape Town

3.7

1

2.7

57

Nairobi

2.9

1

1.9

Source: The Guardian

Last year, the Anholt-GfK City Brands Index ranked London first, followed by Sydney, Paris, New York City, Rome, Washington DC, Los Angeles, Toronto, Vienna and Melbourne.


World cities in rush to
launch own top level
internet domain names

Berlin, 20 April 2014:
After Berlin became the first city in the world with its own internet domain name, a handful of other cities, including London, Tokyo, Vienna, Paris and New York City, have announced that they will launch generic top level domains (gTLDs) in the coming weeks and months. At the launch of •berlin last month, Cherine Culaby, a director with ICANN*, said that some 50 cities and regions worldwide had applied for top-level-domain names with her organisation. It is thought that during 2014/15, more than 20 cities will be in a position to market their own domains.

Within an hour after •berlin was launched on 14 March, some 20,000 individuals, businesses and non-profit organisations had reserved Berlin-specific web addresses. Prior to the public launch, the owners of brands like Pepsi, VW or Lufthansa could register their Berlin domains. Berlin’s local government already owns a number of domains including polizei•berlin (police), rotes-rathaus•berlin (city hall) but also sex•berlin. For most private individuals and small businesses, a berlin suffix will cost some €50 (US$65) per year. The Berlin domains are managed by the private company, DotBerlin GmbH, whose founder and chief executive Dirk Krischenowski has for the past ten years campaigned for a unique Berlin domain. He believes that moving away from national and international suffixes, like •de or •com, will allow local businesses - restaurants, tradesmen or taxi firms - to use the internet to its full potential. Cologne and Hamburg are thought to be following Berlin’s example later this year.

Austria’s capital Vienna announced in February that it’s •wien top level domain would be launched to the public on 15 July. But the owners of national and international brands as well as registered local companies can already reserve domains reflecting the names of their businesses.

Earlier this month, Tokyo’s new Governor Yoichi Masuzoe welcomed the introduction of a top-level domain for his city. At a press conference, he said •tokyo would enable the Japanese capital to challenge New York, London and Paris for the for the title ‘world’s best city’. “In the challenge to become the number one city, I hope that •tokyo will be a great tool for promoting Tokyo to the world,” the governor added. The public launch of tokyo is scheduled for 9 June Successful applicants will pay some $300 for the first year and between $9 to $20 for subsequent years. However, highly sought after domains like taxi•tokyo or hotel•tokyo will cost considerably more. The Japanese city of Nagoya has already registered its own top-level domain.

After some delay, it has now been confirmed that the london domain will be launched on 29 April. During the first three months, trademark and brand owners as well as local companies and individuals will be given priority. According to a poll carried out in January, some 200,000 London businesses are likely to register a london domain. To showcase London’s new domain, a number of companies, such as The London Symphony Orchestra and up-market retailer Fortnum and Mason, have been allowed to go live before the official launch date.

The City of Paris has invited interested parties to be among the first to sign up for a •paris domain. Initially, organisers are keen to attract some 100 well-known companies and individuals who would become ‘ambassadors’ for the new domain. During a second stage, Paris will allot high-value domains such as hotels•paris, visit•paris or metro•paris. The public launch of •paris is programmed for the second half of 2014.

The •nyc domain is scheduled to go live on 8 October 2014. Operators of the New York City name will offer a 45-day ‘sunrise period’ to allow brand owners and trademark holders to secure their names. Following the ‘sunrise period’, the domain name organisers will provide a 60-day ‘landrush period’ during which eligible applicants can apply for business-specific domain names before the commencement of general availability. Where there are multiple applications for the same domain name during the ‘landrush’ period these applications will proceed to auction. In general, •nyc domains are reserved for individuals whose first home is New York City or an organisation that has a physical street address in city.

City top level domains likely to be launched during 2014/15:
•Amsterdam •Berlin •Boston •Brussels •Budapest •Capetown •Doha •Dubai •Durban •Gent •Hamburg •Helsinki •Istanbul •Joburg •Koeln/Cologne •Kyoto •London •Madrid •Melbourne •Miamai •Nagoya •Nyc •Okinawa •Rome/Roma •Vegas •Wien/Vienna

*ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is a non-profit organisation that coordinates the Internet's global domain name system. ICANN was created in September 1998. It is headquartered in Los Angeles.


Uncertainty over EU and financial
scandals cost London its crown

London, 16 March 2014:
London and New York City swapped places at the top of the latest Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI) but NYC’s lead over the UK capital is a mere 0.2 per cent. Hong Kong and Singapore remain third and fourth respectively, while Zurich moves up to fifth place. London’s reputation in the world has suffered due to uncertainty over the Britain’s European Union membership and a number of financial scandals at the heart of its financial centre. Britain is also perceived to be unwelcoming to foreign workers.

While there are few changes in the top 10, the five leaders, NYC, London, Hong Kong, Singapore and Zurich are increasingly challenged by cities further down the table. Three years ago the difference between first and tenth was 117 points, now San Francisco, in tenth place, is only 75 points behind its East Coast rival.

In Asia, established centres like Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo and Seoul are performing considerably better than weaker cities such as Manila, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta or Mumbai. The oil wealth of the Gulf states is propelling centres like Qatar, Dubai and Riyadh up the table. The latter is up 16 places, Bahrain is up 12 places and Abu Dhabi is up ten.

The financial troubles in Europe meant that 23 out 27 centres declined by rank. Significant falls include Copenhagen, Edinburgh, Dublin, Madrid, Lisbon and Rome. Athens, in last place, is 82 points behind the Icelandic capital Reykjavik, which is second to last.

The Global Financial Centres Index 2014 ranks
(with last year’s ranks in brackets)

1 New York City (2)
2 London (1)
3 Hong Kong (3)
4 Singapore (4)
5 Zurich (6)
6 Tokyo (5)
7 Seoul (10)
8 Boston (7)
9 Geneva (8)
10 San Francisco (12)

11 Frankfurt (9)
12 Luxembourg (13)
13 Washington DC (17)
14 Toronto (11)
15 Chicago (14)
16 Montreal (18)
17 Vancouver (19)
18 Shenzhen (27)
19 Vienna (20)
20 Shanghai (16)

21 Tel Aviv (32)
22 Calgary (21)
23 Sydney (15)
24 Monaco (23)
25 Buenos Aires (46)
26 Qatar (24)
27 Busan (n/a)
28 Munich (34)
29 Dubai (25)
30 Stockholm (37)

31 Riyadh (47)
32 Abu Dhabi (42)
33 Oslo (36)
34 (Osaka (30)
35 Kuala Lumpur (22)
36 Paris (29)
37 Melbourne (33)
38 Sao Paulo (38)
39 Wellington (43
40 Bahrain (52

Methodology: The organisers of the GFCI, the Z/Yen Group, uses an online questionnaire to ask international financial services professionals to rate those centres they are familiar with. In the 24 months leading up to December 2013, 3,246 responses were collected.


World cities fight
over billionaires

New York City, 23 September 2013:
  New York City is already home to more billionaires than any other city in the world, but its mayor wants more. Michael Bloomberg, a billionaire himself, said on his weekly radio show that it would be a godsend if every billionaire around the globe moved to New York. "They are the ones that pay a lot of the taxes. They're the ones that spend a lot of money in the stores and restaurants and create a big chunk of our economy," he said. A new report cites NYC, Moscow, London, Hong Kong and Beijing as the five most popular cities for billionaires.

During the recent mayoral primaries, Mayor Bloomberg has been accused of neglecting New York’s less well off. Recent research by the US Census Bureau showed an increase in the city’s poverty rate and a widening gap between the wealthy and the poor. The mayor dismissed the figures, saying that the large number multi-millionaires and billionaires in the city were the reason for wealth gab between rich and poor. “If we are fortunate enough to attract more wealthy individuals that would create an even wider income gap.”

According to the figures by the US Census Bureau, New York’s poverty rate rose from 20.1 per cent in 2010 to 21.2 per cent last year, while the average annual household income of the lowest fifth of the city’s population stood at just under nine thousand dollars, compared to US$223,000 for the highest fifth. Bill de Blasio, the Democratic candidate for mayor in the November elections, described New York as a tale of two cities.

New York is not the only city that vies to attract the world’s super-rich. London has been so successful in positioning itself as one of the most desirable locations for the wealthy that house-hunting billionaires have difficulties in finding homes that fulfil their security concerns and lifestyle expectations. Meanwhile, Moscow, which ranks second after New York for the number of resident billionaires, is eager to prevent its rich from moving to London, New York or Zurich.

Home to billionaires
Rank
City
Number of billionaires
1
New York City
70
2
Moscow
64
3
London
54
4
Hong Kong
40
5
Beijing
29
6
Mumbai
26
7
Istanbul
24
8
Shanghai
23
9
Paris
22
10
Los Angeles
19
11
Shenzhen
19
12
Chicago
15
13
Singapore
13
14
Tokyo
12
15
Guangzhou
12
16
San Francisco
11
17
Dallas
11
18
Dubai
11
19
Houston
10
20
Sao Paulo
10
Source: Wealth Insight

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.


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
City
Mayor
Earnings
(US$ per annum)
Per capita costs
(US cents pa)
Berlin Klaus Wowereit
$196,000
5.7
Chicago Rahm Emanuel
$ 216,000
7.6
Helsinki Jussi Pajunen
$ 229,000
39.3
London Boris Johnson
$ 234,000
3.1
Los Angeles Eric Garcetti
$ 232,000
6.1
New York City Michael Bloomberg*
$ 225,000
2.7
Oslo Fabian Stang
$ 207,000
3.5
Paris Bertrand Delanoë
$136,000
6.4
Rome Ignazio Marino
$72,000
2.6
Stockholm Sten Nordin
$ 210,000
25.4
Tokyo Naoki Inose
$ 238,000
2.8
Toronto Rob Ford
$163,000
6.3

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
.






World Mayor 2014
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