World Mayor 20/21

Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb
Ahmed Aboutaleb, Mayor of Rotterdam, Netherlands, since 2009

World Mayor Nominations 20/21
Ahmed Aboutaleb, Mayor of Rotterdam, Netherlands

The 20/21 World Mayor Prize and Commendations will be conferred on mayors who have been showing leadership during the Covid-19 pandemic and who are now aiming to make their cities more resilient economically, structurally, socially and environmentally. In fact: Stronger | Fairer | Greener. The organisers of the World Mayor Project are looking for mayors who have shown exceptional leadership skills but also, and more importantly, acted at all times with compassion towards those most affected by Covid-19. The pandemic has shown how vulnerable even the richest cities are when confronted with a disaster like Covid-19. Forward-looking city leaders will now begin to re-think how their communities can be better protected against future threats, both natural and man-made.

Ahmed Aboutaleb, Mayor of Rotterdam, Netherlands, has been nominated for the 20/21 World Mayor Prize by people from his city and elsewhere in The Netherlands as well as from Europe.

You may wish to support him further and comment on his achievements and plans for his city.

About World Mayor
City Mayors Foundation


- Longlist 20/21
- Selection criteria
- Covid-19
- World Mayor history
- World Mayor Prize
- Poverty
- Code of Ethics

- Mayor of Amsterdam
- Mayor of Arnhem
- Mayor of Bergamo
- Mayor of Braga
- Mayor of Bratislava
- Mayor of Carmignano
- Mayor of Cascais
- Mayor of Compton
- Mayor of Dantumadiel
- Mayor of Freetown
- Mayor of Kuala Lumpur
- Mayor of Mannheim
- Mayor of Mexico City
- Mayor of Milan
- Mayor of Rotterdam
- Mayor of Saint-Omer
- Mayor of San Bellino
- Mayor of Villa del Conte
- Mayor of Warsaw










Nominations for
Ahmed Aboutaleb
Mayor of Rotterdam (Netherlands)

Nominated by Ramon K., Netherlands:
Aboutaleb is no ordinary mayor. As the first immigrant mayor in the Netherlands, he is unique. He has taken charge of Rotterdam, Europe's biggest port and a multiracial melting pot. By 2020 more than half the more than 600,000 people of this city are predicted to be of immigrant origin. Rotterdam is also the place that gave Holland Pim Fortuyn, the maverick libertarian, populist politician accused of Islamophobia by critics and murdered by an animal rights activist seven years ago. Fortuyn's legacy is a right-wing party with fierce rhetoric about immigrants that still wins a third of votes.

No one doubts the high stakes Aboutaleb is playing for, or the high expectations that his unprecedented appointment has engendered: inevitably he has already been dubbed ‘Obama on the Maas’ (the river running through Rotterdam). As mayor of the largest port of Europe Aboutaleb has a strong international mindset. He strongly believes the challenges we are facing can only be met by sharing knowledge and working together.

Mayor Aboutaleb strongly advocates the values enshrined in the Dutch Constitution: freedom of religion, freedom of speech and the principle of non-discrimination. In his view, obtaining Dutch citizenship entails a responsibility to respect and uphold those values and to take part in building the ‘We Society’. The more people take part in this, the stronger and more resilient that society will be, both in good and bad times. He’ll regularly take neighbourhood strolls throughout Rotterdam to talk with residents about what concerns them.

During the COVID crisis he has reached out to the population by asking them for ideas how to combat the situation better, granting a financial reward for the best idea.

Nominated by D C P M, Netherlands:
Mr. Aboutaleb is comitted to community and has a clear set of values. He is a role model who shows people how to live with integrity, optimism, and hope, He is other-focussed and knows how to connect people of different back grounds and cultures. He personally visits nabourhoods to take notice of problems. He is „the example‰ of how integration can be succesful.Aboutaleb is an inpirational leader and mayor for all citizens of Rotterdam (and beyond).

Nominated by Mohamed S., outside The Netherlands:
Ahmed Aboutaleb has recently been nominated for his third term as Mayor of Rotterdam city. He is the first mayor able to connect each and every individual person within 180 nationalities in his city. His priority is sustainable development, well-being, safety and health for the inhabitants. He is concerned to promote diversity and integration and he is the mayor of all citizens.

Nominated by D. R. B., Netherlands:
As mayor of one of the biggest seaports Ahmed Aboutaleb has a daily challenge in conserving and preserving his city. Improving it's climate is of the outmost importance, not just for Rotterdam as city, but as part of Europe and the whole world.

Nominated by W. S., Netherlands:
This mayor has been a true and non judgmental leader for all inhabitants in Rotterdam. Besides that he is an example to all mayors of the Netherlands. Including those who are also in this list as he does not seem to have a personal agenda.

Nominated by Anke B., Netherlands
Mayor Aboutaleb was one of the first to say the restaurants should close earlier and send out more police to see that people keep their distance

Nominated by Kirsten, Netherlands:
Hij is de meest rustige, overtuigende, eerlijke en oprechte burgemeester die ik heb meegemaakt. Hij heeft goede ideeen, bespreekt deze rustig, geeft niet alleen maar antwoorden op de politiek correcte manier maar ook recht door zee. Hij spreekt een grote groep aan van alle achtergronden en heeft oog voor alle achtergronden. Zijn toewijding is te prijzen. Ik woon niet meer in zijn stad maar ben nog steeds groot fan en voorstander van hem als Burgemeester.

Nominated by Niels, Rotterdam:
Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb is the first Muslim mayor of Europe and has convinced both his city and his country of his genuine leadership and established great moral authority.

He made world headlines when he spoke out against Islamic terrorists, while he himself openly speaks about his belief in a city and country that we're staunchly opposed against his mayorship. Yet at the same time, he continuously engages in dialogue with people of all origins and since 2009, has had multiple visits per week with civic society. He has visited an endless stream of coffeehouses, neighborhoods, churches and is known to help people integrate into Dutch society by speaking in Mosques. Mayor Aboutaleb is also known to wander through the 600,000 people city wearing camouflage clothes, to observe the city without being recognized, and often takes notes of his strolls through town and brings up problems to his city government.

Rotterdam is Europe's biggest port and a fossil fuels giant and yet against that backdrop, our mayor and his cabinet have been taking countless international initiatives to green cities. Important initiatives such as connecting boats to electric wall-sockets, a EU collaboration of port cities (Hamburg, Antwerp) to enact emission standards, city-wide climate-change resilience measures such as "water squares" and submersible parking garages. Beyond a ambitious regional climate agenda, his continued presence on the international stage and international forums helps to convince people around the globe of the threats of climate change.

His handling of the Corona crisis has been strong, with active dialogue towards its inhabitants and constant uphill fighting with a national government lax on fighting corona. He imposed a facemask obligation once it was legally possible and closed countless of public places in fighting the pandemic, and showed up in every national TV talkshow he could to convince people of the necessity of measures. He's been extremely careful in all his public visits and for a long time he was basically the only Dutch person wearing masks amid widespread disobedience. Unfortunately he bizarrely enough contracted corona himself last week, but continues to run his city and give phone-interviews from his quarantine.

This person is genuinely one of the best people in public office the Netherlands has ever had and despite his absolute humbleness, deserves world-wide recognition for it.

Nominated by Gerard P., Netherlands:
This Mayor is a real democratic leader en respected in the whole country.

Nominated by Marjoleine v. D., Rotterdam:
Mayor Aboutaleb is keeping us together. In times that are hard and uncertain as this is, he is a true leader that keeps the citizens together. Hard working, sharing the good example, always over performing and no more promises he shows that reliability is a true virtue that a good leader needs. He is really interested in his city, he knows what's going on in our society. A good listener but a good teacher too. And always on the run for Rotterdam! He made the city a safer, cleaner and prettier town to live in.

Challenges: A greener city is a cleaner city. Citizens must show more responsibility for their environment. Why should the government always have to clean the street? Why is it so difficult not to throw your waste on the pavement? In my opinion, we have gone too far in order to clean everyone's mess behind his or her butt. This has to stop and people must be held much more responsible for their own living area. How? By raising the tax on cleaning of streets, rivers etc up to an extremely high level. Give the people a chance by lowering the tax themselves if they keep the streets clean for a year (Postal code area) so then lowering taxes depend on everyone. Behaving good saves money and that is where the Dutch are very fond of. Awarding by getting things for less or for free. But first: raise the tax!

Nominated by Monique M., Rotterdam:
Ahmed Aboutaleb is a Mayor who stands above parties, both politic, ethnic or social. He is not afraid to say what he thinks or feels, especially during critical situations. He is concerned for the parts of the city with a less favourable reputation, and even spend entire (work)days in those neighbourhoods, to hear firsthand about what goes on there. He deals with both personal en regional problems alike. A mayor for all citizens of Rotterdam (and beyond).

Challenges: It is vital to make our cities (but also the region around cities) stronger. In social, environmental, economical and long term issues.

The world population keeps on growing, more people are making their way to the cities (all over the world). To continue the way we did, by having a focus on short term gains, cheap fast housing and lack of attention to our (green) surroundings, we, as citiy-dwellers, will not endure in the long run.

During this pandemic we all realised how important and precious our surroundings are, and how fragile the systems within cities turned out. We not only need strond and agile cities, we also need green space, sustainable agriculture, a less invasive way of economics and a healthy nature to become (or remain) a resilient humanity.

Nominated by E. J., Rotterdam:
Aboutaleb really is a mayor for all citizens of Rotterdam no matter who you are or where you come from. He has a way of connecting with people and reaching out. He is very easy to approach en highly involved with local communities. His priorities are clear, he has a strong vision for Rotterdam to become our best home ever, sustainable, vibrant, liveable, aimable and what we all can do to acchieve that. He gives us something to believe in and to strive for. He can be very direct and stands for his principles and beliefs. He's not only our mayor and does us proud, he speaks up in national issues as well.

Nominated by Caroline L., Rotterdam:
The Mayor is straight forward, honest, resolute, compassionate, caring. makes good decisions regarding Zwarte Pieten discussions fireworks Old and New Corona measures. righteous does not distinguish between white black yellow green purple blue righteous does not distinguish between white black yellow green purple blue. He does not shy away from awkward discussions.

Nominated by A., Rotterdam:
During the corona outbreak our mayor quickly realised that this is no joke. He was one of the first mayors that wanted to make face masks a requirement and even thought that was hardly made possible because of the Dutch citizens being too stubborn, our mayor went out of his way to try all things to make the city a safer place. This is not the first time he has shown such great leadership. There are many times where our mayor continues to prove what strong position he takes with pride and love. Our mayor cares for our city and knows exactly what it needs.

Challenges: Simply start by planting more green. Get rid of a lot of the pavement and bricks. Cover it up with plants or create parks. Let cities cool down by the use of trees. Increase the citizen's knowledge on planet earth and the dangers of our doings. Make them aware of their responsibilities. Make companies and shops aware of other options that do not require polluting objects like plastic.

Nominated by Nellie D., outside The Netherlands:
Mayor Aboutaleb is truly a mayor of the people. I work as a civil servant in his municipality. He is a strong leader and leads by example. Decisive if necessary. Involved with the people of his city, for example, he works several days a week from a retirement home in a district that needs more attention.

Hit by corona himself and a period of quarantine and working from home behind him, he calls on people once again to be careful. He has a say because he has also experienced things himself; both corona, as well as poverty and a migrant background. Truly a mayor that we are proud of.

Nominated by M. de V., Netherlands:
De burgemeester heeft zich een leider getoond in al zijn ambstjaren. Zeker is deze tijd van Covid-19 toont hij zicht als een echte leider, inspireert mensen zicht te houden aan de regels, is moedig, staat open voor gesprek, is er wanneer nodig is en staat voor de stad Rotterdam met al zijn inwoners.

Nominated by Carla T., Rotterdam:
The Mayor is dedicated, with an eye for detail, sometimes hard but Always clear. He speaks about a behavioral crisis instead of Corona crisis and strides for tougher measurements especially if citizens cannot afford to comply with corona rules. He decided that citizens had to put on face coverings in the City of Rotterdam.

The Rotterdam climate change adaptation strategy has a course that will lead to a climate proof city and provides insight into the opportunities that climate change presents.

Nominated by Esther K., Rotterdam:
Ahmed is such a gentleman. Everybody gets his attention. He is straigt, he is social, he's clever. A great mayor for our fantastic city.

Nominated by Judith A., Rotterdam:
Our mayor is one with his city and its people. He has adapted the way of this city, hands on. He walks the Streets and talks to the men and women he meets. He really listens. He is also not afraid to role up his sleeves and act. He does not hesitate to confront people breaking the rules, but mostly he is a fine human being. He makes us proud.

Nominated by Casper B., Netherlands:
A great mayor, connecting people of any age, race and religion. Stood up bravely against terrorism, stands with the people fighting corona. Always warm but strict. Both father and teacher to his citizens. An anchor for the people. Respect!

Nominated by Johanna M., outside the Netherlands:
Mayor Aboutaleb has recently been nominated for his 3rd term as mayor of Rotterdam. He is the 2nd mayor to receive this. He is the best mayor Rotterdam has ever had. He knows what's going on in his town. Goes among people without using security. He is strict but fair and always wants the best for the city. Unfortunately, despite advocating strict Corona measures and complying with them consistently, he has become infected with the Corona virus. Mayor, get well soon! Rotterdam is waiting for you!

Nominated by SavTar, Netherlands:
His priority is wellbeing, safety and health for the inhabitants. He is a connector and straightforward. He is empathic, fair and clear. He strives for a better society and environment in good times and in times of crises! He is a real leader and therefore deserves the World Mayor Prize.

Nominated by Corry, Netherlands:
Een Burgmeester waar vele een voorbeeld aan kunnen nemen. Een leider in de coronacrisis. Een eerlijke Burgemeester voor een ieder , ongeacht kleur religie ras of geaardheid.

Nominated by Raymond, Netherlands:
The Mayor of Rotterdam makes a difference when it comes to connecting different groups in his city, in his country en he speak ups en reflects his thoughts transparantly. Being a child of immigrants, his efforts are exceptional.

Challenges: There are a lot of roofs with space...for solar, for green roofs, for gardens in the city. With the climate changing it is important to make cities green and useful when it comes to energy. No fossil energy anymore please.

Nominated by Aad, Rotterdam:
He is the mayor of all citizens, he connects people and lives for his city. Rotterdam did not have such a mayor after the Second World War.

Nominated by John O., Rotterdam:
Ahmed Aboutaleb is the first mayor able to connect each and every individual persona within our 180 nationalities counting city. Being an immigrant himself but having earned the respect from both immigrant and native inhabitants.

Nominated by Johanna M., outside the Netherlands:
Mayor Aboutaleb has recently been nominated for his 3rd term as mayor of Rotterdam. He is the 2nd mayor to receive this. He is the best mayor Rotterdam has ever had. He knows what's going on in his town. Goes among people without using security. He is strict but fair and always wants the best for the city. Unfortunately, despite advocating strict Corona measures and complying with them consistently, he has become infected with the Corona virus. Mayor, get well soon! Rotterdam is waiting for you!

Nominated by Joyce W. R., Netherlands:
Mayor Aboutaleb had eye for detail, dedicated, sometimes though but always clear. He has made Rotterdam a city where everybody is well one. All ethnicities in the city of Rotterdam is sometimes a problem. Hé is not scared to call people out. Hé is a mayor of the people.

Nominated by Alice S., outside The Netherlands:
This mayor is capable to unite all the different groups, parties and persons in this dynamic, multicultural city, where people are very very outspoken and critical. He managed to involve the inhabitants in such a way that they are now initiating their own projects and participating in projects of the city in stead of passively mocking about what is (not) being done in Rotterdam. By doing so, he shares responsibility with inhabitants, removes barriers and empowers everyone. This leads to a Œbuilding better together‚-atmosphere, proud and connected people, neighborhoods that are climbing the social ladder and- it creates jobs. Another thing I admire is how the mayor uses the energy transition as a motor to improve neighborhoods and to connect & empower people. The citizens are encouraged (budget, facilities, expertises) to develop sustainable solutions for their own neighborhoods and to propose improvements of the neighborhoods that can be combined with the energy  transition (like more trees, electric rental bikes, better lighting for safety, training of unemployed people so they get employed for installing the new heating systems). About Covid- his honest, no nonsense, shared responsibility approach has been very effective during the past months. When he explains (always using accessible language and always in dialogues) what needs to be done and why, people understand and cooperate. Right now we‚re worried, because Aboutaleb is infected with covid unfortunately.

Challenges: Think that the most important thing is to nominate only mayors who are really excellent in terms of empathy and communications (on top of the regular requirements) and mayors that have a real fit with the town. A Rotary club member who plays golf and hockey, wouldn‚t be a good choice for Rotterdam, but might be a perfect mayor for a city like Blaricum. For other ideas- just look at what Aboutaleb is doing. For exemple: in the district Carnisse there are a lot of (social/economical) problems and, though the city does a lot, there‚s no progress. So... Aboutaleb goes to Carnisse every Friday, talks with citizens and mobilizes everyone needed to get things done.

Nominated by Astrid W., Netherlands:
Aboutaleb has shown himself the best mayor of the Netherlands since 2009. The Dutch citizens would like to see him as the President of The Netherlands, that says it all.

Nominated by Pantau, Netherlands:
Ahmed Aboutaleb, is NIET zoals de burgermeester van Amsterdam, elitair, hautain , deze burgermeester is juist open naar zijn gemeenschap toe. Waar Femke Halsema (burgermeester van Amsterdam )zich alleen maar in zet voor een beperkte groep burgers, zet Ahmed Aboutaleb zich juist in voor iedere burger en weet ook wat er speelt in zijn Rotterdamse gemeenschap.

Ook is hij oprecht en verbind hij de gemeenschappen, luistert hij naar problemen en probeert hij deze ook op te lossen. Ook durft hij, waar andere de kop in het zand steken , zich in moeilijke en gevoelige tijden uit te spreken ,denk maar aan zijn toespraak na de charlie hebdo aanslag. Ook was Ahmed Aboutaleb al voor de pandemie bezig om Rotterdam , structureel, economisch, sociaal en ecologisch veerkrachtiger voor alle Rotterdamse inwoners te maken .

Challenges: (Grotere )steden moeten meer eendrachtig plannen zodat er een evenwichtige verdeling in betaalbaar wonen komt , maak meer keuze voor energie neutrale hoogbouw met daar tussen grote groene leefgebied stroken zodat de natuur de ruimte krijgt en het overtollig water niet het riool in verdwijnt maar terug de natuur in gaat (flora en fauna , verbind de steden met goed toegankelijk en betaalbaar openbaar vervoer zodat het aantrekkelijker is om met het openbaar vervoer dan met de auto te gaan .

Nominated by Renske V., Netherlands:
Integrity, an example for other mayors and people representatives. Fully integrated in Holland and respectful towards all beliefs, genders, races. Builds stability in a very devided community, a real peoples father!

Nominated by Caroline L., Rotterdam:
Straight forward, honest, resolute, compassionate, caring. makes good decisions regarding Zwarte Pieten discussions fireworks Old and New Corona measures. righteous does not distinguish between white black yellow green purple blue righteous does not distinguish between white black yellow green purple blue. He does not shy away from awkward discussions.

Nominated by Cor v. d. H., Rotterdam:
Aboutaleb, born in Marocco, is the first of his generation, who became mayor of a big Dutch city. He is very capable for his job and is respected by all people of pur city. He has the courage to say the truth in difficult situations. Even his political opponents have respect for the way he works. I am proud to have him as our mayor. An interesting detail is in my opinion, that he loves poetry

Nominated by Herman H., Rotterdam
Deze man is zeer integer, belangstellend en betrokken bij zijn inwoners.
Hij staat letterlijk en figuurlijk dicht bij zijn mensen. Voelt zich ook zeer betrokken bij buitenlandse gebeurtenissen. In de Franse taal stak hij voor de Franse mensen een hart onder de riem na de vreselijke ramp in Parijs. In deze moeilijke coronatijd wijst hij de burgers constant op regels die gehandhaafd moeten worden om een volledige lockdown te voorkomen.

Nominated by Ruud, Netherlands:
Mayor Aboutaleb has done so much for Rotterdam since he took office. He is someone with a big heart and cares a lot about the less fortunate, regardless of race, skin colour or origin. He also does a lot for the people in the disadvantaged neighborhoods such as better housing, schools and employment. He also does a lot about the environment and living conditions. He makes Rotterdam greener and greener.

He is also very much appreciated and loved outside his city. Everyone has respect in who he is and what he does. Under his leadership, Rotterdam has become an even finer city to live and work in. He's at the forefront of the battle against CoronaVirus. He leaves no stone unturned to say that you have to follow the rules, including on the national television channels.

His opinion and advice are generally respected and followed up. He is very charismatic and loved by almost everyone. A true Mayor!
Challenges: A city can become stronger if there is a lot of cooperation in all kinds of areas. It also helps if there are less sharp political contradictions and everyone is aware that they are pursuing the same goal, namely a nice city or village to live in. Nice city in the sense of strong people, fair treatment and good environment.

Nominated by Martin v. N., Netherlands:
He stands up for his town. During mayor corona crisis he asked for action and was not following the national government in policy of doing nothing. Strong man. Good mayor.

Nominated by Eric S., Netherlands:
Ahmed is an immigrant mayor who sets an example for everyone in Rotterdam, the region Rotterdam-Rijnmond and the Netherlands. Ahmed takes the lead and addresses the population without regards to persons. Ahmed listens to what is going on and actively action. The policy Riley‚s with regards to COVID are actively propagandered by him and he has an eye for the painting that this causes in society. Ahmed acts like a true mayor to its residents. The citizens love him.

Nominated by Hans R., outside The Netherlands:
He is a selfmade man with great integrity, who supports equal opportunities for everyone. Although I do not live in Rotterdam or its community, and don’t support his political party I have great respect for this man.

Nominated by Yoeri R., Rotterdam:
He is able to be tough when he needs to be, but also listen to reason. During the pandemic our city has become a hotspot for new infections, this is through little to no fault of our mayor who has held a firm position during the crisis, urging people to stay 6ft away from each other and be mindful of others in your immediate surrounding. His stance towards the placement of more substantial measures has made him a strong public figure that shows he has hearth for the city and the people living in it. He may not always have the popular opinion, but he keeps the security and health of the Rotterdammers a top priority, which cannot be said for the mayor in Amsterdam.

Nominated by Imad, Netherlands:
2014 Dutchman of the year, dedicated, committed eye for detail, tough if needed and always clear. Liked among friends and opponents, best mayor of Rotterdam and loved across the Netherlands.

Nominated by V. J. de R., Netherlands:
The mayor of Rotterdam is an inspiring man. In the Corona crisis, he is at the forefront, he frequently informs his city, with a clear message. A calm factor in a moving time. Incredibly handsome! In addition, he frequently appears in TV programs, here too he correctly informs the inhabitants of our country and stimulates them to make the right choices in this almost surrealistic time. Unfortunately he is now hit by the Covid19 himself. Hopefully he will recover well and be ready for the citizens of Rotterdam soon. Hats off to the winner!

Nominated by Marian V. E., Rotterdam:
He is a real leader in this difficult coronatime. He has a BIG heart for Rotterdam. He is able to explain his decisions and he is not afraid to look for new rules in this difficult situation. He middles between young and older people. He represents Rotterdam very well all over the world.

Nominated by D. B., Rotterdam:
He is strong, honest, very intelligent, human, social, smart, fair, creative, supporter of everyone, confident, trustful, great storyteller, good father (of all the people), dignity, full of character, nice, friendly, helicopter view, and for so many other reasons. If you nominate Femke Halsema, you cannot forget Ahmed Aboutaleb. He is simply the best.

Nominated by Veronique, Netherlands:
Hij is de burgemeester van alle Rotterdammers, hij is verbindend, duidelijke en behandelt iedereen met respect. Hij kijkt zelf wat er niet goed gaat in de wijken door naar de mensen toe te gaan en er voor te zorgen dat zaken aangepakt en opgelost worden. In de coronacrisis loopt hij voorop met zijn aanpak om het virus de kop in te drukken. Ik woon al heel lang niet meer in Rotterdam maar voor mij is hij wel mijn burgemeester.

Nominated by Monique H., Netherlands:
Aboutaleb is the most bonding Mayor in the world. He can connect right wing and left wing citizens, and make his city a multi cultural place, where people of every religion or Political conviction can live side by side.

Nominated by Jeroen, outside The Netherlands:
The mayor has been on the frontline fighting the virus in the city, he even contracted it himself. Rotterdam has a high rate of infected people because it is the main working city in the country and a city with a lot of high buildings forcing people in elevators, however as the second biggest city compaired with others Rotterdam is doing quite well.

Since Aboutaleb has become the mayor Rotterdam has seen a lot of new construction like the Markthal puting the city on the map in the country itself and beond. He managed to make the city safer and strongen and with the new construction also kept an eye on keeping the city green and where possible making it greener.

Ahmed Aboutaleb is on his way to a record. The longest-serving mayor of Rotterdam. He wants it, the city council wants it too. Undisputed, incorruptible, tireless, with a heart for the city and with a clear vision. Under his care, Rotterdam has flourished, crime has fallen and self-confidence has grown. He stood upright in all administrative storms. A great achievement in one of the toughest cities in the Netherlands. Should he say goodbye now, he will receive a statue. But he continues.

Only once before did a mayor in Rotterdam start a third term; Bram Peper. He soon exchanged the chain of office for a ministerial post and the rest is history. Ultimately, the man was rehabilitated for the receipt affair, but the fact remains that the once celebrated Peper made few friends in his last years as mayor and a culture had emerged in the town hall where critical questions were not appreciated.

Ahmed Aboutaleb is also a person who cannot tolerate criticism. He has trouble with views other than his. A conversation with him usually results in a lecture. Whether it concerns crime, the energy transition, urban development, water management, poetry or honey, the mayor understands it and likes to teach about it. READ MORE

Nominated by Frank B., Netherlands:
Mayor Aboutaleb shows leadership, decisiveness and courage at all times when needed. Exceptional strong conviction and independent behaviour and actions. And despite all of that he seems to be able to keep all parties aligned. His point of view is respected by all parties. Greener by fewer houses.

Challenges: Make cities greener by building less houses and apartment buildings. Cities should not be 'conglomerates' but only centre points with the needed facilities for an area.

Nominated by Sonja M., Netherlands:
He seems reliable and not afraid of taking impopular decisions. He is straightforward in a pleasant way. He seems to really care for his citizens. He is a rolemodel for immigrants as he is of maroccan birth. He came to the netherlands when he was 15 years old and worked hard to become what he is now. He has been the maire for almost 12 years now and seems to be loved by the majority of the inhabitants.

Nominated by Jan B., Rotterdam:
A mayor who is straightforward and does not shy away from taking measures to improve safety. Has been mayor for 12 years and, once again elected by the city council, will continue for another 6 years. Almost every Rotterdam runs away with this mayor.

Nominated by K. H., Rotterdam:
This mayor cares for the city. He is a good socialist and wants to take care of everyone who lives here, regardless background, religion etc. Although the national government did not impose strict measures to fight the virus, he did. No-nonsense mayor who is not afraid to be firm even when people don’t agree. Unfortunately he did get the virus and is now in quarantine. We all hope he recovers quickly.

Nominated by Hans v. A., Rotterdam:
A strong critical supporter of and contributor to NL national CoronaVirus measurements. Strong administrator with vision. As an immigrant himself, a strong promotor of integration of immigrants.

Nominated by Peter v. H., Netherlands:
Since March 2020 he never has underestimated the impact of Corona. Frequently he stood up and gave his opinion about the behavior of the citizens and te measures taken by the government. Begin August 2020 Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb was sitting there in a relaxed manner, when he told on television how, after much deliberation, he has decided mouth masks should be mandatory in busy shopping streets in his city. He had read all scientific reports, including those of the RIVM. He couldn't do much with it, he thought. Just 2 weeks ago our government strongly adviced citizens to use a mouth mask!! Allthough he follows the rules strongly Corona has caught him, fortunately only minor. He is a man who has great ideas about durability, energy saving, diversity and lifeability for everyone. A second generation immigrant who has become Dutch.

Nominated by Juliët B., Netherlands:
The Mayor brings human of multiple cultures together, but more important, he was the major who said to the people in the Netherlands to wear a face mask and other important measures. He really did a lot to fight for a decrease of the coronavirus in his city, but also in the whole country. Unfortunatly, he is now suffering from the covid-19 infection himself.

Nominated by Martijn S., Netherlands:
He is beloved by lost of people in the Netherlands. He is dedicated very much and ask the national government for clean and lots of action against the virus in public. He is not afraid of losing his job, he is there for the people of his city.

Nominated by Winny D., Netherlands:
He's like a father for the people of Rotterdam. He wants the best for his city and the people, no matter where you come from. His heart is in the right place

Nominated by Annemarie F., Rotterdam:
Mayor Aboutaleb has shown strong leadership during the corona crisis. He immediately took measures at the start of the crisis and has not let up since. Also he was often in the media, urging people to stick to the rules and asking the government to take action.

Mayor Aboutaleb deeply cares for the weaker people in our city. Any citizen can write to him and he always responds and if help is needed he provides it. He also cares for weak neighbourhoods and has a special focus program for the weakest neighborhoods in the city. He visits these regularly to talk to people and spends a day a week in one neighborhood that needs extra attention.

Nominated by RR, Netherlands:
Rotterdam is the city of football club Feyenoord ('Geen woorden maar daden!' = 'Actions rather than words!') Until now our government has just given strong advices instead of obligations, but Rotterdam’s mayor is doing more to contain the Covid-virus. He runs his city with clarity and vigor. He is very popular because of his deeds, not only in Rotterdam.

Nominated by E., Netherlands:
Impartial leadership. Is not just aiming for popularity like some majors do, on the contrary: he’s not afraid of taking difficult decisions that perhaps will not be received enthusiastically by all parties. But he’s always listening to people young and old of all social layers in society and regularly keeps in touch with his town‚s residents.

Nominated by Stijn Johannes, Rotterdam:
During the Coronacrisis mayor Aboutaleb has been very outspoken about his wish to be given more options by the nayional government to enact rules to limit the spread of Covid-19. By his actions he has managed to keep the infection rate lower than that of the other large cities in the Netherlands and than that of the surrounding municipalities.

Nominated by Machiel v. V., Netherlands:
The mayor calmed the emotion of angry young Moroccan / Dutch boys when that was necessary and he is a bridge between the society of Moroccan people and the Dutch people. His integrity is unsurpassed, he is very amiable and a model citizen.

Nominated by Jacques H., Netherlands:
Mr. Aboutaleb is a fine person Who has an excellent contact with the People in his city. He had shown vast and clearing leadership during Covid-19 crisis.

Nominated by W. Vl., outside the Netherlands:
He is building bridges between the people with a different background, is a very good listener, tries to mediate with the people, not against them. He is a modest man, doesn't need to be conntinuesly in the spotlights. Does his job and more. The best manfor this job!!

Nominated by Elly Rotterdam:
He is honest, clear and strong in his message. accessible and pays attention to all layers of the population. has respect for all faiths and for non-believers. Cannot stand dishonesty, he likes to mix with the population and exudes confidence. He loves our city and us. We love him

Nominated by M. S., Rotterdam:
Our Mayor is and acts as a strong leader during this the corona pandemic and crisis, inspires us to follow the rules, has courage and is open for conversation.

Nominated by Bart, Rotterdam:
The Mayor has lead us and support us on a very good way on the pandemic With good information from his lead the infection of COVID-19 is so mush less than in other city‚s as Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Den Haag. Hé gave us hope in this difficult and dark hours.

Challenges: He made our city center car free in 2020. He makes the heart of our city a green heart. He wants that Winterswijk is CO2 neutral in 2025.

Nominated by Edwin N., Netherlands:
Very accessible mayor. Strong performance in a dynamic city with many challenges and world class development as a city at the same time. Rotterdam is the go-to-city in the Netherlands for sure.

Challenges: More small parks - easy to install and maintain. Could be in combination with inhabitants’ initiatives.

Nominated by Kevin, Rotterdam:
For years he did a great job. Solid and firm leadership. On hard cases he was not afraid tot take a stance. He is there for the People. He fights against corona on the frontline. And does a great job including all groups of People. From youth to older people.

Nominated by Robert M., Netherlands:
Ahmed Aboutaleb is the first mayor with roots in morrocco for a large european city. As the Mayor of Rotterdam has shown himself to be a devoted and firm but fair mayor. A man with eye for details and always loud and clear in his messages. I've seen him as a great connector between communities in the city and willing to challenge the critics and prove them wrong for assumptions about him.

Over past few weeks he has shown himself as person devoted to firmer rules against the virus, and also as a man trying to connect communities and finding the blind spots in the current virus policies.

Yesterday the press informed everyone that the mayor has been diagnosed with covid-19, and had gone into quarantine, to thank him for his leadership in the front lines against the virus I nominate him for consideration for the 20/21 World Mayor Prize.

Nominated by Emmy H., Rotterdam:
The mayor is very tough when he has to be and soft as a baby bottom when the circumstances ask for it. Wonderful people mayor and an example that religion has nothing to do with your professional life.

Nominated by Benno, Netherlands:
The Mayor of Rotterdam has taken a fierce stance on the corona virus implementation in his city. He brings different parties together. And he knew how to cope with the virus because he also caught the virus recently.

Nominated by CQ, Netherlands:
Open en eerlijk, een heldere zienswijze en daadkracht.
Schuwt niet zijn eigen weg te kiezen.

Nominated by Nico G., Rotterdam:
Ahmed Aboutaleb is a very good person. And he wants to be a major for everyone. He wants the best for all the People and the City.

Nominated by Caroline L., Rotterdam:
Straight forward, honest, resolute, compassionate, caring. makes good decisions regarding Zwarte Pieten discussions fireworks Old and New Corona measures. righteous does not distinguish between white black yellow green purple blue righteous does not distinguish between white black yellow green purple blue. He does not shy away from awkward discussions.

Nominated by Alexandra, Netherlands:
In every aspect possible he is proven a impeccable, reliable leader for a city as complex and diverse as Rotterdam. He is the mayor for the entire city and all citizens (contrary to his counterpart Ms Halsema of the CIT of Amsterdam who only takes care of her small left wing elites). Mr Aboutaleb takes on all challenges head on including the unfortunate COVID-19 challenge.

Nominated by E. B. Rotterdam:
From the start of the pandemic Mayor Aboutaleb put much effort in communicating the urgency to stick to the rules. And trying to convince our citizens. As mayor he has great concern for young people, their education and equal chances in life. He is fair, full of empathy and I am glad he announced to be ready for a third term in office.