World Mayor 2020

World Mayor vote 20/21

About World Mayor
City Mayors Foundation

- The Winners
- The Project
- The Finalists
- Rotterdam presentation
- The Shortlist
- The Longlist
- Selection criteria
- Covid-19
- World Mayor history
- World Mayor Sculpture
- Poverty
- Code of Ethics

- Press & Media

- Mayor of Ankara
- Mayor of Braga
- Mayor of Bratislava
- Mayor of Grigny
- Maire de Grigny
- Mayor of Rotterdam
- Mayor of Saint-Omer
- Mayor of San Bellino
- Sindaco di San Bellino
- Mayor of Villa del Conte

- Mayor of Ankara
- Mayor of Braga
- Mayor of Bratislava
- Mayor of Grigny
- Maire de Grigny
- Mayor of Mannheim
- Mayor of Raqqa
- Mayor of Rotterdam
- Mayor of Saint-Omer
- Maire de Saint-Omer
- Mayor of San Bellino
- Sindaco di San Bellino

- Mayor of Amsterdam
- Mayor of Ankara
- Mayor of Arnhem
- Mayor of Bergamo
- Mayor of Bogotá
- Mayor of Braga
- Mayor of Bratislava
- Mayor of Buenos Aires
- Mayor of Carmignano
- Mayor of Cascais
- Mayor of Compton
- Mayor of Dantumadiel
- Mayor of Freetown
- Mayor of Grenoble
- Mayor of Grigny
- Mayor of Guarulhos
- Mayor of Kuala Lumpur
- Mayor of Mannheim
- Mayor of Mexico City
- Mayor of Milan
- Mayor of Raqqa
- Mayor of Rostock
- Mayor of Rotterdam
- Mayor of Saint-Omer
- Mayor of San Bellino
- Mayor of Villa del Conte
- Mayor of Warsaw










World Mayor honours 2021
The winners of the 2021 World Mayor Prize and World Mayor Awards will be announced on 14 September 2021. In addition to presenting the bi-annual World Mayor Prize, the City Mayors Foundation, the organisers of the World Project, will honour four mayors for their achievements in fields such sustainable development, international cooperation, social and economic integration as well as fostering solidarity among citizens. The 2021 World Mayor Project will also recognise the work done by mayors from smaller communities. A special jury award will be conferred on a mayor for perseverance in the face of utmost adversity.

World Mayor finalists 2021
Alphabetically by cities

Mansur Yavas, Mayor of Ankara,
Turkey, since 2019

Testimonial: Mayor Yavas has started a brand new era for Ankara. He gave us the feeling of trust and equality. We have seen that we are not alone, that he is there for anyone he needs a helping hand even in pandemic conditions. Our children call him “Grandfather Mansur”. Because Mansur YAVAS has a heart full of humanity and has a great love. Children can feel it.

Women had a hard time in the pandemic. We heard a lot of news about being battered, thrown into the streets and left in an unsafe environment. Probably, these had various sociological reasons, but the only thing I know is that Mansur YAVAŞ established an application called “My Purple Map” prepared for women and placed it on the municipality's phone application. Any woman who feels insecure can now call for help by pressing that key. In order to walk on our streets comfortably at night, he is completing the missing street lamps despite the ban on going out in the pandemic. When we call the Call Center at 153 and send a request, we get an immediate response. He guides his teams to the tainted women and children. He loves Ankara and the people of Ankara. We love him too.

He always gives importance to women's cooperatives and sends their products to those in need or helps women to earn income by making them sell the products in the municipality's markets. While no masks were found in the early stages of the pandemic, he set up a workshop and produced masks. Then he distributed all of these masks to the public for free. Nobody could do this except Mansur Yavaş.

His leadership during the Covid-crisis has been exemplary. He was swift in acting to take quarantine measures despite the reluctance of the central government. He has continued to lead the agenda on social distancing and precautionary measures. His swift actions and consistent leadership have saved many lives!

He has supported the poor and the most vulnerable segments of the society, though a range of safety-net programmes, including food aid, monetary support, and the provision of other vital services.

His vision for post-Covid transformation is also laudable. He invests in green city projects, electrification of public transport, clean water and renewable energy.

He is fully committed to climate change adaptation and mitigation. Under his leadership, the Capital Ankara makes rapid progress to become a resilient and sustainable city. MORE
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Claudia Lopez, Mayor of Bogotá,
Colombia, since 2020

Testimonial: Claudia Lopez has been a distinguished mayor, a woman who, despite coming from the LGBT community, has managed to lead the capital city of one of the most conservative countries in the world. Her leadership has been innate, and on several times she has expressed her disagreement with the government in office, which mostly opposes her term as mayor and which is dedicated to discrediting her work.

Claudia anticipated the pandemic, built a campaign hospital in case the capital’s health system would colapse, however, thanks to its restrictions and the management of reactivation, this hospital was not necessary. She is a woman who has a much more holistic and modern vision of Bogota, she wants to lead Bogotá to become an international capital, full of inclusion and modern thinking, always taking care of the environment when necessary and promoting the protection of citizens' rights. Being a woman who grew away from politics and detached from traditional political powers make her a real leader, a leader who educated herself and trained in the streets, where people are, not in a golden cradle. MORE
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Ricardo Rio, Mayor of Braga,
Portugal, since 2013

Testimonial: Ricardo Rio is a dynamic economist who has understood the seriousness of the CoronaVirus crisis from the beginning. His actions included sanitary and health measures, which helped keep the number of deaths as low as possible and allowed the health system to cope well with the problem. His administration has helped not only his Portuguese citizens but every person regardless of the nationality.

He has worked together with the cities institutions and organizations representing the foreigners in order to safeguard the wellbeing of all people. Braga has become a modern and yet sustainable city. His vision has allowed the city to grow and become a cosmopolitan place in Portugal. Braga has been elected in recent year as one of the best cities in Europe, mostly due to its environmental, social and economic policies. I am a Brazilian immigrant living in Braga, Portugal. MORE
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Matús Vallo, Mayor of Bratislava,
Slovakia, since 2018

Testimonial: Matus Vallo is excellent progressive mayor without ties to the post-Communist era in Slovakia. Which is a big thing around here! He is not susceptible to bribery and nepotism. Part of his agenda is to end dysfunctional ties of the city, cancel unprofitable contracts with friends and family of previous management and same goes for the employees of the municipal authorities.

Young and creative visionary who is very sensitive to how to make our city a better place to live. He can balance demand for improvement of big topics like infrastructure and "little" things like making the city clean, pretty, billboard free... support culture and creating spaces for people to enjoy life - seniors coming out of their homes to rest on the benches in the shade of trees surrounded by playing kids. Little things that were never important enough for any other mayors yet vital for day-to-day quality of life of our citizens. Connecting politics and culture.

However, his strongest suit is communication. Despite the government’s terrible management of the pandemic, Vallo and his team built strong relationships with mayors of the Bratislava's suburbs. Together they are creating conditions for citizens to feel save in this difficult situation. Creating points for Covid testing, increasing frequency of the public transport to allow people travel in half-empty busses, distilling government regulations in the understandable manner for all citizens (joke: Chuck Norris understood the Slovak government's regulations. On the second time.). Vallo is creating conditions to go above and beyond the government’s rules or recommendations. MORE
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Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, Mayor of Freetown,
Sierra Leone, since 2018

Testimonial: Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr's achievements as Mayor of Freetown deserve the highest recognition. Since her election in 2018, she has made it her priority to address the City‚s socio-economic and environmental vulnerabilities. Through inclusive strategic planning, collaboration and strong leadership she has improved dramatically the lives of Freetown‚s citizens, through an ambitious programme of transformation. Known as #TransformFreetown, the Mayor has driven 11 priority sectors, grouped in to four sectors ˆ Resilience, Human Development, Healthy Cities and Urban Mobility. That she has made so many advances in these areas, in the midst of the COVID 19 Pandemic (in which Freetown is the epicenter), is testament to her personal drive and commitment to Freetown‚s Citizens.

By early April 2020, even before the outbreak had established itself in Sierra Leone, the Mayor had devised a comprehensive COVID 19 Preparedness and Response Plan, centred on the three pillars of Behavioural Change (hand-washing, mask wearing, social distance), Behavioural Change Support (eg provision of water, masks, additional space in markets) and support to Isolation and Containment (provision of isolation centres, quarantine food support). The Mayor's early vision in implementing these measures were inspired by her prior leadership role in fighting Ebola. This undoubtedly saved lives and protected livelihoods in a city in which increasing population growth is already placing significant pressure on the environment, housing and sanitation infrastructure. MORE
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Phiippe Rio, Mayor of Grigny,
France, since 2012

Testimonial: Philippe Rio is a mayor who lives in his city, sharing with its inhabitants to have grown up there, in extremely difficult conditions, to have been supported by the families of his neighborhood, to have been encouraged to succeed by studying for high level, where I then met him as a student.

Philippe was built by trusting the people around him, knowing how to mobilize their qualities and share with them his ideas and his commitments, his struggles and his successes. He opened many new avenues in the history of this city, which is the poorest in France, by connecting it to peace projects in the world, by mobilizing ministers and other representatives of the State to understand and engage means to meet the challenges of its city, and by inviting social entrepreneurs, artists and other pioneers to graft their projects in the city.

He enjoys meeting his people in their diversity, from the youngest to the oldest, he believes in their abilities and encourages them to pursue their dreams while giving them the opportunity to participate in the construction of his city. It gives them back a pride that is embodied in real transformative achievements: quality training center, discovery of nature in the city, openness to culture through a very active conservatory and partnerships with renowned cultural establishments (Opera, Parisian museums…). He knows how to mobilize the wealth of his fellow citizens' paths to invent with them a universal city which believes in its future, which shines and interests the best talents to come and participate in its projects (town planning, ecology and geothermal energy, festivals, sporting events).

He is a modest but Herculean mayor, he is a model for the mayors of poor or declining cities, he embodies the leadership of those who are deprived of everything at the start, but who mobilize their full humanity and their intelligence through an art encounter and cooperation, curiosity and imagination as well as generous and rigorous energy.

This recognition will giave enormous impetus to the popular cities of France, showing the value they bring to the construction of our country and mobilizing their energies of youth and diversity, allowing them to stand up in an aging continent and preparing it. to its regeneration. Long live Philippe Rio, long live Grigny! MORE
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Peter Kurz, Mayor of Mannheim,
Germany, since 2007

Testimonial: As the founding Director of Harvard University’s Cultural Agents Initiative, my mission is to promote research on effective policies that enhance rights and resources for broad-based populations. Part of that work is to ally with outstanding leaders to contribute to their effective policies and deepen the research. Both the hands-on and the reflective activities lead me to Mayor Peter Kurz of Mannheim, Germany. He is by far the most talented and dedicated mayor, even among your stellar candidates. For good reason, his colleagues have named him the leader among them as President of the Global Parliament of Mayors.

During this difficult year under the pall of Covid-19, many of us academics and social activists have had time to reflect and to share reflections about how to address sudden challenges that underscore structural insecurity and inequity. At one of the UN meetings in which I participated almost a year ago, the Global Parliament of Mayors partnered to consider the task of violence prevention that confronts most cities today. From the perspective of the United States, it is tragically clear that police force is both unethical and ineffective. Given his leadership of the GPL, I heard Mayor Kurz outline several humane and successful policies; many of them included participatory arts, which was the theme of my contribution to the meeting. A model facilitator who brings out particular talents in his team members for brilliant collective results, Mayor Kurz has advocated true multi-level governance and co-construction of policy in local governments. Under his leadership -- in direct response to the pandemic -- the GPM established the “Mayors Act Now Campaign” to combine public and private opportunities for mayors to exchange advice on how best to manage the pandemic. MORE
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Leila Mustapha, Mayor of Raqqa,
Syria, since 2017

Testimonial: To understand Leila Mustapha’s achievements it is necessary to remember the context of Raqqa. An ancient city with Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Turkish, Islamic and Catholic histories, the capital of ISIS captured territories from 2014- 2017. A city virtually destroyed and devastated by ISIS, the US bombing and the war to evict ISIS .

Leila, a civil engineer in her 30s has been joint president of the Raqqa Civil Council (RCC), an assembly since its creation in 2017 just before Isis was defeated to re-build and restore the life of the City.

Leila is a joint president with an Arab joint president. A remarkable attempt to bring together diverse communities to work together.

By 2017 and Isis’s defeat by the Syrian Democratic force, thousands of locals had been forced to flee, most buildings had been destroyed, there was no infrastructure, running water or electricity and few medical services. Its communities and civil life destroyed by ISIS.

Yet by 2020, Raqqa’s Museum, once the symbol of the city’s diverse cultural, religious and historical heritage was on its way to being rebuilt and restored as a symbol of Raqqa’s re-birth. MORE
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Ahmed Aboutaleb, Mayor of Rotterdam, Netherlands, since 2009
Testimonial: Ahmed 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. MORE
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François Decoster, Mayor of Saint-Omer,
France, since 2014

Testimonial: François Decoster has been Mayor of Saint-Omer since 2014 and was convincingly re-elected in June of this year while fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, with 65% of the vote. During this pandemic he led by example in taking care for his citizens while managing all the day to day affairs, and under his leadership Saint-Omer is a stronger, fairer and greener city.

He made his city stronger providing his citizens with adequate information, help and care. During the pandemic he hosted, organized or oversaw several citizen initiatives. To ensure that citizens would be able to adapt to the confinement, he hosted Facebook live sessions during which citizens could ask questions, and repeated this exercise in light of the confinement.

He was also a Mayor for all his citizens, ensuring fairness by taking measures that helped all population groups. He crafted a plan to accompany businesses and help entrepreneurs in economic difficulty with the Emergency Fund, providing €400,000 for small business and the self-employed, with, among other measures, also scrapping the annual terrace tax for 2020. MORE
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Aldo D’Achille, Mayor of San Bellino,
Italy, since 2014

Testimonial: Some words to describe Mayor Aldo's view of the community: sharing, participation, value of the environmental assets, well-being of the citizen. Since he was elected, he has tirelessly put a great effort to realise his goal of offering the highest standards of hospitality against a backdrop of sustainable, eco-friendly practice.

The village of San Bellino has never been so green, comfortable, and alluring. The Covid-19 emergency has highlit the caring, eco-friendly point of view of Aldo D'Achille as a Mayor. For example, he set up the "cassetta delle coltiva-azioni", a gift box for each family containing plants and flowers, ready to be planted in gardens and balcony. Not only it helped people to find beauty in a hard time, and to be involved in a pleasant activity during the lockdown, but it also was a creative way to save plants from decay in the florist shops, that was closed during the emergency. This is just one of the resources he employed, not to mention the psychological assistance he offered to people who lived alone, the economic help he gave to families with children and to the shops and firms of San Bellino. I think Aldo deserves to be rewarded for all the passionate efforts he puts in making our little town a green, safe, charming, welcoming place to live in. MORE
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Antonella Argenti, Mayor of Villa del Conte,
Italy, since 2019

Testimonial: Mayor Antonella Argenti has brought to Villa del Conte a breath of fresh air. Her down-to-earth and practical approach to the problems of the people living in the town makes us feel protected and cared for. Great attention is given to people left alone for which Antonella has created a never before seen figure in the administration: an department for loneliness. The problem of lonely people is becoming bigger and bigger with the number of old people steadily rising in Italy. Simple acts such as personally delivering and old woman's id-card or creating a direct line with the administration by means of a phone number and whatsapp contact represents a huge innovation for towns as small as Villa del Conte which only accounts for 6,000 residents. MORE
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