World Mayor 2020

World Mayor vote 20/21
The 2021 World Mayor Project
Dedicated to Stronger | Fairer | Greener cities
By Tann vom Hove, Senior Fellow

ON THIS PAGE: Objectives and Methodology ||| The World Mayor Project ||| The 2021 Longlist ||| The 2021 Shortlist ||| Past winners ||| The World Mayor Prize and Awards ||| The City Mayors Foundation |||

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










Objectives and Methodology
The international World Mayor Project has been recognising exceptional mayors since 2004. The aim of the Project, founded and run by the London-based City Mayors Foundation, is, in addition to raising the profile of mayors - who have made significant contributions to cities nationally and internationally - the promotion of public debate about and participation in local government. Interest in local affairs has fallen right across the world. In many countries only a minority of the electorate participate in local elections – some mayors of important US cities are elected on a turnout of less than 20 per cent.

To make local affairs more engaging, World Mayor was conceived as a competitive project that invites the public to nominate outstanding city leaders for the World Mayor Prize and Awards. Participants are asked to describe the qualities and accomplishments of their chosen mayors. They are also encouraged to compare the challenges faced by their own cities with those in other parts of the world. All nominated mayors and those ultimately shortlisted for the Honours are therefore chosen by a committed international audience rather than by a jury panel of ‘experts’.

The World Mayor Project
When the rules for the World Mayor Project were established, the City Mayors Foundation emphasised that the strength of argument expressed in testimonials, tributes and comments will carry more weight than their actual numbers. By stressing the significance of well-argued comments, the organisers aim to ensure that project participants think carefully about the merits of their chosen mayors. A cross-selection of the most interesting testimonials are published on the World Mayor website. The rules also enable mayors from smaller towns to compete on equal terms with those from large metropolises.

While in years 2004 to 2014 municipal leaders were nominated because of their general qualities such as conduct, competence, financial acumen as well as social, economic and environmental awareness, the 2016 shortlist was made up of mayors who contributed extraordinarily to the acceptance and integration of refugees and immigrants. The 2018 World Mayor Project was dedicated to women in local government. It featured the achievements of women mayors from across the world and honoured the best of them.

The 2021 Project was launched as World Mayor 2020 a few weeks before the CoronaVirus spread across the world. The ensuing pandemic necessitated a delay of six months. World Mayor 2020 thus became World Mayor 2021.

Covid also had an impact on the focus for the 2021 Project. The pandemic revealed the particular strengths of cities but also their vulnerabilities during a crisis that affects all their citizens. On the one had, municipal governments can react fast and offer targeted support to the weakest, on the other hand many local communities lack the resources to deal effectively with a crisis such as Covid.

To be prepared for future crises, man-made or natural, towns and cities have to become more resilient - structurally, economically, socially and environmentally. The motto for Word Mayor 2021 was Stronger | Fairer | Greener cities. The Project honours mayors who understand the challenges ahead and are preparing to meet them.

The World Mayor 2021 long- and shortlists include mayors from towns and cities of all sizes who have served with competence, integrity, determination and imagination. The 2021 World Mayor Prize and Awards are conferred on mayors who have made outstanding and long-lasting contributions to their towns and cities as well as understand that by working together with mayors from other communities, local government can influence developments nationally and across the world.

The 2021 Longlist
The 2021 World Mayor Project was conducted from the beginning of 2020 to the summer of 2021. During the first round, which took place from January 2020 to the end of that year, the Project’s organisers invited the public to submit nominations of mayors who, in their opinion, fulfilled the Project criteria. Nominations had to be accompanied by statements detailing mayors’ qualities, goals and achievements. The final edition of the longlist for the 2021 World Mayor Prize and Awards included 81 mayors from 38 countries in most world regions: North America (17); South America (6); Europe (40); Asia (12); Australasia (2); Africa (4). Some mayors govern large metropolises, such as Chicago, Mexico City or Delhi while others represent smaller towns and cities.

The 2021 Shortlist
The shortlist for the 2021 World Mayor Prize, which was announced on 3 February 2021, included 32 mayors from 21 countries whose leadership during the Covid pandemic has provided their communities with protection and assurance. To be shortlisted, mayors also had to show an awareness of the long-term implications of the pandemic. Returning to the ‘old normal’ should not be the aim. In order to protect communities from future natural or man-made disasters, cities must become Stronger | Fairer | Greener.

The 2021 World Mayor shortlist included mayors from some of the world’s largest metropolises but also many from medium-sized and smaller towns and cities. The World Mayor Project features the challenges mayors face in different parts of the world and highlights their achievements. World Mayor 2021 honoured those who have convinced their fellow citizens that they strive for a civic society that is Stronger | Fairer | Greener.

From February until June 2021, the public was invited to select from the shortlist of 32 mayors their choice of Honours candidates. Similar to round one, participants were asked to provide a persuasive testimonial to back up their choice. Mere comments like ‘she is the best mayor in the world’ or ‘he is such a great mayor’ were not considered by the jury.

World Mayor 2021 did not offer a click-voting option. Each shortlisted mayor was allocated a unique email address to which participants had to send their votes and comments. This method largely eliminated frivolous and manipulated voting. The organisers also introduced two additional filters to detect instances of fraudulent voting.

Following the closure of the second round, the organisers of the 2021 World Mayor Project began a process of verification and evaluation. In September 2021, the World Mayor fellows decided on a list of nine mayors who stood out in terms of accomplishments as well as backing from their fellow citizens and peers. All top-nine mayors also received considerable support from outside their communities and even countries.

Past winners of the
World Mayor Prize and Awards

In 2004 Edi Rama won the Prize for his achievements in turning the drab and neglected post-communist capital of Albania into a thriving western European city. Edi Rama is now Prime Minister of Albania.

As Mayor of Athens, Dora Bakoyannis contributed substantially to the success of the 2004 Summer Olympics. After receiving the 2005 World Mayor Prize, she was appointed Greek foreign minister.

John So, the winner of World Mayor 2006, was Melbourne’s first directly elected Lord Mayor. Born in Hong Kong, he represented an example of the ‘Australian dream’.

Helen Zille, Mayor of Cape Town, and winner of the 2008 World Mayor Prize, was described as an ‘amazing lady’ who in a country devoid of present-day role models was making a difference and giving people hope. One admirer said: “Her only equals are Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela in Southern Africa.” Helen Zille was subsequently elected Premier of the Western Cape Province.

Marcelo Ebrard, Mayor of Mexico City, was awarded the 2010 World Mayor Prize. Marcelo Ebrard was Mayor of Mexico City from 2006 to 2012. During his time in office, the mayor never shied away from challenging Mexico’s orthodoxy. He championed the rights of women and minorities and became an outspoken and internationally respected advocate on environmental issues. In December 2018, Marcelo Ebrard was appointed Foreign Minister of Mexico.

Iñaki Azkuna, Mayor of Bilbao, Spain, was awarded the 2012 World Mayor Prize. It had been said that Bilbao’s transformation from a declining industrial city in Spain’s northern Basque Province to an international centre for tourism and the arts has been sparked by two events: the opening of the Guggenheim Museum in 1997 and the election of Iñaki Azkuna as mayor two years later. Iñaki Azkuna died in March 2014.

Naheed Nenshi, Mayor of Calgary, Canada, was warded the 2014 World Mayor Prize. The mayor has antagonised much of conservative opinion in Calgary and provincial Alberta but has secured strong support for his leadership. He has used social media extensively and emphasised the need to further diversify the city economy. Transparency and dialogue are the central principles of the mayor’s approach. In 2014 he was a signatory to a document, which took forward the case for Charter status for Alberta’s cities.

Bart Somers, Mayor of Mechelen, Belgium, was awarded the 2016 World Mayor Prize. Long before the flow of refugees from the Middle East and Africa became officially a ‘crisis’ in the summer of 2015, Bart Somers recognised the utmost importance of integration. In an interview with World Mayor, the Mechelen Mayor says “What counts is not your origin, but your future.” With more than 128 different nationalities, Mechelen is one of the most diverse cities in Europe but it is also a city where first and foremost everyone is a citizen of Mechelen.

Valeria Mancinelli, Mayor of Ancona, Italy, was awarded the 2018 World Mayor Prize. Under her leadership, Ancona, the capital of the March region on the Adriatic coast, has enjoyed strong economic growth. When Mayor Mancinelli took office in 2013, the all important shipbuilding sector was facing enormous difficulties, which badly affected the many small businesses in the city. The newly elected Mayor was determined to revive the industry, that can trace its history back to Roman times. Valeria Mancinelli set off by creating a cross-city partnership involving the public and private sectors as well as the working population. From the outset, Mayor Mancinelli has kept the public fully informed about the challenges ahead, her goals as well as the successes achieved and difficulties encountered.

World Mayor runners-up were:
In 2004: Andrés Manuel López Obrador (Mexico City} In July 2018, López Obrado was elected President of Mexico; in third place - Walter Veltroni (Rome).
In 2005: Hazel McCallion (Mississauga, Canada); in third place - Alvaro Arzú (Guatemala City) He died in April 2018.
In 2006: Job Cohen (Amsterdam); in third place - Stephen Reed (Harrisburg, USA).
In 2008: Elmar Ledergerber (Zurich); in third place - Leopoldo López (Chacao, Venezuela).
In 2010: Mick Cornett (Oklahoma City, USA); in third place Domenico Lucano (Riace, Italy).
In 2012: Lisa Scaffidi (Perth, Australia); in third place Joko Widodo (Surakarta, Indonesia) He became President of Indonesia in October 2014.
In 2014: Daniël Termont (Ghent, Belgium); in third place Tri Rismaharini (Surabaya, Indonesia)
In 2016: Wolfgang G Müller (Lahr, Germany); in third place Georgios Kaminis (Athens, Greece)
In 2018: Ros Jones (Doncaster, UK); Nathalie Appéré (Rennes, France); Charlotte Britz (Saarbrücken, Germany; Beng Climaco (Zamboanga City, Philippines); Henriette Reker (Colone, Germany); Betsy Price (Fort Worth, USA); Martine Aubry (Lille, France); Anne Hidalgo (Paris, France); Jasna Gabric (Trbovlje, Slovenia); Souad Abderrahim (Tunis, Tunesia)

The World Mayor Prize and Awards
French artist Manuel Ferrari designed the World Mayor Prize sculpture in 2004. The City Mayors Foundation invited the artist to create a sculpture that was as unique as the city of the winning mayor. The chosen design of three interlocking cubes emphasises the need of growing cities to be built on strong foundations. A slim, upward-looking figure symbolises all those citizens who chose cities to realise their ambitions. The sculpture is hand crafted by Berlin-based blacksmith Kaspar Swankey.

The seven World Mayor Award brass plaques were designed and engraved in London.

The City Mayors Foundation
The World Mayor Project and The City Mayors Foundation have no connection with any city or organisation and are run on philanthropic lines. The Foundation is financed and maintained by its fellows according to their means and expertise. Sponsorships, advertising, subscriptions, donations or any other kind of revenues are not sought, and if offered, are rejected.

The World Mayor team: Tann vom Hove, Matteo Dalle Fratte, Michael O’Connor, Mayraj Fahim, Graham Cunningham, Brian Baker, Paulo Botas, Sheila Reade, Adriana Maciel, Andrew Stevens, Jacek Bruchal, Kaspar Swankey, Marie Fleury, Paul Schiller