Marcelo Ebrard, Mayor of Mexico City and winner of the 2010 World Mayor Prize
About World Mayor
The 2010 results
The 2010 project
The 2010 finalists
Code of Ethics | Código de Ética |
The World Mayor Prize
Marcelo Ebrard says thank you
Mick Cornett says thank you
Helen Zille and Marcelo Ebrard exchange letters
With Mayor of Mexico City
With Mayor of Oklahoma City
On Mayor of Brisbane
On Mayor of Calgary
On Mayor of Caracas
On Mayor of Chania
On Mayor of Dubai
On Mayor of Hartlepool
On Mayor of Karachi
On Mayor of Mexico City
On Mayor of Naga City
On Mayor of New Plymouth
On Mayor of Newark
On Mayor of Oklahoma City
On Mayor of Riace
On Mayor of Surrey
On Mayor of Ulm
The 2008 results
The 2008 project
The 2008 finalists
The World Mayor Award
Helen Zille thanks supporters
Mayors of Melbourne and Cape Town exchange letters
The 2006 results
The 2006 finalists
The World Mayor Award
Dora Bakoyannis congratulates John So
The 2005 results
List of finalists
Winning mayors write
Mayor Rama writes - Mayor Bakoyannis replies
The 2004 contest
List of all 2004 finalists
Edi Rama wins 2004 award
People ask - Edi Rama replies
The City Mayors Foundation
Marcelo Ebrard, Mayor of Mexico City
7 December 2010: Marcelo Luis Ebrard Casaubón, Head of the Federal District Government of Mexico City, has been awarded the 2010 World Mayor Prize. He has been Mayor of Mexico City since 2006. The mayor is a liberal reformer and pragmatist who has never shied away from challenging Mexico’s orthodoxy. He has championed women’s and minorities rights and has become an outspoken and internationally respected advocate on environmental issues.
awarded the 2010 World Mayor Prize
By Tann vom Hove, Senior Editor
| The World Mayor Project | Methodology | The top 10 mayors of 2010 |
Shortly after his election, the mayor outlined a 15-year ‘Green Plan’ (Plan Verde). The plan is designed to reduce Mexico City’s overall greenhouse gas emissions by seven million metric tonnes from its inception in 2008 until 2012. Twenty years ago Mexico’s capital was the world’s most polluted city. Today, with a metro population of more than 20 million, it is ranked outside the top 10 cities with the worst air quality. Marcelo Ebrard has signed up to City Mayors’ Code of Ethics.
Runner-up in the 2010 World Mayor Prize and winner of the World Mayor Commendation for services to his city is Mick Cornett, Mayor of Oklahoma City.
Described by one of his peers as a giant among American mayors, Mayor Cornett has turned the city, psychologically devastated by the terrorist bombing of April 1995, into one of the most vibrant and economically booming cities in the US. For his initiative on ‘This City is Going on a Diet’ he received a number of accolades and awards, culminating in his invitation to the 2010 State of the Union. Oklahoma City’s Metropolitan Area Projects (MAPS) has allowed financing of major urban capital projects in a fiscally conservative state. Thanks to good jobs and low living costs, Forbes magazine ranked Oklahoma City as America's most affordable of cities. Mick Cornett has signed up to the City Mayors’ Code of Ethics.
Third place in the 2010 World Mayor Prize went to Domenico Lucano, Mayor of Riace, southern Italy. The mayor will receive a special Commendation in recognition of his approach to helping refugees settle in his small community.
One commentator supporting his nomination described the mayor as the Mahatma Gandhi of our times. Believing that a man is a man with or without legal documents, Domenico “Mimmo” Lucano founded Città Futura (The City of the Future), an association pledged to granting asylum in Riace - the village where he has been mayor since 2004 - to immigrants and refugees from Afghanistan, Eritrea, Iraq, Somalia, Palestine and Lebanon. Working closely with the UNHCR (UN Refugee Agency) Mayor Lucano has managed to transform Riace, bringing life to it again, despite tough Italian immigration policies and opposition by the region’s Mafia. The dramatic changes began 12 years ago when a boat pushed by the wind reached the shores of Riace carrying 300 Kurdish men, women and children, “Riace was already dying” he recalled, and although that first group of immigrants eventually went to Germany, Riace continued receiving with open arms all immigrants and refugees wanting to settle in the village. During the course of the 2010 World Mayor Project, Domenico Lucano was supported by more people than Riace has citizens.
Dianne Watts, Mayor of Surrey, British Columbia, Canada, was awarded fourth place in the 2010 World Mayor Prize. She has been Mayor of Surrey since 2005 after an election in which she defeated incumbent Doug McCallum. In 2008 she was elected to a second term by a very large majority. The first woman to be Mayor of Surrey, a district which includes several urban-suburban settlements south of the Fraser River between Vancouver and the US border, she has pressed forward with her wide-ranging raft of initiatives throughout the post-2008 recession. Residents of Surrey credit the mayor with transforming the city from a ‘run-down, drug-infested place’ into a community that now attracts new residents and business. In November 2010 she turned down the chance to run for state premier of British Columbia in order to “finish her work as Surrey’s mayor”.
The top five is completed by Brisbane’s ‘can-do’ Lord Mayor Campbell Newman. He was first elected in March 2004 and re-elected for a second four-year term in 2008. Brisbane City Council is the largest local government entity in Australia serving a population of 1.04 million. Nominating Campbell Newman for the World Mayor Prize, one supporter described him as what Australians call a decent bloke. “He has great vision and determination and has tackled the issues of a growing city with vigour when so many before him have put it all in the too-hard basket. He is a person with great intellect and a can-do attitude. Brisbane people have grown to respect and admire this Mayor who puts all of his energy and enthusiasm into the job.” Campbell Newman has signed up to City Mayors’ Code of Ethics.
The World Mayor Project
World Mayor, a project originated and organised by the urban affairs think tank The City Mayors Foundation, aims to raise the profile of mayors worldwide as well as to honour those who have made long-lasting contributions to their communities and are committed to the well-being of cities nationally and internationally. According to city residents from all continents, a great mayor must possess these qualities: leadership and vision, good management abilities, social and economic awareness, ability to provide security and to protect the environment as well as having the skill to cultivate good relations in communities with different cultural, racial and social backgrounds. The World Mayor Project started in 2004. The City Mayors Foundation, set up in 2003, is instrumental in promoting good and open local government through its Code of Ethics.
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.
As Mayor of Athens, Dora Bakoyannis contributed substantially to the success of the 2004 Summer Olympics and ensured that the Games would be of long-lasting benefit to the Greek capital. 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 is an example of the ‘Australian dream’.
Helen Zille, Mayor of Cape Town, and winner of the 2008 World Mayor Prize, has been 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 is now Premier of the Western Cape Province.
World Mayor runners-up were:
In 2004: Andrés Manuel López Obrador (Mexico City}; in third place - Walter Veltroni (Rome). In 2005: Hazel McCallion (Mississauga); in third place - Alvaro Arzú (Guatemala City). In 2006: Job Cohen (Amsterdam); in third place - Stephen Reed (Harrisburg). In 2008: Elmar Ledergerber (Zurich); in third place - Leopoldo López (Chacao)
The 2010 World Mayor Project was conducted over an 18-month period, starting in spring 2009. During 2009 project organisers The City Mayors Foundation invited a worldwide audience to submit nominations of mayors deemed worthy of being counted among the most outstanding city leaders in the world. More than 118,000 voters nominated a total of 840 mayors for this year’s World Mayor Prize. Some mayors received thousands of nominations while others collected only a handful. The organisers of World Mayor 2010 only considered those nominations that were accompanied by supporting testimonials.
Based on the number of nominations and the persuasiveness of supporting statements, City Mayors drew up a shortlist of 25 finalists. The list included two mayors from Australasia, six from Asia, eight from The Americas and nine from Europe.
Some of the 2010 finalists for the World Mayor Prize were from the world’s largest and best known cities, while others represented smaller communities. Most of this year’s finalists were short-listed for the first time. Under the World Mayor rules, winners and runners-up from previous years were not eligible.
During the second round of World Mayor 2010, from June to the end of September 2010, people were invited to select from the shortlist of 25 their choice of title candidate. In order to have their votes registered, participants had to provide a reasoned comment. More than 320,000 people from around the world participated in the second round of World Mayor 2010.
In October 2010 City Mayors’ editors decided on ten mayors who stood out in terms of numbers of votes and quality of comment from their supporters. The top three ranked mayors Marcel Ebrard (Mexico City), Mick Cornett (Oklahoma City) and Domenico Lucano (Riace) were the editors’ unanimous choices.
Mayors to be considered for the 2010 World Mayor Award were required to be in office on 22 September 2010, the closing date of the popular vote. The following mayors from the shortlist resigned prior to that date for various reasons: Syed Mustafa Kamal (Karachi, Pakistan), Jesse M Robredo (Naga City, Philippines), Beto Richi (Curitiba, Brazil), Ole von Beust (Hamburg, Germany). More on methodology
The 2010 Top 10 Mayors
While the total numbers of votes cast for the mayors in the top ten exceeded 170,000, the number of votes received by individual mayors did not have a significant bearing on the decisions made by the judging panel of editors. The panel was primarily influenced by the arguments and persuasiveness of testimonials bestowed on mayors. As some city leaders in the top ten represent cities of several million people while others are mayors of much smaller towns the Mayor of Riace represents a community of some 1,700 people - the City Mayors panel of editors was of the opinion that basing judgment on numbers alone would unfairly disadvantage mayors from smaller towns.
The top 10 mayors of World Mayor 2010
In 10th place
Stuart Drummond, Mayor of Hartlepool, UK
Unusually for a civic leader, Hartlepool’s elected mayor is recognisable to most of the UK population, having been elected in 2002 on the back of a joke campaign, which attracted international attention. While Stuart Drummond may have once sought office for less than political reasons, his status as England’s only three-term elected mayor shows that voters in this North East town are satisfied with his administration. One resident commented: “I fully endorse Stuart Drummond’s nomination for the 2010 World Mayor Prize. Mayor Drummond has demonstrated a passion for Hartlepool through his pragmatic approach, strong leadership and people-focused manner. He encourages all citizens to become actively involved in democratic processes, valuing the contribution that can be made by every citizen as stakeholders in shaping the economic and social future of our town.”
Another commentator wrote: “Stuart Drummond sums up everything Hartlepool stands for. He came to power on the back of a self-deprecating campaign as our football team's mascot, but then once in office has conducted himself in a manner which shows how much he respects the people he is so proud to represent. He is a credit to the town, and the fact he used to be a monkey mascot shows he has a sense of humour lacking in a lot of politicians!” COMMENTS | PROFILE
In 9th place
Peter Tennent, former Mayor of New Plymouth, New Zealand:
Peter Tennent was Mayor of New Plymouth from 2001 to October 2010. He chose not to contest the October 2010 mayoral election. On Peter Tennent’s watch New Plymouth won several awards. At international level, it was named best city of its size in the world by the Liveable Communities Awards in 2008. Within New Zealand, New Plymouth was judged Top Town to live, work in and visit by North South Magazine. In 2007, 2008 and 2009 it was named the most cycle-friendly city in the country. In May 2010 New Plymouth came first among New Zealand Councils in a survey of customer satisfaction with regulatory building services. New Plymouth District Council is now regularly ranked at the top of performance tables. But it was not always like this. At the turn of the millennium the Taranaki region’s authorities were consistently rated towards the bottom of several national social and economic indicators.
One commentator wrote: “Peter Tennent has had an enormous effect on our community. His drive, passion and commitment to this community have been inspiring and have driven many successful changes that are making this community increasingly better to live in. He has made changes that have brought our city forward without affecting the charm and lifestyle enjoyed by those who choose to live in a smaller city.” COMMENTS | PROFILE
In 8th place
Ivo Gönner, Mayor of Ulm, Germany
Ivo Gönner, the long-serving mayor of Ulm in southern Germany, has been very influential in repositioning the local economy of the city on the upper Danube by promoting it as a science city. He is also one of the prime movers towards greater cooperation between cities, regions and countries on the Danube corridor from the Black Forest to the Black Sea. Recently, this has led to the establishment of the Council for the Danube Regions.
Mr. Gönner has been Mayor of Ulm, Germany, since 1991. He was re-elected in 1999 and again in 2007. He secured large majorities and around 80 per cent of the vote in both elections. A Social Democrat, he has managed to sustain such high levels of popular support that the opposition Christian Democrats did not field a candidate in the 2007 contest.
Among his major achievements in his long period of office in Ulm has been the successful establishment by the city council of a science park and the promotion of university and business collaboration in the bio-sciences and other new industries. Ulm has established itself as a Science City and has attracted several international science-based manufacturing and research- oriented companies.
One commentator wrote: “Ivo Gönner is the highest regarded mayor in southern Germany. He has worked tirelessly for his city, attracting modern industries, looking after the less well off and helping immigrants to regard Ulm as their new home (Heimatstadt). The mayor has also represented the interest of cities vis-a-vis the regional and federal governments and indeed on the international stage.” COMMENTS | PROFILE
In 7th place
Cory Booker, Mayor of Newark (NJ), USA
The Stanford and Oxford-educated project-dwelling mayor of Newark is a figure of unorthodox contradictions. Raised by affluent civil rights activists, his candidature for mayor was rejected by the city’s political establishment as being “not black enough”, yet the national Democrat establishment marked him as one to watch. His determined battle to unseat a corrupt city baron was the subject of an Oscar-nominated documentary and he cites both Malcolm X and the Founding Fathers as his inspiration. Since becoming mayor against the odds, he has battled crime in the notorious city and was even offered national office under the incoming Obama administration.
Cory Booker’s 2006 victory was interpreted by liberal pundits such as Arianna Huffington as an emphatic rejection by cities of the kind of Tammany Hall politics which often pass as the norm in urban America, with most complacently resigned to this. The centre-right Manhattan Institute’s City Journal has hailed his reordering of the city’s budget to concentrate on crime, the radical overhaul of the public schools system and the hiring of new managers from across the states.
One commentator wrote: “I believe Cory Booker represents a new generation of leadership in the US. Mayor Booker has served as a leader and has demonstrated that beauty can be found anywhere and he has lead a city that to many Americans is synonymous with violence - Mr. Booker has made us feel welcome to come to Newark and contribute to make the city great. I'm compelled to support Mr. Booker because I believe this man has literally provided a modern playbook for transforming urban America. I'm impressed with not only how he has presented himself with the easy work - the most difficult part of his job is happening now with fiscal deficits and revenue challenges. I'm impressed with how Mr. Booker has remained positive and still makes himself available to his residents, even in these difficult times. Usually, politicians hide - not Mr. Booker.” COMMENTS | PROFILE
In 6th place
Antonio Ledezma, Mayor of Caracas, Venezuela
Since becoming mayor in 2008, Antonio Ledezma has battled constantly against President Hugo Chávez’ national government, even going on hunger strike to protest at the usurping of his powers. Ledezma’s supporters say that the mayor has shown his love for Caracas and has proved his enormous desire to improve conditions for all citizens. One of them said: “He has inspired all citizens despite the difficult situation imposed by Venezuela's central government. He is a wonderful leader.”
Antonio Ledezma has become something of a lightning rod for the opprobrium of the Venezuelan government of President Hugo Chávez. This began in earnest not long after Ledezma took office in January 2009, when he was effectively prevented from entering his own city hall by Chávez supporters, said to be angry over the new administration’s dismissal of Chávez supporters from the city payroll. In 2009, Ledezma went on a six-day hunger strike to draw attention to the plight of his and other opposition mayors in the removal of powers by the Chávez presidency. The Organisation of American States later agreed to examine the constitutionality of the Venezuelan government’s treatment of local autonomy under such routine power-grabs.
One commentator wrote: “Antonio Ledezma has proved to be an honest man and a dedicated public servant, who believes in democracy and human rights and fights everyday in the defence of those very important concepts which are often violated in today’s Venezuela. Being part of the opposition makes it very difficult for a mayor or any public servant to get the job done because the central government sabotages their work. But Mr. Ledezma ‘does his job’ no matter what. This gives us, the people, hope for a better future for this country. We need more people like him in our country and in the world.” COMMENTS | PROFILE
In 5th place
Campbell Newman, Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Australia
In his first term Mayor Newman, from the centre-right, had to work with a centre-left Labour Party majority on the City Council. Although he made a lot of the difficulties of this arrangement in the 2008 election campaign, there had been few high profile conflicts on budgets or policy. The popularity of Campbell Newman was, however, demonstrated as he won 60 per cent of the vote to secure a second term and helped lift the Liberal vote in the 26 council ward contests. The mayor’s centre-right Liberal Party secured an overall majority with 16 seats.
The Mayor’s vision for Brisbane is of a smart-thinking and easy living city.
His stated priority is to address the heavy traffic congestion in the city by an infrastructure investment programme, which will include new roads in tunnels under the centre of the city and enhanced public transport. Dependent on the federal and state governments for finance for some of these, the mayor is finding delivery slow. Nonetheless, road capacity has increased significantly on his watch and this has generated considerable criticism from some sections of the population. Perhaps conscious of that, Mayor Newman has set himself and Brisbane the challenge of introducing “one of the best city cycle hire schemes in the world”.
One commentator wrote: “Lord Mayor Campbell Newman has collaborated successfully with the state and federal governments and private enterprise to increase funding applied to transport solutions including new major road works as well as public transport corridors such as bus lanes, bus stations and interchanges, while continuing to increase the bus and ferry fleet with 'clean air technology'. This has resulted in an integrated ticketing system for bus, rail and ferries and a large increase in the use of public transport, which has reduced traffic congestion and improved air quality. As well as planning and construction of improved bikeways and the introduction of 150 bike stations and 2,000 bikes to hire will increase the healthy travel options. Lord Mayor Campbell Newman has committed Council to purchasing 100 per cent 'Green Power' to cover all of its activities, is over half-way to planting two million trees, is buying bushland and supporting property owners to maintain biodiversity and aiming for 40 per cent green space in the region.” COMMENTS | PROFILE
In 4th place
Dianne Watts, Mayor of Surrey (BC), Canada
Dianne Watts has been Mayor of Surrey, British Columbia, Canada since 2005 after an election in which she defeated incumbent Doug McCallum. In 2008 she was elected to a second term by a very large majority.
Dianne Watts was determined to make sure that Surrey secured maximum benefit from the 2010 Winter Olympics. During the Games she and her team hosted an official games site in Holland Park in the centre of Surrey and a reception at Vancouver Art Gallery for visiting government officials and business leaders from across the world. In her April 2010 state of the city speech she said: “The 2010 Games left lasting community, business and generational legacies. Our exclusive relationship with Right to Play allowed our 70,000 school children to participate in the Olympic experience and make a difference in global citizenry. A section of the Whistler Olympic Village is being brought to Surrey and will be turned into 52 units of supported housing for the elderly. Our Games Preparation Centre has become a recreational centre.”
One commentator wrote: “Dianne Watts is moving the City of Surrey from a suburb of Vancouver into a great, modern, progressive city in its own right. She is doing this by successfully fighting the city's long crime history and by establishing a new City Centre downtown core that includes a major British Columbia university, a new city hall, theatre, regional library and other public facilities. She is doing all this without being attached to any traditional political party and runs the city's affairs in a non-partisan manner. Surrey is also one of Canada's fastest-growing cities and Mayor Watts is managing that growth most effectively by meeting the challenge of today's problems while planning for her city's future.” COMMENTS | PROFILE
In 3rd place
Domenico Lucano, Mayor of Riace, Italy
In a speech in Berlin to commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall, German film maker Wim Wenders said: “The true Utopia is not the fall of the Wall, but what has been achieved in Calabria, in Riace.”
Working closely with the UNHCR (UN Refugee Agency) Mayor Domenico Lucano has managed to restore Riace to life. According to Mayor Lucano the transformation of Riace began 12 years ago when a boat pushed by the wind reached its shores carrying 300 Kurdish men, women and children. “Riace was already dying” he recalls, and although that first group of immigrants eventually went to Germany, Riace continued receiving with open arms all immigrants and refugees wanting to settle in the village.
Mr. Lucano founded the association “Città Futura” (City of the Future) with the aim of helping newcomers with free housing and board, electricity included. In return they would learn Italian and work, with men renovating buildings and women producing handicrafts. Riace was revitalised. Before the immigrants came to the village there were no shops, restaurants, or any kind of business and the school was almost empty. Since 2004 Lucano began recruiting new residents, taking advantage of a government integration programme to bring in refugees who had passed through Italy’s detention system. Now there are all sorts of shops, and teachers are being hired.
Mayor Lucano is a simple man who works on a worn wooden desk in an ordinary house as his office, surrounded by maps of the world, a drawing of Che Chevara and a poster depicting Mexican Zapatista rebels. “Utopia” is Lucano’s favourite word and his highest ideal is: “The poorest of the poor will save Riace, and in return, Riace will save them.”
One commentator wrote: “I have known Domenico Lucano since I was a child and I can say that he is a very good man. I live in Riace and I remember how my village was before Domenico became mayor. I and another girl were the only girls born in 1989; there are only six boys of the same year in Riace. Now there are many children who live in my village and when I go for walks, finally I can listen to the happy voices of the children who play in the streets. The Domenico Lucano's project has given life to a little country that seemed dead. I thank you Domenico and I hope for your victory.” COMMENTS | PROFILE
In 2nd place
Mick Cornett, Mayor of Oklahoma City, USA
Inspired by his own weight loss, Oklahoma City mayor Mick Cornett has spearheaded efforts to motivate his own city’s residents to lose excess pounds. The former sports and city hall reporter turned ad man has, since his first election in 2004, overseen significant regeneration of the state capital’s downtown districts through innovative taxation and attracted new jobs and sports teams. Cornett is also a national leader of city governments for the US Conference of Mayors and the Republican mayoral forum.
As mayor, Mick Cornett has pushed for extensive redevelopment of the built environment, with an urban renaissance and civic beautification leading to the economic revival of its downtown districts. Oklahoma is estimated to be the 12th fastest growing large city in the US and since the 2000 census has witnessed an eight per cent growth in population terms. The mayor’s number one priority has been his signature MAPS for Kids policy. This follows the sales tax-funded $350m Metropolitan Area Projects Plan public works programme of the 1990s, conceived to improve the cityscape by civic and business leaders after Oklahoma lost out on a major relocation by United Airlines owing to perceptions of quality of life in the city. The MAPS 3 programme, approved by voters in December 2009, will see improvements to city transport (including a new streetcar system) and parks, as well as a new convention centre, funded by the extension of the sales tax.
Cornett hit the nation’s TV screens in 2007 when inspired by his own significant weight loss he launched ‘This City is Going on a Diet’, for the city’s residents to collectively lose one million pounds in excess weight. For this he received a number of accolades and awards, culminating in his invitation to the 2010 State of the Union.
One commentator wrote: “Mayor Mick Cornett is truly dedicated to making Oklahoma City all that it can be - for Oklahoma, for the United States and for the world! His ability for forward-thinking is only rivalled by his talent to engage the people of today to soundly, wisely and effectively plan for the well-being of our great city and our amazing citizens. While other cities are stepping back, during times of economic downturn, our mayor is marching our city forward with some of the most responsible and innovative planning in this century. Since first taking office in March of 2004, he is only the fourth mayor in Oklahoma City history to have been elected to a third term. Under his leadership, the city's economy has been one of the strongest in the United States, and Mayor Cornett credits Oklahoma City with ‘working hard and dreaming big’. Truer words may never have been spoken. His accomplishments are many, and his work ethic unwavering. Mick Cornett is an example of hard work, dedication and a true pioneer. It has been said that Oklahoma has set the ‘Oklahoma Standard’ - a standard by which the world views how we handle diversity, crisis, challenges and positive growth. Mayor Mick Cornett sets the ‘Oklahoma City Standard’”. INTERVIEW | COMMENTS | PROFILE
In 1st place
Marcelo Ebrard, Mayor of Mexico City
A mayor with a thousand battles behind him, Marcelo Ebrard, the Mayor of Mexico City, has proved that he is a liberal reformer and pragmatist who shows no fear of challenging Mexico’s orthodoxy. He has championed women’s and minorities rights and has become an outspoken and internationally respected advocate on environmental issues.
Mayor Ebrard has been involved both as citizen and public official in three crises: the 1985 earthquake, the environmental catastrophe of the 1980s, and more recently the swine flu outbreak of 2009 which he managed to international acclaim. He was responsible for the passing of laws allowing same-sex marriage and abortion in what is a deeply Catholic country. Now he faces his next battle, in which he hopes to lead other mayors around the world in taking on climate change “once and for all”. Proud of being a public servant, Ebrard recognises that there is still a great deal to be done for the people of Mexico City, particularly the poorest.
Marcelo Ebrard has for a number of years been urging mayors to take a more active role on climate change. In an interview with City Mayors he said: “Mayors or cities don’t have any time left. Our city can’t afford to negotiate a plan for 10 years into the future. The risks we are facing on climate change are of today. I had it made obvious to me last summer with extremely high temperatures in our city, and I’m going to face the problem again during the rainy season with unpredicted rains. We are facing the risks right now, and we need to act now.”
He continued: “In the Copenhagen Summit on the Environment we made a comprehensive collection of data of all the investments that cities are making in all these matters to reduce emissions. We presented our case during the Summit, and what cities are trying to do now is to align decisions that no one else is making. For example, what types of technology are we going to use in public transport? Well, this is something that cities can answer together. We made a first agreement for electric vehicles for next year and 11 cities are participating in this. We’ll introduce these vehicles with the same features at the same time; this opens a different market at a different speed because if I wait until the federal government makes a decision on this I’ll see you in ten years - when are they going to resolve this? Who knows? I for one can’t wait.
“Mayors can certainly align decisions; we are also working on the strategic energy norms. Where are we going with this? Because we set the regulation on all buildings, we create the markets in a way. What else can we do as mayors? Those countries that are sending more emissions into the atmosphere are not transferring resources in real terms to their cities in order to go faster in stopping this. We are also thinking about having available resources (like fund partnering with institutions), on which cities can present their projects and compete for direct resources, in addition to the local resources they have.
“International resources are taking too long - for example, the Mexico City Metro-bus project, a surface transport system of the clean-air bus with designed stops, is a success story and other cities in Mexico and the world are going to adopt the model. In order to gain access to international resources for this project, we worked six years and got only 2.5 million USD. This happens to other cities as well. Take, for instance, the carbon offset bonds and other international initiatives that have not been implemented. They are slow, expensive, and inaccessible. We propose a direct way of allocating resources. All those millions of dollars, let’s take a part of that money, make those resources available, let’s set the rules, let’s get the job done because we don’t have time - otherwise it’s all bla bla bla, just talk.” INTERVIEW | COMMENTS | PROFILE
Mick Cornett, Mayor of Oklahoma City. first runner-up and winner of the 2010 World Mayor Commendation
• Dave Bronconnier, Mayor of Calgary, Canada
• Cory Booker, Mayor of Newark, USA
• Mick Cornett, Mayor of Oklahoma City, USA
• Dianne Watts, Mayor of Surrey, Canada
• Antonio Ledezma, Mayor of Caracas, Venezuela
• Beto Richa, Mayor of Curitiba, Brazil*
• Amazonino Mendes, Mayor of Manaus, Brazil
• Marcelo Ebrard, Mayor of Mexico City, Mexico
• Omar Manni, Mayor of Amman, Jordan
• Hussain Nasser Lootah, Mayor of Dubai, United Arab Emirates
• Syed Mustafa Kamal, Mayor of Karachi, Pakistan*
• Shraddha Jadhav, Mayor of Mumbai, India
• Jesse M Robredo, Mayor of Naga City, Philippines*
• Huang Xingguo, Mayor of Tianjin, China
• Campbell Newman, Mayor of Brisbane, Australia
• Peter Tennent, Mayor of New Plymouth, New Zealand
• Maria Emília Neto de Sousa, Mayor of Almada, Portugal
• Kyriakos Virvidakis, Mayor of Chania, Greece
• Ole von Beust, Mayor of Hamburg, Germany*
• Stuart Drummond, Mayor of Hartlepool, UK
• Gérard Collomb, Mayor of Lyon, France
• Ilmar Reepalu, Mayor of Malmo, Sweden
• Adeline Hazan, Mayor of Reims, France
• Domenico Lucano, Mayor of Riace, Italy
• Ivo Gönner, Mayor of Ulm, Germany
*Mayors to be considered for the 2010 World Mayor Prize were required to be in office on 22 September 2010, the closing date of public partticipation. The following mayors from the shortlist resigned prior to that date for various reasons: Syed Mustafa Kamal (Karachi, Pakistan), Jesse M Robredo (Naga City, Philippines), Beto Richi (Curitiba, Brazil), Ole von Beust (Hamburg, Germany).