The World Mayor Prize, created by Tann vom Hove, designed by Manuel Ferrari and sculptured by Kaspar Swankey

About World Mayor


• The 2014 shortlist
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• Code of Ethics
• The World Mayor Prize

The 2012 results
The 2012 project
The 2012 shortlist
The 2012 long-list
Code of Ethics | Código de Ética |
The World Mayor Prize
World Mayor Prize winners exchange letters

Mayor of Bilbao debates
Mayor of Perth debates
Mayor of Bilbao interview
Mayor of Perth profile

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For Mayor of Minneapolis
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The 2010 results
The 2010 project
The 2010 finalists
Marcelo Ebrard says thank you
Mick Cornett says thank you
Helen Zille and Marcelo Ebrard exchange letters

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
Contest methodology
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

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About City Mayors

Some 463,000 people took part
in the 2012 World Mayor Project

By Tann vom Hove, Senior Fellow

8 January 2013: The aims of the international World Mayor Project, launched by the urban affairs think tank City Mayors Foundation in January 2004, are twofold. First, City Mayors seeks to raise the profile of mayors worldwide by honouring those who have served their communities well, governed openly and honestly, as well as making significant contributions to cities nationally and internationally. The second objective of World Mayor is to involve as many people as possible from all parts of the world in the project. From the outset, the World Mayor Project was set up to commend mayors chosen by a large international audience rather than by acclamation by a panel of ‘experts’.

• First round
• Second round
• Votes
• Final results
• The Prize sculpture
• Eligibility
• About World Mayor

Participants in the Project are invited to nominate and vote for city leaders who demonstrate pre-eminence in qualities such as honest and open governance, leadership and vision, management abilities, financial acumen, social and economic awareness, ability to provide security and to protect the environment, in addition to displaying the will and ability to foster amity   among communities of different cultural, racial and social backgrounds.

The most outstanding mayor is presented with the World Mayor Prize, designed by Manuel Ferrari and sculptured by Kaspar Swankey. The winner of the 2012 Prize is Iñaki Azkuna, Mayor of Bilbao, Spain. In 2010 the Prize went to Marcelo Ebrard, Mayor of Mexico City. Previous recipients were Edi Rama, Mayor of Tirana (2004), Dora Bakoyannis, Mayor of Athens (2005), John So, Mayor of Melbourne (2006) and Helen Zille, Mayor of Cape Town (2008).

The 2012 runner-ups are Lisa Scaffidi, Mayor of Perth (Australia) and Joko Widodo, Mayor of Surakarta (Indonesia) until his election as Governor of Jakarta.

The first round
While mayors can be nominated at any time for the World Mayor Prize, the Project is publicly conducted over a twelve-months period. The first round took place from January to May 2012. During that period, the City Mayors Foundation invited a global audience to submit nominations of mayors deemed worthy of being numbered among the most outstanding city leaders in the world. The first-round nomination process ended on 17 May 2012.

More than 205,000 individuals and organisations nominated a total of 912 mayors for the 2012 World Mayor Prize. Some mayors received thousands of nominations while others collected a mere handful. The organisers considered only those nominations that were accompanied by supporting testimonials. The long-list of 98 official candidates included 17 mayors from North America, 14 mayors from Latin America, 34 mayors from Europe, 21 mayors from Asia, five mayors from Australasia and seven mayors from Africa.

While the World Mayor organisers took the number of nominations into account, the 2012 shortlist of 25 finalists was largely compiled based on mayors’ accomplishments detailed in the testimonials. The shortlist of 25 final nominees, published on 18 June 2012, included five mayors from North America, four from Latin America, seven from Europe, five from Asia, two from Australasia and two from Africa.

The second round
Some of the 2012 final nominees for the World Mayor title came from the world’s largest and best-known cities, while others represented smaller communities. Most of the 2012 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 2012, from 18 June to 20 October 2012, a worldwide audience was invited to select from the shortlist of 25 mayors their choice of title candidate. In order to have their votes registered, participants had, as in round one, to provide a supporting statement. Some 463,000 individuals and organisations worldwide participated in the second round of World Mayor 2012.

When establishing the rules for the project, the City Mayors Foundation emphasised that the strength of argument expressed in testimonials carried more weight than the number of votes. By stressing the significance of well-argued comments, the organisers aimed to ensure that contest participants thought carefully about the merits of their chosen mayors. Publication of some of the comments on the World Mayor website also enabled comparison. These rules furthermore allowed mayors from smaller cities to compete on equal terms with those from large metropolises.

The votes
As indicated, more than 463,000 people from all parts of the world took part in the second round of World Mayor 2012. With a share of 33 per cent, Asia contributed the largest number of votes, followed by Europe with 21 per cent, the US and Canada (20 per cent), Latin America (15 per cent), Australasia (six per cent) and Africa (five per cent).

The number of participants went up in all world regions with the exception of Latin America, which lacked a candidate with the universal appeal of Marcelo Ebrard the then Mayor of Mexico City and winner of the 2010 World Mayor Prize.

World region
2010 votes
2012 votes
USA & Canada
Latin America
Figures based on a sample of 33,000
geographically identifiable votes

The final results
In December 2012 the Fellows of The City Mayors Foundation drew up a list of ten mayors who stood out in terms of numbers of votes, achievements and quality of testimonials from their supporters.

The total number of votes cast for the mayors in the top ten exceeded 257,000, with some Asian mayors receiving tens of thousands of votes each. But the number of votes received by individual top-ten mayors was only considered secondary by the judging Fellows. 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 City Mayors panel of Fellows was of the opinion that basing judgment on numbers alone would unfairly disadvantage mayors from smaller towns.

The panel was also very much aware that an outstanding mayor from a city in the developing world requires vastly different qualities than one from Western Europe or North America. The winner of the annual World Mayor Prize is therefore never described in terms such as ‘the world’s best mayor’. RESULTS IN FULL

The World Mayor Prize sculpture
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.

Mayors to be considered for the 2012 World Mayor Prize were required to be in office on 20 October 2012, the closing date of the popular vote. An exception was made for Joko Widodo, Mayor of Surakarta, who was elected Governor of Jakarta on 21 September. Mayors wishing to be considered for the Prize were required to sign up to the City Mayors Foundation Code of Ethics.

The World Mayor Project
The World Mayor Project and The City Mayors Foundation have no connection with any city or organisation and are run on strictly non-commercial lines. Sponsorships, advertising, subscriptions, donations or any other kind of revenues are not sought, and if offered, are rejected.

Please nominate your candidate for the 2018 World Mayor Prize