BBC News: Why this may be the Century of the City – and the Mayor

Last week, BBC News profiled several C40 mayors as part of an examination of mayoral powers. In doing so, they highlighted a key C40 principle – that because mayors are more accountable to their constituents they can be more effective leaders.

The piece drew upon insights from a number of experts on local government.

Tony Travers from the London School of Economics said:

“Mayors can be more effective than national politicians because there is less posturing…If you govern a city of 10 million people, you have to make sure everything is working and the police are on the streets. They're not highly political acts, they're done by Conservatives, Labour, Republicans, Democrats and Socialists in the same way."

Political theorist Benjamin Barber said:

“National political figures adhere to great historical norms and political ideologies but mayors have to fix things - they have to pick up the garbage and fix the sewer. They're problem solvers and that's what makes them pragmatic."

The BBC News article noted the C40 network as one of the important ways in which cities are already co-operating across borders to solve pressing problems.

With the majority of the world's population found in urban areas, the article concludes, “perhaps this will be the century of the city - and the mayor.” Here at C40 we certainly think so.

To read the full article, click here.