Iñaki Azkuna, Mayor of Bilbao, has been awarded the 2012 World Mayor Prize. It has 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 off by two events: the opening of the Guggenheim Museum in 1997 and the election of Iñaki Azkuna as mayor two years later.
Mayor Azkuna has been recognised as leading the most transparent municipal administration in Spain. The mayor stresses the importance of involving citizens in the development process of new city projects from the planning and design stages and in the evaluation of municipal policies.
Commenting on the desire of some of Spain’s region for greater independence, Mayor Azkuna, who is a member of the Basque National Party (Partido Nacionalista Vasco) said in a question-and-answer session with Bilbao citizens that he favoured inter-dependence. “I believe that we increasingly need one another,” he stressed.
Mayor Azkuna has signed up to City Mayors Code of Ethics, which sets out guidlelines for honest, transparent and non-discriminationary municipal government.
Runner-up in the 2012 World Mayor Project and winner of the World Mayor Commendation for services to her city is Lisa Scaffidi, Mayor of Perth, Western Australia. Tann vom Hove, Senior Fellow at the City Mayors Foundation, said she had the vision and energy to make Perth into one of the most remarkable cities in the world. “Under Mayor Scaffidi’s leadership, Perth has become Australia’s third city after Sydney and Melbourne,” he adds.
The top 10 mayors of World Mayor 2012
1. Iñaki Azkuna, Bilbao, Spain
2. Lisa Scaffidi, Perth, Australia
3. Joko Widodo, Surakarta, Indonesia
4. Régis Labeaume, Québec City, Canada
5. John F Cook, El Paso, USA
6. Park Wan-su, Changwon City, South Korea
7. Len Brown, Auckland, New Zealand
8. Edgardo Pamintuan, Angeles City, Philippines
9. Mouhib Khatir, Zeralda, Algeria
10. Alfonso Sánchez Garza, Matamoros, Mexico
Source: Municipality of Bilbao