Top urban news, trends and reports curated for the world’s city leaders. Edited by David Hatch

Global mayors praised for focusing more on goals than politics

Author Benjamin Barber wants to see a “parliament of mayors” to craft global policies on issues such as climate change and transportation.

Mayors, take a bow. Articles in three leading publications sings your praises.

Noting that city leaders get things done, Canada’s Globe & Mail provocatively asks whether they should run the world. An online debate spotlights Benjamin Barber, author of If Mayors Ruled the World: Dysfunctional Nations, Rising Cities. He argues that big-city mayors are among the world’s most trusted and effective leaders. Barber espouses a “parliament of mayors” to help craft global policies on issues such as climate change and transportation.

The Atlantic’s James Fallows won’t go that far. “City-level success is of course no substitute for a functioning national government,” he writes. But he does make a case for “strong mayors,” not just in places like New York, but smaller cities like Greenville, South Carolina and Burlington, Vermont.

While America’s national leaders in Washington remain mired in sniping, mayors solve problems, Dan Alexander contends in Forbes. “People see Washington as Disneyland on the Potomac,” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel tells the magazine. “People see cities as driving the economic, intellectual and cultural energy in our nation.” 

Globe & Mail

More from Citiscope

Latest Innovation Feature

Latest CitiSignal

Comments Policy

Citiscope is a place for the world’s urban leaders — mayors, councils, business, civic, neighborhood and independent observers — to exchange ideas and learn from each other. Comments are most welcome. Participants must first sign in to Disqus. (Not registered? It’s easy: Sign up here or connect with a social media account.) We ask that you use your real first and last names and say what city you’re from. Comments that do not follow Citiscope’s comments policy will be removed.