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ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability is a global network working with more than 2,500 local and regional governments committed to sustainable urban development.

ICLEI Regional Secretariats and country offices

20 November 2023

Four ICLEI Member Mayors are finalists for 2023 World Mayor Prize


Four of the nine leaders finalists for the 2023 World Mayor Prize and Awards hail from ICLEI Member Cities. The winner will be announced in January 2024.

Initially, there were 92 contenders for 2023 World Mayor Prize and Awards, but only nine emerged as finalists. Since its inception in 2004, this biennial award has honored mayors who have worked to benefit all citizens, irrespective of race, gender, religion, politics, or legal status. This year’s edition celebrates mayors who have fostered friendship, partnership, and cross-border cooperation.

Common qualities among the finalists include a deep understanding of climate challenges, provision of opportunities for the youth, and a dedication to caring for those in need, reflecting a deep-rooted affection for their fellow citizens.

This year, four leaders from ICLEI Members local governments are finalists for the award. From Europe, Mayor Elke Kahr of Graz, Austria; Mayor Marvin Rees of Bristol, UK and Mayor Sharon Dijksma of Utrecht, Netherlands and from Africa, Mayor Manuel De Araújo of Quelimane, Mozambique, received the honor.

“Cities and local governments are more important than ever in tackling the multiple global challenges in a multi-level governance system and need strong leadership to meet these expectations. Therefore, we are proud to see that the great work of Mayors from our network is recognized as they develop and transform their constituencies to be future-proof and resilient,” said Wolfgang Teubner, Regional Director of ICLEI Europe.

The selection process for the awards doesn’t involve a jury. Instead, community members are the ones nominating their preferred candidates. Although the competition considers votes, it also values support statements, ensuring fair gameplay for all community sizes. There is still time to send an endorsement supporting the finalists through the World Mayor Prize platform. The winner will be announced in January 2024.

To know more about the mayors in the competition, all finalists have been invited to contribute an essay (see an example) for this year’s award and asked to talk about the most critical issues affecting their communities. Their articles will be published in early December.

In addition, Kobie Brand, ICLEI Deputy Secretary General and Regional Director of ICLEI Africa, stated: “We congratulate the inspiring Mayors from our network who are finalists in the 2023 World Mayor Prize. These Mayors are committed to strengthening collaboration and partnerships, sharing their successes and lessons, and leading the way to ensure an equitable and resilient future for all.”

The World Mayor Prize and Award was created by the City Mayors Foundation, an international non-profit research think tank that collaborates with both large and small communities worldwide in their quest to enhance social equality, develop a sustainable future, and gather resources to withstand natural and man-made disasters. Learn more about the award here.

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