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Mayoral Fixation

Mayors are today's real agents of political change. Behold eight of the world's most innovative and effective civic leaders. 1 Helen...

Mayors are today's real agents of political change. Behold eight of the world's most innovative and effective civic leaders.

1 Helen Zille Cape Town, South Africahelenzille.co.zaA former political journalist, Zille is revered for her transparency as well as her commitment to Cape Town's neediest, writing off their debts with a budget surplus.


2 Bertrand Delanoë Paris, Francebertranddelanoe.netParisians have fallen for Delanoë's Paris Plage, a summer beach along the banks of the Seine, and his Vélib' bike-sharing program with a fleet that's 20,000 strong.

3 John So Melbourne, Australiajohnso.com.auMayor So helped get Melbourne named one of the Economist's "world's most livable cities"-for the third time. He's so popular that locals wear "John So-he's our bro" T-shirts.

4 Carlos Alberto Richa Curitiba, Brazilcuritiba.pr.gov.brRicha is dedicated to public health, social equality, and urban ecology in a city that already boasts the planet's best (and cheapest) bus system.

5 Elmar Ledergerber Zurich, Switzerlandcitymayors.comLedergerber has integrated sustainability into this financial-services-dominated city, cutting Zurich's carbon footprint while benefiting business and improving quality of life.

6 Jejomar C. Binay Makati, Philippinesjejomarbinay.com.phEven while expanding the Philippines' financial hub, Binay is also committed to Makati's public schools, outfitting them with modern buildings, free books, and meals for students.

7 Ritt Bjerregaard Copenhagen, Denmarkritt.dkBjerregaard pioneered "Copenhagenism," a trifecta of sustainability, a booming economy, and family life.

8 Oh Se-hoon Seoul, South Koreaseoul.go.krOh wants to turn his city into the world's first truly environmentally megacity. He also tirelessly vouches for-and drinks only-local tap water, urging residents to do the same.

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