Marcelo Ebrard, Mayor of Mexico City
awarded the 2010 World Mayor Prize
(Marcelo Ebrard, el mejor alcalde del mundo: City Mayors)
7 December 2010: Marcelo Ebrard Casaubón, Head of the Federal District Government of Mexico City, has been awarded the 2010 World Mayor Prize. The mayor is a liberal reformer and pragmatist who has never shied away from challenging Mexico’s orthodoxy. He has championed women’s and minorities rights and has become an outspoken and internationally respected advocate on environmental issues.
City Mayors: What is the most recent satisfaction you have derived from the City?
Marcelo Ebrard: The greatness of the people of Mexico City recently manifested itself during the swine flu crisis, which, as the world knows, began on a large scale in our city in 2009. This was such an enormous crisis - a vast and terrible problem with an unknown virus. It was lethal. I basically asked all citizens to stop all activities for almost two weeks. We shut down everything, from schools to theatres. And they did so. We didn’t have to use force, which shows the civic awareness and responsibility of the people of Mexico City.
City Mayors: What can other cities in the world learn from Mexico City’s experience?
Marcelo Ebrard: We all learn from one another. I prefer to use the term “exchange”. I would say that out biggest advantage is Crisis Management, the high degree of vulnerability that we have has given us a certain culture, or way of confronting these crises, in an unusual and remarkable way. This is something rare in cities of this size. On the climate change action plan, some cities have asked me for a copy. On how we are preparing for the green economy, well, some mayors seem to look to our social policy, as well as to the initiatives we have taken on urban mobility and public spaces. These are the topics that other mayors ask me questions and seek information about. Mayors must act in concert. Together, we can take a more active role on global issues. Our cities are the sources of wealth, but also of pollution. Environmental matters are common areas of exchange, since we are all linked in the same dire destiny unless we soon enhance our cooperation and our actions. (You can see his interview here)