Iñaki Azkuna named as “2012’s World Mayor”January 9, 2013
Funding Scheme: 2013-01-09
Bilbao’s mayor and former EUROCITIES president, Iñaki Azkuna, is the winner of “the 2012 World Mayor prize”, awarded to the best mayor in the world. That’s been granted for his involvement in the decline of Bilbao and transforming this industrial city into the crossroads of art and tourism.
Iñaki Azkuna, mayor of Bilbao and president of EUROCITIES from 1999-2000, was awarded the 2012 World Mayor prize, beating runners up from Australian city Perth and Surakarta in Indonesia.
Iñaki Azkuna, who has been mayor of Bilbao since 1999, has been praised for his role in transforming Bilbao from declining industrial city to a hub of art and tourism. The opening of Bilbao’s Guggenheim museum in 1997 was also a strong driver for change in the city, and the mayor has made the most of this to promote his city’s cultural credentials, said Tann vom Hove, senior fellow at the City Mayors Foundation, the organisation behind the prize.
He also praised the mayor’s sound financial management, using stable economic times to repay debt whilst also paying attention to investments important to the future of the city.
While winner Bilbao is the only European city to feature in the final top ten of the 2012 World Mayor line up, Iñaki Azkuna featured amongst a number of other EUROCITIES colleagues when the shortlist was announced in June 2012, including the mayors of Brussels, Florence, Krakow, Ljubljana, Oslo and Rotterdam.
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