It’s official — Rotterdam’s mayor is the best in the world

Ahmed Aboutaleb, the mayor of Rotterdam has just been named the best mayor in the world for 2021 by the London City Mayor’s Foundation.

The London City Mayors Foundation — an international think tank dedicated to local governance — has presented this award every two years since 2004. Ahmed Aboutaleb is the first Dutch winner of the prize. 🥳🏆

A commitment to all things good

Aboutaleb shares the World Mayor 2021 prize with Philippe Rio, mayor of the French city of Grigny, The NOS reports. Both winners will be presented with a sculpture in recognition of their achievements — gotta have something to put on the mantlepiece.

The jury explained that both mayors have “a strong conviction that peace, freedom, equal rights, and dignity are extremely important for social cohesion.”

One of the longest-serving (and best-loved) mayors in Europe

In January this year, Aboutaleb was sworn in for his third term as mayor of Rotterdam — making him one of the longest-serving (and best-loved) mayors in Europe.

In addition to displaying “exceptional leadership” during the coronavirus crisis (that rollercoaster), Aboutaleb was recognised by the London City Mayors Foundation for “leading Rotterdam with courage, patience, and modesty since 2009.”

He’s also very aware of pressing social and environmental issues, and that cities need to be more resilient in order to withstand natural disasters — in these crazy times it’s so reassuring to know there’s a safe set of hands.

Whilst his official job description is “mayor” or burgemeester (master of citizens), many Rotterdammers refer to Mayor Aboutaleb rather as burgervader (father of citizens), as throughout his time in office Ahmed Aboutaleb has acted as a father of a very large family.

How did Aboutaleb respond?

In his response, Aboutaleb said that he feels very honoured and “speechless… that the people of Rotterdam have nominated me for this.” He continued that he feels very appreciated by the inhabitants of this beautiful city where so many different people live together.” Awww! We don’t even live in Rotterdam but we love you Mayor Aboutaleb.

What are your thoughts on Mayor Aboutaleb being elected the best mayor in the world? Tell us in the comments below!

Feature Image: Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken/Wikimedia Commons/CC2.0

Jen Lorimer 🇿🇼
An avid tea drinker, Jen was born and raised in Zimbabwe. She moved to Utrecht in 2017 to pursue her history degree. She loves people-watching, canoeing the Utrecht canals, and observing how the Dutch come alive in summer. Having been traumatised by a Dutch circle party, Jen wants to help equip other internationals with tips and tricks to survive and thrive in this wonderful flat country.


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