Mayor of Mechelen, Bart Somers, declared best mayor of the world in 2016
Bart Somers was awarded the 2016 World Mayor Prize ! Consequently, he now holds the title of best mayor in the world. For the first time, the City Mayors Foundation honours a Belgian with this prize. This foundation is looking for mayors who have made exceptional contributions to their community and whose vision for urban living is relevant to towns and cities across the world.
Every two years, the City Mayors Foundation, a think-tank based in London, highlights the role of mayor around the world. This year, the foundation was particularly interested in the theme of refugees. In fact, it rewarded a mayor who, together with his community, got involved in the reception of refugees and the integration of migrants.
According to the organization, Bart Somers, since he took office in 2001, has transformed a rather neglected city to one of the most attractive places in Belgium and into a role model for integration. "With more than 128 different nationalities, Mechelen is one of the most diverse cities in Europe but it is also a city where first and foremost everyone is a citizen of Mechelen. " said the City Mayors Foundation.
The former holders of this title were mayors of large cities such as Athens and Cape Town. It is therefore an honour for Belgium to count one of its inhabitants among the winners of the World Mayor Prize.