What do Mayor Kasim Reed of Atlanta and the mayor of Kabul, Afghanistan, have in common?
They obviously face different challenges, but a British global affairs magazine has tapped both as dynamic leaders pushing their cities forward as increasing urbanization makes city planning as vital as ever.
In its July issue, London-based Monocle magazine saw fit to include Mr. Reed in a feature titled “Meet the New Boss,” which lists 11 city and state leaders around the world tackling tough issues with a touch of creativity.
Yunus Nawandish, Mr. Reed’s counterpart in Kabul, for example, is revamping city plans that date back to 1978, restoring war-torn infrastructure and taking 10-mile walks around the city to evaluate its sense of community.
Mr. Reed doesn’t have the Taliban to deal with, but he did take on the city’s out-of-control pension liabilities, which helped him build Atlanta’s financial reserves from $7.4 million to more than $100 million since taking office in 2010.
The mayor caught Monocle’s eye in May when he spoke at an international forum on city planning in Paris, David Michon, the magazine’s managing editor, told GlobalAtlanta by email.
“We met Mayor Reed at the New Cities Summit in Paris, and were really impressed with his accomplishments, his attitude and his approachability. A lot of great things are happening in Atlanta, and the city is take steps out of being a center point for the southern United States into being a global city – and that’s exciting,” Mr. Michon said.
Mr. Reed oversaw the opening of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport‘s new international terminal a few days before visiting Paris.
Soon after returning, he guided a balanced budget through the city council. It included funding for a three-person office to manage Atlanta’s international affairs initiatives.
The article amounts to some good press for Atlanta.
Monocle, which covers global affairs, business culture, design and more through platforms including television, radio, Web and print, distributes on newsstands in more than 150,000 copies in 65 countries and has 15,802 subscribers in more than 100 countries.
Visit www.monocle.com for more information.