03Relationships and governance

This question aims to better understand the perceived relationship city leaders have with national policymakers and other stakeholders.

Figure 10: Relationships

Overall, city leaders view relationships with businesses, community groups and neighbouring local authorities as positive. These closer local working relationships demonstrate the strength of local government in managing the issues close to residents and workers.

The majority of leaders see the relationship to both government ministers and policy and lobby groups as neutral. Only 13 per cent of leaders said their relationship with government ministers is negative compared to one-third (32 per cent) of last year’s respondents. One-quarter of leaders (25 per cent) reported positive relationships with policy and lobby groups, while only 6 per cent reported negative relationships with them.

Similar to last year, most respondents reported that they have a positive relationship with businesses and community groups. The majority of this year’s respondents reported that their relationship with businesses was positive (91 per cent), as was contact with community groups (81 per cent of leaders reported positive contact).

Nearly all leaders identified links to international bodies as either neutral (59 per cent) or not applicable (22 per cent).

Figure 11: International relationships

International organisations help cities learn from one another, and some provide resources for research and projects that will help fulfil a policy initiative that is common to cities around the world. Organisations focussed on climate change and specific development issues provide valuable resources and networks for cities.

Most city leaders surveyed (53 per cent) are not members of international organisations compared to 38 per cent who are. Out of these, more than half are part of Eurocities, and one-quarter said they are part of 100 Resilient Cities. Other organisations that were mentioned are C40 Cities, World Cities Cultural Forum and Strong Cities Network amongst others.