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asia's best cities
 1999 | 1998 | 1997 |

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home introduction Fukuoka list

Mayors' Picks: Cities That Made An Impression

Bangkok governor Bhichit Rattakul

Among various things that impress me [about Osaka] are the air quality and the way in which officials manage it. The air is considerably improved in the past 10 years, especially in the reduction of nitrogen oxides from automobile exhaust. Other things that contribute to a better environment are the mass transportation system and city planning. Modern infrastructure such as its technoport and new airport are good examples. These make it very convenient for people to travel in the least time.

Colombo mayor Omar Kamil

The administration has taken steps to make cleanliness its theme, while ensuring a people-friendly and eco-friendly outlook. With its natural resources and entrepreneurial climate thanks to a conscious partnership with the private sector, Cebu has been able to maintain a unique place among the best cities in the South.


Introduction: Identifying problems and then aggressively fixing them - that's a key to improving Asia's cities. Read on to see who has been successful, and why

Naga: Business buzzwords work in the Philippines
- Mayors' Picks: Cities That Made An Impression
Dalian: In China's industrial north, Dalian shows cleaning up the environment is good for business
Surat: A city mired in indifference stages a remarkable turnaround

Bandung: The saving grace for an Indonesian city

Cities | The Full 40

Fukuoka mayor Yamasaki Hirotaro

South Korea's largest port (world No. 5 in container handling), it produces 75% of the country's footwear exports . Pusan recently built an "intelligent" 28-story city hall, which is Net-linked to the town assembly and police HQ. Pusan is where the 2002 Asian Games will be held. Most importantly, it has successfully stabilized people's lives, improved the local economy, promoted tourism and redeveloped the city.

Taipei mayor Ma Ying-jeou

I visited the city in early March and was struck by its comprehensive infrastructure, including the transportation system which will have a new mass transit rail in time for the Olympics. The population is well educated and it is evident from their Games preparation that they are very organized too. Most of all, Sydney is highly computerized, with a good optical fiber network so that everyone can get on the Internet. This is crucial for advancement of cities .

Nagpur mayor Kalpana Pande

Following an outbreak of plague in Surat, a new commissioner initiated change in both hygiene conditions and within the municipal authority. He brought in key aspects such as performance monitoring, delegation of responsibility and transparency. Once they started showing results, residents as well as political parties of all colors extended their support. This enabled the reforms to be sustainable. Surat is now considered one of the cleanest cities in India.

Chiang Mai governor Pravit Sisophon

Its rapid growth was unimaginable 20 years ago. Since the early 1990s, Shanghai has developed its tertiary industries with the finance sector as the pillar. By 1997, the number of high-tech firms rose by 160%, and companies in finance, trade, communications and services by 530%. Now with Pudong as a modern industrial base, it is attracting even more business.

Peshawar municipal administrator Arbab Muhammad Arif

Located north of Islamabad, Abbottabad is surrounded by lofty peaks and pine-scented air. It is still uncrowded. Add to this quality civic and social services, and it is one of the most pleasant places to live in.

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