The National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi is one of India’s 29 states, with a population of 16.6 million. Its powers are closely dependent on the Indian national government. At the state level, powerful bodies like the Delhi Development Authority and the Delhi Police are centrally supervised. Executive power is exerted through the Chief Minister of Delhi, who is elected by 70 members of the Delhi Legislative Assembly. The central government appoints the Lieutenant Governor. At the local level, there are 11 districts administered through four Municipal Corporations and, partly, by the Delhi Cantonment Board. The executives within these institutions are appointed by national ministries. In 2012, a change in legislation saw the Delhi Municipal Corporation split into three separate corporations: the East, South and North Delhi Corporations, each with their own commissioner and mayor. 22% of the NCT’s budget is allocated to public transport and 13% to urban development and housing.
Since 2000, the eight million residents of London have been governed by a directly elected mayor and the Greater London Authority. The mayor sets the strategic framework for all of London’s 33 boroughs (including the Corporation of London) and has executive powers over a number of city-wide areas including transport (the mayor chairs Transport for London), policing, fire and emergency services, inward investment and, to a degree, regeneration and housing. Other areas like education and health are controlled by central or local government. Unlike other nations, there is no state or regional level of governance in the UK. The mayor has the largest electorate in the UK, and one of the largest in Europe, with 5.8 million voters entitled to take part in elections every four years. The 25 directly elected members of the London Assembly have the responsibility of scrutinising the Mayor’s Office. Local boroughs, made up roughly 200,000-300,000 residents, are responsible for most other services including schools, social services planning, environment and waste collection. 28 of the 33 borough leaders are indirectly elected through the borough councils, with four borough-level mayors directly elected. The lion’s share of the GLA budget is spent on transport (60%), with nearly one-third on police and security.
The City of Bogotá is the capital of Colombia with a population of over seven million people. It is governed by a directly elected mayor, who cannot hold office for more than one four-year term consecutively. While the city formally lies within the Department of Cundinamarca, it is administered independently from the rest of the state and has a degree of autonomy, with 45 directly elected councillors on the Bogotá City Council. Like the UK and unlike India, the power of the regional state is not dominant in city governance structures. The mayor of Bogotá has relatively strong powers across many different sectors including education, health and transport, while the 20 local administrative boards, each made up of 7-11 members, have relatively few responsibilities compared to local boroughs in other cities. The mayor’s and City Council’s direct influence over transport, health, environmental and educational policies account for the city’s ability to implement a series of successful innovations, including the Transmilenio Bus Rapid Transit system, the ciclovía network of cycle ways, and the provision of high-quality schools and libraries near the city’s most deprived communities. 26% of the city budget is allocated to education, with 17% on health and 13% on transport.
Tokyo is largest urban agglomeration in the world with a population of 38 million people. It is the capital of Japan (and one of its 47 prefectures) and has 13.2 million residents. Despite its size, it has developed an articulated metropolitan governance system that responds to its specific economic, environmental and social challenges, with one of the most sophisticated and efficient integrated public transport systems in the world. Given the size and economic weight of the greater Tokyo area, the directly elected Governor of Tokyo is the second most powerful figure in Japan after the Prime Minister, with an electorate of 9.6 million residents. 127 members of the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly are directly elected. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) administers a total of 62 municipalities which include 23 special wards, 26 cities, five towns and eight villages. Each of these 62 units has a directly elected mayor and assembly who serve office for four years. While the TMG handles broader administrative works, local municipalities are responsible for local services such as education, health and welfare. The 23 special high-density wards are home to major business activities, with different needs from the other municipalities in the prefecture. While 16% of the TMG budget goes to education, 14% to civil engineering and 14% to social welfare, it is interesting to note that 15% is allocated to special ward initiatives.