22 October 2021 – During the GPM Annual Summit 2021, GPM Chair Mayor Peter Kurz (Mannheim, Germany) and host city Mayor Leoluca Orlando (Palermo, Italy) unveiled a commemorative plaque dedicated to Dr. Benjamin Barber, philosopher and founder of the GPM, who passed away in 2017. The plaque is placed inside the Palazzo Comitini, headquarter of the Metropolitan City of Palermo, and reads “With admiration and gratitude in shared commitment to the interdependence of peoples, to the role of local governments”.

GPM Chair Kurz said: “Benjamin Barber was a bold, influential and innovative thinker and a passionate advocate for the empowerment of cities. He believed that effective city leadership could make the world a better, safer and more sustainable place for all. With the Global Parliament of Mayors we work to turn his vision into reality. As one of the founding members of the GPM I believe that Palermo is the perfect place to honour Benjamin Barber’s commitment and legacy”.

Mayor Orlando commented: “The unveiling of the plaque in memory of Benjamin Barber who mentioned the city of Palermo as one of the ten model cities for the future of the world, is an opportunity to leave in history the memory of his commitment to the interdependence of peoples and the role of local governments. Benjamin Barber is a source of inspiration for many of us mayors, a fundamental guide for the birth of the Global Parliament of Mayors”.

The ceremony was attended by Marcin Krupa, Mayor of Katowice (Poland) and Michael Delafosse, Mayor of Montpellier (France), both members of the Global Parliament of Mayors, David Balaba, former Mayor of Iganga (Uganda), Ed Johnson, former Mayor of Asbury Park and GPM Honorary Member,  General Manager Metropolitan City of Palermo, for the Metropolitan City, Antonella Marascia, and Executive Director of the GPM Secretariat Caroline Schep (The Hague, The Netherlands).