Elmar Ledergerber has been named one of the year's most outstanding mayors by a London-based think tank, in second place after the mayor of Cape Town Helen Zille.
The 2008 World Mayor Commendation was awarded to Ledergerber "because of his ability to build bridges between the wealthy sections of society in the city and the less well-off".
"The Mayor believes everyone, Swiss or non-Swiss, living in Zurich should feel the city is their home," the competition organisers said.
World Mayor, a project organised by the urban affairs think tank City Mayors, aims to raise the profile of mayors worldwide as well as to honour those who have made long-lasting contributions to their communities.
More than 74,000 voters nominated a total of 820 mayors for this year's World Mayor Award. The finalists were then chosen by a judging panel, which also took testimonials into account.
Ledergerber, who has been mayor of Zurich since 2002, said the award was a great honour, most of all as a mark of respect for the city of Zurich.