The Economist Intelligence Unit has published the Global Liveability Report for 2017 and there is a good reason for Singaporeans to cheer. For the first time ever, Singapore has outranked Hong Kong. There’s more good news in store. Singapore has climbed up eleven places to feature at the 35th place and this is the highest ever for the island nation. Hong Kong is at the 45th spot.
The Economist Intelligence Unit pegs Melbourne as the most liveable city in the world, followed by Vienna and Vancouver. It must be noted that this is the seventh consecutive year Melbourne has topped the list. Vienna had been the most liveable city for many years, consecutive and inconsecutive, before Melbourne snatched the topmost rank. Vancouver has also finds its rightful place at the zenith in the past. Joining the triumphant triumvirate to round off the top five are Toronto and Calgary. Adelaide is sixth while fellow Australian city Perth takes the seventh spot, Auckland in the land southeast of down under takes the eight spot while the top ten is rounded off by Helsinki and Hamburg. Australia and Canada seem to be paradises on earth with each having three of its cities find a place in the top ten.
On the flip side, there is bad news for the Middle East and some African countries. The least liveable city is Damascus, followed by Lagos and Tripoli. Damascus has had to bear the most brutal brunt of the war in Syria. Lagos is the largest city in Nigeria and Tripoli is yet to recover from the aftermath of the crisis in Libya. Other unliveable cities in the world are Dhaka, Port Moresby, Algiers, Karachi, Harare, Douala and Kiev. Damascus, Tripoli and Kiev have witnesses the starkest decline on the liveability index. Moscow and Detroit have also undergone a sharp decline. This has come at a time when global liveability has improved after ten years of decline. On the positive end of the spectrum, Dubai, Tehran, Colombo and Abidjan have improved the most but they are still at the adverse end of the liveability index.
Unsurprisingly, the cities that have a perceived threat of terrorism find themselves at the lower half of the list. The liveability index largely rests on healthcare and climate, censorship and corruption but most importantly crime. Hence, it comes as no surprise why Singapore has fared well. Many Singaporeans who have been to Hong Kong are aware of the difference in climate, not the natural weather any particularly but the pollution levels which make many parts of Hong Kong barely enjoyable, even if remotely liveable. Singapore is a world leader in healthcare. Crime is not an alarming issue. Corruption is confined and there is no censorship tussle as such. With initiatives like the Smart Nation program and Singapore’s emergence as more than a financial and trading hub, the city-state is poised to grow further. The redefined urban planning and ushering of new age jobs will perhaps help the city improve its ranking in the near future.
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