Copenhagen and Toronto replace Singapore and Tokyo from the top of overall ranking in EIU’s report mainly due to better environmental security indicators’ performance.
Copenhagen is named as the world’s safest city, followed by Toronto in the 2021 Safe Cities, a report published by the Economist Intelligence Unit or EIU.
Both European and American cities have replaced Asian cities- Singapore and Tokyo from the top in the overall rankings. Toronto has pushed Singapore to third position with 82.2 points in the overall ranking. Singapore scored 80.7 points in the overall ranking.
Tokyo has scored 80 points to bag the fifth position. Both Copenhagen and Toronto topped the chart after the environmental security indicator was added to the criterion. Indian cities like Mumbai and New Delhi have scored 54.4 and 56.1 points each and placed in the 48th and 50th positions, respectively.
The other Asia-Pacific cities included in the ranking are Sydney, Melbourne, and Hong Kong.
EIU’s report and indicators
EIU’s report has focused primarily on four indicators: Health Security, Digital Security, Infrastructural Security, and Personal Security. The EIU said, “The change in rankings this year did not indicate a “tectonic shift” but rather a reordering of cities which have always been near the top of the ranking.”
Except for the dramatic changes at the top of the table, ‘the first division’ has remained largely the same. “In each of the last three iterations, Tokyo, Singapore, and Osaka – always in that order – have been our index leaders,” the report said.
But the fourth edition of the report included another indicator: Environmental indicator. “Most cities have strong environmental policies, but now must deliver results. Unlike other pillars, low- and middle-income cities often do well on environmental security,” EIU said in its report. Bogota middle-class cities have done well and came 4th overall in environmental security. According to the report, a possible explanation for the outcome is- good environmental policies are widespread, and all countries have expressed more interest in achieving carbon neutrality after the pandemic.
The challenge was to implement them. Noticeably, higher-income cities are also lagging behind their ambitions. “As in other areas, the key to success will be to take an overarching approach to environmental issues rather than a fractured one, and for cities to work with residents rather than seeking to direct them,” the report added.
The effect of Covid-19 on EIU’s report
Covid-19, the first pandemic to attack humanity after humans became predominantly urban species, had a considerable impact on the indicators and the approach. Fang Zhao, innovation and strategy professor at Staffordshire Business School, says, “Covid-19 has changed the whole concept of urban safety.”
Covid had a direct impact on Digital and health indicators. “The experience of covid-19 shows the need for a more holistic approach to health security and its closer integration into urban resilience planning. It is still too early to draw detailed conclusions on the implications of covid-19 for health security,” EIU said.
As pandemic has inaugurated a new form of working style, digital security in the city is insufficient as per the current needs. Internet connectivity has become a must even for low-income cities. 59 of 60 cities are now in the process to become smart cities. An assistant professor of civil and systems engineering at Johns Hopkins University, Gregory Falco said, “The digital security of cities is generally pretty terrible.”
In the table, most of the rich North American cities have high scores in digital security owing to the region’s years of experience in handling technology. Covid-19 aids the expansion. But they lack personal security as the online boom of services has marginalized the indicator.
The top 5 countries in the EIU’s 2021 report
The table below lists the top five countries in the report
|OVERALL||Digital Security||Health security||Infrastructure security||Personal security||Environmental security|
|Singapore||Copenhagen||Hong Kong||Copenhagen||Frankfurt||Washington DC|