Economist City Liveability Index

5 September 2019: The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has published the latest version of their annual city “liveability” index, highlighting their analysis of the best (and worst) cities in the world in live in. It is interesting to note the extent that the impact of climate change is considered, with the report stating that: ” A slew of cities in emerging markets that are among the most exposed to the effects of climate change have seen their scores downgraded. These include New Delhi in India, which suffers from appalling air quality, Cairo in Egypt (where air quality is also a major issue) and Dhaka in Bangladesh. A lack of a concerted global effort to tackle climate change risks further downward revisions in these scores, threatening to offset improvements in the other categories, such as education and infrastructure, which remain on a broadly upward trend.”

The report continues: “We note the continued gradual improvement of cities in emerging markets in infrastructure, education and healthcare, as well as, in many cases, stability. However, these gains appear to be coming under threat from the effects of climate change, which in the index is reflected in the culture and environment category. The incidence of extreme weather events, such as flooding and heatwaves, is rising around the world, and cities in emerging markets are often the most directly affected and the least resilient. That said, we see climate change as a global phenomenon, which threatens the liveability of cities at the very top of the index too. Only a co-ordinated global effort to limit the rising temperature of the planet will succeed in maintaining current levels of liveability across the world.”

“The cities within the top ten remain unchanged from our previous update, but there has been some movement in their ranking. Sydney has risen from fifth to third, thanks to an improvement in its culture and environment score, reflecting an increased focus on combating and mitigating the impacts of climate change, as outlined by the city’s “Sustainable Sydney 2030” strategy.”

London comes in at number 48.

The ranking is determined through 30 indicators, with the majority of these being ‘EIU ratings’ which are made on the judgement of EIU in-house expert country analysts and a field correspondent based in each city. Only one relevant indicator ‘humidity/temperature’ rating appears based on data, with ‘Discomfort of climate to travellers’ and ‘Quality of energy provision’ and ‘Quality of water provision’ all based on EIU ratings.

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