TOKYO has been named the world’s safest city on Thursday by the Economist Intelligence Unit, in an index ranking cities’ ability to handle everything from climate disasters to cyber attacks.
Only two cities in Europe made the top ten – Amsterdam and Copenhagen.
Singapore took second place after Japan’s capital while another Japanese metropolis, Osaka, came third – the same top three as the two previous Safe Cities Indexes of 2015 and 2017.
This year the index of 60 cities aimed to capture the concept of “urban resilience”, which is the ability of cities to absorb and bounce back from shocks, researchers said.
This concept has increasingly steered urban safety planning during the last decade, as policymakers worry about the impacts of climate change, including heat stress and flooding.
The index assessed four types of safety: digital, infrastructure, health and personal security.
Asia-Pacific dominated the top 10, as in previous years, with six cities, including Australia’s Sydney in fifth place, South Korea’s Seoul in eighth and Australia’s Melbourne in 10th.
The only city in the UK to make the list was London, coming in at number 14 overall.
The safest cities scored highly on access to high-quality healthcare, dedicated cyber-security teams, community-based police patrols and good disaster planning, researchers said.
Naka Kondo, the report’s Tokyo-based editor, said: “The research highlights how different types of safety are thoroughly intertwined.”
Some cities made surprising entries, such as Chicago and New York, which are known for having high crime rates.
For example, New York fell to 30th place when it came to personal security.
However the overall ranking also included digital and infrastructure security, which meant it came in 15th place.
While European cities performed well in the area of health, they struggled with digital security, in terms of citizens’ ability to freely use the internet and other digital channels without fear of privacy violations or identity theft.
Top-ranking cities for digital security scored high on citizen awareness of digital threats and dedicated cyber-security teams, leading to low levels of infection by computer viruses and malware.
Irene Mia, global editorial director of the Economist Intelligence Unit. added: “London is the only European city in the top 10 in this category,” said
Nigeria’s Lagos, Venezuela’s Caracas, Myanmar’s Yangon, Pakistan’s Karachi and Bangladesh’s Dhaka were the world’s five least safe cities, according to the index.
Top 20 safest cities in the world
1. Tokyo, Japan
2. Singapore, Singapore
3. Osaka, Japan
4. Amsterdam, Netherlands
5. Sydney, Australia
6. Toronto, Canada
7. Washington DC, US
8. = Copenhagen, Denmark
8. = Seoul, South Korea
10. Melbourne, Australia
11. Chicago, US
12. Stockholm, Sweden
13. San Francisco, US
14. London, UK
15. New York, US
16. Frankfurt, Germany
17. Los Angeles, US
18. = Wellington, New Zealand
18. = Zurich, Switzerland
20. Hong Kong, China
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Some of the safest places to live in the UK include Dyfed-Powys in Wales as well as North Yorkshire and Derbyshire which suffered the the least crime.
The city of Barcelona recently declared an emergency after a rise of violent muggings and thefts.
A number of incidents have seen tourists targeted by groups, leading to locals forming vigilante safety groups.