Copenhagen has been named the safest city in the world in a new comprehensive study by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
The Danish capital has surpassed former leading leaders such as Tokyo, Singapore and Osaka in the fourth edition of the EIU Biennale Safe Cities Index, which for the first time included environmental safety metrics.
In a study on the five pillars of urban security – digital, health, infrastructure, personal and environmental – Copenhagen topped the list, scoring 82.4 points out of 100.
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The EIU Safe Cities Index ranked 60 cities this year against 76 safety indicators, to get a better picture of global urban security.
The addition of a new pillar of environmental safety reflects the increased importance of sustainability issues and climate adaptation measures following the coronavirus pandemic. Toronto and Copenhagen had noticeably better results in the new pillar of environmental safety than any of the three largest cities from previous years.
Indeed, in addition to health safety, the coronavirus had an impact on all safety indicators, the report’s authors noted.
“Covid-19 has affected all aspects of urban security,” Pratima Singh, project director of the EIU’s Safe Cities Index, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Monday.
Digital security, for example, has become a higher priority as business and commerce have moved to the internet, while infrastructure security has had to be adjusted due to changes in travel and utility consumption.
Elsewhere, personal safety has been affected by changes in crime patterns during quarantine, and environmental safety has come to the fore as the pandemic has served as a strong warning of an unexpected crisis.
Singh said the findings should remind governments and policymakers of the need for further investment in security and protection measures – especially in politically and economically unstable countries.
Among the least safe of the 60 measured cities were Lagos, Cairo, Caracas, Karachi and Yangon.
“We see a very strong correlation between high-income countries and the performance on the index,” Singh said. “We see that some of the higher-income countries … are also making good progress in infrastructure, while some of the lower-income countries need to give more and more priority to infrastructure investment.”
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