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These are the world’s safest cities

This year’s Safe Cities Index factored in Covid-19 deaths

Lucy Thackray
Thursday 07 October 2021 10:22 BST
<p>Traditional houses in Copenhagen old town Nyhavn at sunset </p>

Traditional houses in Copenhagen old town Nyhavn at sunset

The Economist Intelligence Unit has released its 2021 Safe Cities Index, with Copenhagen coming out on top, followed by Toronto and Singapore.

As well as personal security or safety, the Index takes into account digital, environmental, infrastructure and health security, with each city’s reaction to the pandemic and Covid mortality rates factored in this year.

Experts in city planning, epidemiology, risk management and sustainability all fed information into the rankings, which were revealed in a whitepaper this morning.

The health security of many on the list has been challenged in the past 18 months, as the pandemic tore through densely populated urban areas.

“In countries where the pandemic took hold, cities – if for no other reason than better international transport links and closer proximity between residents – in general saw case rates rise faster at first than surrounding rural areas. With that came greater initial mortality rates,” states the report.

Top 10 safest cities in the world:

  1. Copenhagen
  2. Toronto
  3. Singapore
  4. Sydney
  5. Tokyo
  6. Amsterdam
  7. Wellington
  8. (= 8) Hong Kong
  9. (= 8) Melbourne
  10. Stockholm

Copenhagen came out on top due to its abundance of parks, green spaces and waterways, as well as clear Covid-19 guidelines, public trust in city officials, and low corruption.

Hong Kong and Melbourne scored the same overall, making them joint eighth on the list.

In the report, Copenhagen’s lord mayor Lars Weiss praised the feeling of equality in the city, saying: “Copenhagen is also characterised by great social cohesion and a relatively narrow wealth gap. It is a mixed city where both the cleaning assistant and the CEO meet each other at the local supermarket and have their kids in the same school. This is one of the very cornerstones of Danish culture, and it contributes greatly to the high levels of trust and safety that we benefit from .”

The Danish capital ranked in the top six in every category except health security - where it fell to 26th place.

London came in 15th in the overall “safest” list, but ranked 8th best in terms of health security.

Hong Kong topped the list for infrastructure security, while Sydney came out as best for digital security and Wellington for environmental security.

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