Tokyo named world’s safest city, Amsterdam tops Europe ranking

Pedestrians at a ‘scramble crossing’ in Shibuya shopping district, Tokyo, which has been designated the world’s safest city. (Reuters)
Updated 29 August 2019

Tokyo named world’s safest city, Amsterdam tops Europe ranking

  • Singapore took second place after Japan’s capital while another Japanese metropolis, Osaka, came third
  • Two European cities made it into the top 10, with the Dutch capital Amsterdam in fourth place while Denmark’s Copenhagen came eighth

LONDON: Tokyo was 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 cyberattacks.
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.
Two European and two North American cities made it into the top 10, with the Dutch capital Amsterdam in fourth place while Denmark’s Copenhagen came eighth. Canada’s Toronto came sixth, and the US capital, Washington D.C., seventh.
The safest cities scored highly on access to high-quality health care, dedicated cyber-security teams, community-based police patrols and good disaster planning, researchers said.
“The research highlights how different types of safety are thoroughly intertwined,” said Naka Kondo, the report’s Tokyo-based editor.
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.
“London is the only European city in the top 10 in this category,” said Irene Mia, global editorial director of the Economist Intelligence Unit.
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.


Prince William and wife Kate back in Islamabad after mid-air storm drama

Updated 21 min 25 sec ago

Prince William and wife Kate back in Islamabad after mid-air storm drama

  • A planned trip to the famed Khyber Pass — one of the two major border crossings in to Afghanistan — was called off after the flight drama
  • Britain’s Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have spent their tour promoting causes such as girls’ education and conservation

ISLAMABAD: Britain’s Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived back in Islamabad Friday after spending an unexpected night in Lahore when thunderstorms forced their pilot to abort two landing attempts in the capital, reporters traveling with them said.
Prince William and his wife Kate ended up staying the night at a hotel in Lahore, Pakistan’s cultural capital, before finally flying back to Islamabad Friday morning, according to British royal correspondents on board their plane.
There has been no statement yet from Kensington Palace on Thursday’s mid-air drama, which reportedly saw the Royal Air Force pilot circle for an hour during one of the fierce thunderstorms that periodically hit Islamabad in October, before finally abandoning the attempt and returning to Lahore.
It came after the royals spent a busy day in the eastern city of Lahore, during which they played cricket, visited a children’s orphanage and a cancer hospital, and toured the iconic Badshahi Mosque, one of the world’s largest mosques.
Friday will be their final day in Pakistan.
They will visit an army canine center in Islamabad before officially departing Friday afternoon.
A planned trip to the famed Khyber Pass — one of the two major border crossings in to Afghanistan — was called off after the flight drama, however.
Kensington Palace had called the trip, the Cambridges’ first official visit to Pakistan, their “most complex” tour to date as the royals seek to boost ties between Britain and the second largest country in the Commonwealth.
They have spent their five-day tour promoting causes such as girls’ education, conservation and climate change awareness.