Japan had plenty to boast last week when Tokyo was named as the safest city in the world by The Economist, with Osaka coming in a respectable third. Netizens were proud that even with Tokyo’s famously terrible (and sometimes dangerous) commutes and Osaka’s penchant for strange crimes, the two cities stood out to claim top spots among some of the largest cities in the world.
The study, called The Safe Cities Index 2015, looked at 50 of the biggest cities on every continent and scored them across four safety categories. Aside from personal safety and the risk of violent crime, the ranking took into account health security, infrastructure safety and even how a city protects its citizens’ digital privacy. Tokyo scored highest in the digital security category while its air quality, improving but still relatively poor, kept it down in the health category. Osaka actually beat out Tokyo in the personal safety category by one spot, but its worst performance was in infrastructure where it didn’t even crack the top 10.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Singapore, with its famously strict laws, came in at number two while other cities well-known for safety, such as Stockholm, Zurich, and Toronto, made the top 10 as well. Japan and Australia can high-five each other as they were the only countries to get two of their cities into the top 10. And humble New York, where the hookers and drug dealers of formally crime-ridden Time’s Square have been replaced with Disney characters and Starbucks baristas, made it to number 10.
Meanwhile, Ho Chi Minh City, Tehran, and Jakarta took the last three spots, respectively. The Economist said the 50 cities were chosen to represent different regions of the world and while being at the bottom of the list isn’t anything to boast about, it doesn’t mean those cities are necessarily the most dangerous on the planet.
The study also looked at Tokyo’s preparation for the Olympic Games in 2020 and how it is continuing to retrofit and earthquake-proof buildings in the city where one in five buildings were built before 1981. Even though a Swiss risk management company has ranked Tokyo as “the city most at risk from natural disasters” and the number of the Games’ participants will be roughly double they were in 1964, when Tokyo last hosted, the Japanese capital still outranks recent Olympic host cities by far. Oh, and Tokyo is 34 places ahead of Rio de Janeiro, which is hosting the Games next year.
Below is the full list of how the 50 cities ranked.
- New York
- Hong Kong
- San Fransisco
- Los Angeles
- Washington, D.C.
- Abu Dhabi
- Buenos Aires
- Rio de Janeiro
- Kuwait City
- São Paulo
- Mexico City
- Ho Chi Minh City
Sources: Yurukuyaru, The Economist
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