In a more and more interconnected world, people are increasingly interested in urban security and resilience. According to the latest Safe Cities Index by the Economist Intelligence Unit, which scrutinized 60 municipalities across 57 indicators covering digital, health, infrastructure and personal security, Tokyo is the safest City in the world.
The Japanese capital had the highest overall score in this year’s index – 92 out of 100 – featuring strengths such as infrastructure designed to withstand catastrophic events, low levels of violent and petty crime as well as a low risk of computer malware. As security has been a priority of its local government for years, Tokyo ranks first for the third time in a row.
The Asia-Pacific region makes up six of the top-10 Cities in the index, specifically Singapore (2nd), Osaka (3rd), Sydney (5th), Seoul (tied for 8th) and Melbourne (10th). The top-10 is completed by two European Cities – Amsterdam (4th) and Copenhagen (tied 8th) – and two American municipalities – Toronto (6th) and Washington, DC (7th).
Looking at leading Cities, the index highlights a common element: they all got the basics right, meaning they do well in all examined areas, for instance they provide easy access to good quality healthcare, have dedicated cyber-security teams, community-based police patrolling or disaster continuity planning. This is consistent with expert commentary that, rather than representing clearly distinct fields, different kinds of safety are thoroughly intertwined and mutually supportive.
Moreover, all high ranking Cities have technologically advanced urban infrastructures that, if appropriately deployed, can be an important contributor to resilience, as well as great transparency and accountability in local governments.