Saturday, January 31, 2015

Toronto is the best city in the world (apparently)

Another Economist report just released is The Economist Intelligence Unit's Safe Cities Index 2015, which looks at 50 major cities across the globe, and ranks or otherwise marks them on a series of different indicators.
In terms of general safety (the index's main concern, comprising digital security, infrastructure security, health security and personal safety), Tokyo wins hands down, perhaps not surprisingly, followed by Singapore and Osaka, and then some northern European cities like Stockholm and Amsterdam. Toronto was the highest-ranking North American city, in 8th position overall, followed by New York in 10th.
But the report also includes a bunch of other indexes, including Liveability (which Melbourne wins handily, as it always has in recent years, with Toronto as runner-up), Cost of Living (Mumbai wins), Business Environment (Singapore), Democracy (Stockholm), and Global Food Security (all the big American cities share this category).
All of these different categories are then combined together in the EIU's Index of Indexes (page 20 of the report, with more detail in the appendix on page 35), to give an assessment of what is essentially the best place in the world in which to live (at least among big cities). And, guess what, even though Toronto does not score highest on any one index, when all are combined my home town is Number 1, making it, yes, the best place to live in the whole world! Montreal comes in at number 2, followed by Stockholm, Amsterdam, San Francisco, Melbourne and Zurich. Heady company indeed! No doubt Vancouver (the third largest city in Canada, after Toronto and Montreal) will be kvetching, "Ah, well, if WE had been included in the list...", etc, but I guess The Economist had to have a cut-off somewhere.
This is, of course, attracting much media attention here in Toronto, most of it admittedly bemused or unbelieving. As a CBC radio presenter commented wryly yesterday, "Did they drive on the Gardiner Expressway recently?" But kudos where kudos is due: way to go, Toronto!

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