Global Liveability Index 2021: Dhaka now 4th least liveable city
Dhaka moved one notch up in the Economist Intelligence Unit's annual ranking of most liveable cities in 2021, which has largely been shaken up by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Auckland rose to the first place, replacing Vienna, which crashed out of the top 10 as the island nations of New Zealand, Australia and Japan fared best, reports Reuters.
EIU cancelled the Global Liveability Index in 2020 after enforced lockdowns brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic prompted its in-city contributors and expert analysts to become unable to collect comprehensive, fair and representative data for many of the cities.
The EIU's Global Liveability Index ranks 140 cities across five broad categories: stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure.
The index is typically used by strategy consultants for driving insights on global projects, academic institutions for their research intelligence and government bodies for informing policy decisions.
Dhaka scored 55 in stability, 16.7 in healthcare, 30.8 in culture and environment, 33.3 in education and 26.8 in infrastructure.
In 2019, Dhaka scored 55 in stability, 29.2 in healthcare, 40.5 in culture and environment, 41.7 in education and 26.8 in infrastructure. In 2018, Dhaka scored 50 in stability, 29.2 in healthcare, 40.5 in culture and environment, 41.7 in education and 26.8 in infrastructure.
Among other Asian countries, only Pakistan's Karachi is among the 10 least livable cities -- at 134th place.
War-torn Damascus, capital of Syria, continues to remain the worst liveable city in the world.
The Austrian capital had led the list since 2018 and for years ran neck and neck with Melbourne at the top of the survey of 140 urban centres. New Zealand's elimination of Covid-19 within its borders through lockdown measures helped by its geographic isolation, however, gave its cities a big boost.
"New Zealand's tough lockdown allowed their society to reopen and enabled citizens of cities like Auckland and Wellington to enjoy a lifestyle that looked similar to pre-pandemic life," the EIU said in a statement.
The last time Auckland was in the top 10 was in 2017, when it came eighth, a position Melbourne shared with Geneva this year. Vienna fell to 12th.
Illustrating New Zealand's advantage this year, Wellington also entered the top 10. It came fourth behind Osaka, which rose two spots to second place, and Adelaide, which leapfrogged its compatriots Sydney and Melbourne to third place from 10th.
"The Covid-19 pandemic has taken a heavy toll on global liveability," the EIU said.
"Cities across the world are now much less liveable than they were before the pandemic began, and we've seen that regions such as Europe have been hit particularly hard."
The European Union struggled to get its vaccination campaign off the ground and many member states including Austria imposed more lockdowns than they had hoped to, hurting their cities' scores in the measure of 'culture and environment'.
The EIU generally does not make the full ranking public.