New Delhi and Mumbai have slid down in the Global Liveability Index for 2019, released by the Economist Intelligence Unit on Wednesday.
The index ranked cities by five headline criteria. Stability, and culture and environment were the two most important categories, weighted equally at 25% of the total. The other criteria were healthcare, infrastructure, and education.
“Among the other categories, a deterioration in culture and environment scores is of concern,” wrote the authors of the report. “A slew of cities in emerging markets that are among the most exposed to the effects of climate change have seen their scores downgraded. These include New Delhi in India, which suffers from appalling air quality, Cairo in Egypt (where air quality is also a major issue) and Dhaka in Bangladesh.”
The report said New Delhi had fallen six places to 118 on the index also because of lack of stability, which is marked by rising crime rates. Mumbai fell two places to 119 because of a low score in the culture category, Hindustan Times reported.
Vienna held off Melbourne to retain the top spot on the index while the “gilets jaunes”, or Yellow Vests, protests damaged Paris’ score. The Austrian capital, which attracts tourists for its classical music circuit, was also aided by its abundant green spaces and excellent public services. It had ended Melbourne’s seven-year run at the top of the survey of 140 cities last year.
“Sydney has risen from fifth to third, thanks to an improvement in its culture and environment score, reflecting an increased focus on combating and mitigating the impacts of climate change, as outlined by the city’s ‘Sustainable Sydney 2030’ strategy,” said the EIU.
The authors of the report said “there is only limited potential for Sydney to displace either Melbourne or Vienna at the top of the rankings” as both the cities score very high in all categories.
The top 10 also include Osaka, Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto, Tokyo, Copenhagen and Adelaide. The 10 least liveable cities according to the report are Damascus in Syria – which is at 140 on the list, Lagos, Dhaka, Tripoli, Karachi, Port Moresby, Harare, Douala, Algiers and Caracas.