Urban Transformation

These are the world’s safest cities

Office and residential buildings are seen from the observation deck of Tokyo Skytree, the world's tallest broadcasting tower, in Tokyo, Japan June 18, 2019.  REUTERS/Issei Kato - RC1E42E94890

Tokyo once again tops the list. Image: REUTERS/Issei Kato

Rosamond Hutt
Senior Writer, Forum Agenda
Share:
Our Impact
What's the World Economic Forum doing to accelerate action on Urban Transformation?
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how Cities and Urbanization is affecting economies, industries and global issues
A hand holding a looking glass by a lake
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:

Cities and Urbanization

Tokyo has again been named the world’s safest city by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), in a ranking of the digital, health, infrastructure and personal security of 60 major metropolitan areas.

Singapore came in second, followed by Osaka in third place in the Safe Cities Index 2019.

Tokyo, Singapore and Osaka also took the top three spots in the two previous editions of the Safe Cities Index in 2015 and 2017.

Though Asia-Pacific cities made up six of this year’s top 10 – with Sydney (5th), Seoul (tied 8th) and Melbourne (10th) – the report emphasizes that urban safety is not related to region.

“Tokyo, Singapore and Osaka are not safer because they happen to be in Asia, but because of the specific urban environments their residents and officials have built,” it says.

Discover

How is the World Economic Forum supporting the development of cities and communities globally?

Cities that did well overall tend to have high-quality healthcare, dedicated cybersecurity teams, community-based police and disaster continuity planning, according to the report.

Rounding out the top 10 are two European cities, Amsterdam (4th) and Copenhagen (tied 8th), and two in North America, Toronto (6th) and Washington, DC (7th).

Urban resilience

This year’s edition also looked at “urban resilience” - the ability of a city to absorb and bounce back from shocks.

The concept has become an important part of urban safety planning, particularly as policy-makers prepare for the likely impacts of climate change on cities, such as increased flooding and more frequent and intense heatwaves.

Have you read?

The 2019 index measures for the first time things like the speed of a city's emergency services, the existence of a disaster plan, the ability to defend infrastructure against cyber attacks, and the monitoring of potential hazards.

By 2050, more than two-thirds (68%) of the world’s population will be living in urban areas, up from 55% today, according to United Nations projections.

Much of this rapid urbanization will take place in Asia and Africa.

The UN has called for more sustainable urban planning and public services to meet the challenges of urban growth, especially in low- and middle-income countries.

Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

Sign up for free

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Share:
World Economic Forum logo
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

Shifting spaces: Could tackling climate change in cities help solve the youth mental health crisis?

Natalie Marchant and Julie Masiga

July 19, 2024

About Us

Events

Media

Partners & Members

  • Sign in
  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum