Singapore is the world’s second safest city, after Tokyo, a position it has retained in the latest edition of the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) Safe Cities Index (SCI).
Singapore ranked first in both infrastructure and personal security, coming in second for digital security. In the index’s previous editions in 2017 and 2015, Singapore also ranked second both times.
As quoted by CNA, “Overall, while wealth is among the most important determinants of safety, the levels of transparency – and governance – correlate as closely as income with index scores,” said EIU senior editor Naka Kondo, editor of this year’s report on the Safe Cities Index.
According to the report, cities that did well overall tend to have high-quality healthcare, dedicated cyber security teams, community-based police and disaster continuity, and planning.
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 impact of climate change on cities, such as increased flooding and more frequent and intense heatwaves.
The 2019 index measures for the first time features 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.
Competitiveness and best place for children
In May this year, Singapore came out tops in two global rankings, surfacing as No 1 in business competitiveness and the best place for children.
An annual report from Switzerland-based think-tank IMD World Competitiveness Centre said that Singapore overtook Hong Kong and the United States to be the world’s most competitive economy, reclaiming a title it last held in 2010.
It attributed Singapore’s rise to its advanced technological infrastructure, availability of skilled labour, favourable immigration laws and efficient ways in setting up new businesses.
Not sitting on its laurels
While the country has ranked high in many aspects of human economic and social life, it is not sitting on its laurels.
Previously in a Facebook post, Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing stressed that Singapore must “persevere with our efforts to create opportunities for our people and businesses.”
Noting increased global competition and the uncertain economic outlook, Mr Chan said that “Singapore, as a small and open economy, must ensure that we continue to get our fundamentals right.”
According to the minister, rather than compete “on cost or our size”, Singapore must leverage its connectivity, quality and creativity to attract international partnerships.
Mr Chan also said that Singapore must continue to build on what it has achieved and “stay true to (its) fundamentals” to tide over tensions over trade and protectionist sentiments. “With this, I am confident we can continue to distinguish ourselves from the competition.” -/TISG