The Safe Cities Index is a report that ranks 60 cities in the world across various indicators of safety and security. It is published by the UK-based Economist, through its Economist Intelligence Unit, and sponsored by the NEC Corporation.
The last Safe Cities Index was published in 2021, which was the fourth report. The previous reports were published in 2015, 2017, and 2019 respectively.
About the Safe Cities Index 2021
The Safe Cities Index, 2021 ranks 60 different cities across the world on the basis of 76 indicators. The index's findings were supported by wide-ranging research as well as interviews with experts in the concerned fields.
- The index's indicators are based on factors that contribute to urban safety and security
- These indicators are grouped into five overall pillars: personal, health, infrastructure, digital, and environmental security
- Due to the global pandemic COVID-19 crisis, the concept of urban security required a new approach and so health and digital security were given more importance
- The 2021 index introduced environmental security as a new pillar or category
Key Findings of Safe Cities Index 2021
The key findings of the Safe Cities Index, 2021 are as follows -
- Copenhagen (the capital city of Denmark) comes first overall, and Toronto (in Canada) comes second
- While so far, Asian cities like Tokyo, Singapore and Osaka have topped the list, this year it was a European city - Copenhagen
- Singapore came in third place, Sydney came in fourth place and Tokyo came in the fifth place
- The report found that the COVID-19 crisis "shows the need for a more holistic approach to health security" and its importance in the resilience of cities
- The report warned that digital insecurity will grow as cities take up smart city initiatives
Some general trends the report found are:
- Asia-Pacific cities do better on an average in the category of health security
- European cities do better in terms of personal security
- North American cities usually score better on digital security (although this time Sydney topped digital security)
Key Facts About India and the Safe Cities Index
Under the Safe Cities Index, 2021, Delhi and Mumbai feature in the top 60 cities of the world.
- In the report, Delhi ranks 48 (out of 60) and Mumbai ranks 50 (out of 60)
- While being listed on the report is a positive indicator for Mumbai and Delhi, India's national capital, their ranks are relatively low as compared to most of the other countries on the index
- The overall scores for Delhi and Mumbai in personal security, infrastructure, health, digital and environmental security are low as compared to other cities on the index
- Delhi and Mumbai ranked lower than Beijing, Bogota, and Ho Chi Minh City
- The two cities ranked slightly higher than Dhaka (rank 54) and Karachi (rank 59)
- Delhi and Mumbai also featured in the previous Safe Cities Index of 2019 of the 60 safest cities where Mumbai ranked at 45th position and New Delhi got the 52nd rank
Safe Cities Index 2021 Rankings
The Safe Cities Index 2021 rankings for Delhi and Mumbai in each category, along with the country that topped that category are as follows:
- Personal security: New Delhi ranked 41st while Mumbai ranked 50th, Copenhagen topped Personal Security
- Digital security: New Delhi ranked 48th while Mumbai ranked 53rd, Sydney topped Digital Security
- Health security: Mumbai ranked 40th while New Delhi ranked 44th, Tokyo topped Health Security
- Environmental security: Mumbai ranked 46th while New Delhi ranked 49th, Wellington topped Environmental Security
- Infrastructure security: Mumbai ranked 44th while New Delhi ranked 48th, Hong Kong topped Infrastructure security
The Safe Cities Index provides a useful reference for understanding the effectiveness of urban structures in coping with the changing needs of cities and their people. As urban functions become increasingly digital, digital security will have to step up. As the Safe Cities Index Report of 2021 points out, the COVID-19 crisis highlighted the need for integrated healthcare infrastructure and the importance of health security. Two major Indian cities featuring in the index is an accomplishment. However, Indian cities still have a long way to go towards building urban security and safety.
FAQs on Safe Cities Index
Q.1. What is the Safe Cities Index?
The Safe Cities Index is a report that ranks 60 cities in the world across various indicators of safety and security.
Q.2. What organisation publishes the Safe Cities Index?
The Safe Cities Index is published by the UK-based Economist, through their Economist Intelligence Unit.
Q.3. What was the new category of security introduced in the Safe Cities Index, 2021?
The new category of security introduced in the Safe Cities Index, 2021 was environmental security.
Q.4. Which country came first overall in the Safe Cities Index, 2021?
Copenhagen came first overall in the Safe Cities Index, 2021.
Q.5. Which two Indian cities feature in the Safe Cities Index, 2021 and what were their ranks?
Delhi and Mumbai feature in the Safe Cities Index, 2021 with Delhi ranking 48 and Mumbai ranking 50 on the list.