World’s Top 10 Liveable Cities: What Can We Learn From Them?

Cities are planned in a meticulous way to ensure citizens have a healthy lifestyle and can benefit from a host of amenities and facilities. However, these are the features of modern and planned cities that are specifically designed for this purpose. In most countries, especially the developing nations, the historic cities are the ones that have now grown to metropolitan areas. Each year, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), a think tank and policy unit, evaluates over 140 cities in terms of their livability and creates a list of top 10 scorers. In this blog, we will look at the list and understand what makes them livable.

Good transportation is integral for a city

Top 10 Livable Cities In The World

The EIU scores each city on the livability score on the basis of more than 30 qualitative and quantitative factors. These factors can be clubbed into five major categories: stability (25%), health care (20%), culture and environment (25%), education (10%), and infrastructure (20%).

For the ratings issued in 2021, the livability index was significantly modified owing to the coronavirus pandemic. Therefore, to a larger degree, the livability index this year was modified to see which cities were able to incorporate health and safety protocols in light of the pandemic and return a semblance of normality by containing the spread of the virus. It also took into consideration stress on health care resources and restrictions on local sporting events, when calculating scores for the health care, culture, and environment, and education categories.

As we all are aware, New Zealand was able to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, within weeks of it being declared a pandemic. For this reason, New Zealand’s capital Auckland tops the list for containing the spread of the virus, and also removing lockdowns, and allowing citizens to resume normal activities.

EIU ranks Tokyo fifth most livable city
Japan’s Tokyo city is the 5th most livable city in the world

The remaining list as per published on EIU’s website is as follows:

1. Auckland, New Zealand

2. Osaka, Japan

3. Adelaide, Australia

4. Wellington, New Zealand

5. Tokyo, Japan

6. Perth, Australia

7. Zurich, Switzerland

8. Geneva, Switzerland

8. Melbourne, Australia

10. Brisbane, Australia

As can be seen from the list, most of the cities are from New Zealand and Australia which have reported the least number of casualties per 1,000 citizens and were the only states to ease lockdown restrictions early on. On the other hand, only two European cities have made it to the list; Zurich and Geneva because of most of the cultural and sporting activities, for which Europe is quintessentially famous. Similarly, Osaka and Tokyo have also been ranked in the top 10 cities because of their stringent policy measures that proved to be effective in containing the Covid 19 pandemic.

All cities should be built on a sustainable path
Cities should be built in a sustainable manner

Australia’s Melbourne and Wellington are one of the 10 cities that have made significant gains by moving up 16 and 11 places, respectively. However, overall livability scores have dropped by 7 points when compared with pre-pandemic times, owing to the stress that the authorities had to face in coping with the pandemic.

In the face of unprecedented challenges, this has been a remarkable feat to achieve, and therefore, these cities should be taken as model metropolises for others to learn from.

What We Can Learn From Top 10 Livable Cities

From the index it has become clear that the following features are essential in ensuring healthier livability in cities. These features are:

Equitable Healthcare Facilities

Perhaps the most important thing we have learned from the pandemic is that the cities should have ample healthcare facilities for every individual, otherwise in case of any natural calamity or unprecedented challenges, the city will not be ensuring citizens’ well-being and safety.

Moreover, it also points us towards understanding the kind of healthcare facilities that should be designed so the resources can be equitably distributed.

Access To Infrastructure Facilities

All communities to have good infrastructure facilities
All communities in a city should have equitable access to infrastructure, transport facilities

All citizens in a city should have equitable or the same access to infrastructure and public transport facilities. This is an approach that directly addresses inclusivity and ensures mobility which is essential especially for women. If the entire city has a good transportation network then it also enables and promotes tourist activities, which further adds to the city’s revenue.

Moreover, if the entire city is connected it will also ensure civic engagement, and create a sense of comfort.

This feature also includes ample green spaces, walking tracks, and a host of recreational facilities so the residents can feel at ease and call the place their home. These add to how sustainable cities truly are.

Housing Options

For any city to be livable, it needs to provide a wide variety of living options; which means housing. These housing units should be laid out in a proper manner as per the development plans of the civic agencies. Moreover, there needs to be a number of affordable housing options as well, as there are numerous economic benefits of affordable housing.

With the top 10 livable cities announced, there is a lot that other cities and communities can learn about ensuring sustainability and livability. If you have any queries or contributions, write to us at blog@zameen.com. For further information, keep checking Pakistan’s largest blog, Zameen Blog for the latest news and updates.



Learn All About the Impact of Pakistan’s New ‘Smart Village’ Initiative

Pakistan is making up for lost time by introducing a number of Information Technology (IT) initiatives to bridge the gap between communities to readily access information. However, this is not only limited to accessing information, but also provide a host of other opportunities to foster business activities, enable access to education and health services. In a new, the incumbent government has launched “Smart Village,” an initiative that has been facilitated by the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications (MOIT&T) through Universal Service Fund. Let’s explore more about Pakistan’s Smart Village project.

Pakistan’s Smart Village Initiative

Pakistan’s IT exports have jumped to $1.7 billion in the 2020-21 fiscal year

The MOIT&T has launched Smart Village which is a project which will be introduced in four provinces of Pakistan, as well as Islamabad Capital Territory and Gilgit-Baltistan. This project is primarily aimed at enhancing access of Pakistan’s remotest areas to modern facilities and to train them to access these facilities easily.

The mechanism of Smart Village is pretty simple. The Smart Village will essentially have training centers in provinces’ and territories’ remotest areas to provide free-of-cost training to the youth. These trainings will be provided in the domains of health, education, and commerce; all facets of creating opportunities so the livelihoods of people can be significantly improved.

This is the latest initiative of the government’s Digital Pakistan Vision that will ensure increased collaboration between various sectors, stakeholders, and government departments with the citizens of different areas. The aim of the project is to introduce citizens’ access to these facilities in the digital realm to improve cost-effectiveness and facilitate efficient use of resources. As this is a project under the government’s Digital Pakistan Vision, the citizens will have access to a host of other mobile applications and services that have been introduced under this initiative.

This is a project of the MOIT&T in collaboration with Universal Service Fund (USF), which has partnered with Southeast Asia International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and Huawei. This is one of the 30 mobile applications, government web portals, and websites related to public services that have been launched so far.

Smart Initiatives Introduced By GoP

State Bank of Pakistan Museum
State Bank of Pakistan Museum is purposed to provide information the evolution of monetary systems throughout history

Pakistan’s Smart Village Initiative is the latest addition to the numerous smart initiatives introduced by the incumbent government as it makes steady progress towards exploiting opportunities in the digital realm.

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has taken a key interest in improving Pakistan’s digital economy. For this reason, a number of electronic money institutions have been recently introduced. The SBP is working round the clock to ensure licenses are given to private mobile application designers so money transferring can be made much easier, especially as during the fiscal year 2020-2021, exports remittances from IT and IT-enabled Services (ITeS) grew by 46% to reach USD 1.7 billion, compared with USD 1.17 billion during the same period of 2019-2020. In order to maintain this upward trajectory, Digital Pakistan has introduced Raast, which is the country’s first digital payment system.

As Prime Minister Imran Khan has always labeled overseas Pakistanis the backbone of Pakistan’s economy, under Roshan Digital Accounts, initiatives such as Roshan Apni Car and Roshan Samaaji Khidmat have also been introduced that will allow expatriates to make direct investments.

By far the most inclusive digital program has been Ehsaas Saving Wallets, which is aimed at increasing financial inclusion of financially-isolated classes of Pakistan. This initiative provides an opportunity to the less privileged citizens of the country to have a bank account under the government-initiated scheme and be able to timely avail any opportunity of investing their funds.

Similar to Smart Village, the provincial governments of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab have also introduced Digital KP 2020 Policy and Khidmat Aapke Dehleez Per, respectively. While the former is linked with improving digital governance, the latter will improve districts’ municipal facilities in favor of the citizens.

In education too, the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (HEC) has introduced HEC e-library services. This is a revolutionary initiative for providing e-educational services to the people of Pakistan, and has been a welcome move especially in light of the covid-19 pandemic.

When we talk of enhancing the digital penetration in Pakistan, the biggest challenge to date remains for the real estate sector. In Islamabad, an online registration system for tenants has been introduced, whereas if you want to check for ownership of properties in any province, you can check data online as well.

 This is all about all the smart initiatives by the incumbent government, so far. We will keep updating you on the latest developments, and you can access all this information on Pakistan’s best property blog, Zameen Blog. You can also have your queries addressed by emailing us at blog@zameen.com.