PETALING JAYA, Aug 17 – Kuala Lumpur has been ranked as Southeast Asia’s second most liveable city after Singapore. The Malaysian city is placed No. 70 in a global ranking of liveable cities. The latest Global Liveability Ranking released by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) on Wednesday puts Kuala Lumpur ahead of Bandar Seri Begawan (No. 100), Bangkok (No. 102), Manila (No. 104), Jakarta (No. 118), Hanoi (No. 119), Ho Chi Minh City (No. 122) and Phnom Penh (No. 123).
Singapore has leapfrogged Hong Kong for the first time to clinch its highest-ever placing of 35th out of 140 cities. Hong Kong is ranked No. 45. Melbourne was named the world’s most liveable city for the seventh straight year, while Damascus in Syria came in last on the list of 140 cities surveyed.
Three Canadian cities, Vancouver, Toronto, and Calgary took the third, fourth and fifth spots respectively, with a marginal score separating the cities. The EIU ranks cities by assigning each a rating for over 30 qualitative and quantitative factors across five broad categories: stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure.
It cited increasing instability across the world, such as the threat of terrorism in Europe, when explaining the volatility in the scores of many cities. “The ongoing weakening of global stability scores has been made uncomfortably apparent by a number of high-profile incidents that have shown no signs of slowing in recent years,” the EIU said in the report.
“While not a new phenomenon, the frequency and spread of terrorism have increased noticeably and become even more prominent.” Cities such as Manchester in the United Kingdom and Stockholm in Sweden saw their scores decline as a result of recent, high-profile terrorist attacks. Other issues that threaten stability include concerns over geopolitical stability in Asia, the migration crisis in Western Europe and Brexit, the EIU added.
“New York, London, Paris and Tokyo are all prestigious hubs with a wealth of recreational activities, but all suffer from higher levels of crime, congestion and public transport problems than are deemed comfortable. The question is how much wages, the cost of living and personal taste for a location can offset liveability factors,” the report added.