Nepal | May 30, 2020

Kathmandu among cities where liveability has improved the most

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liveability reportLondon, August 18

Kathmandu is among the 10 cities where liveability has improved the most in the last five years, according to a respected British study published today.

As per the annual Liveability Ranking study of 140 cities, conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit, although Kathmandu is ranked a lowly 124th, but its rating has improved to 51 from 47.1 in 2011. Kathmandu’s improvement in rating is second only to Harare, whose five-year score movement is 5.1, and better than that of Dubai and Beijing.

The study adds that Melbourne is the world’s most liveable city but conflict and terrorism have led to a fall in global urban living conditions more generally. For the fifth year running, the Australian city came out on top ahead of Vienna and Vancouver which came out top in 2011.

The survey scores cities on five broad categories: stability; healthcare; culture and environment; education and infrastructure.

It found that mid-sized cities in wealthier countries with a relatively low population density scored highly, with Canada and Australia accounting for seven of the top ten cities.

Although offering a “big city buzz”, the study concluded that global centres such as London, New York, Paris and Tokyo suffered overstretched infrastructure and higher crime rates as a result of their size.

Tokyo was ranked at 15, Paris at 29, London at 53 and New York at 55.

Although the top five cities remain unchanged, more than a third overall saw a change in their score, with the majority of those suffering a fall in standards “reflecting a deterioration in stability in many cities around the world.”

“High-profile terrorist shootings in France and Tunisia and the ongoing actions of Islamic State in the Middle East have created a further heightened threat of terrorism in many countries,” said the report.

“Meanwhile, protests over matters like police brutality, democracy and austerity have also raised the threat of civil unrest in many countries, notably the US,” it added. Hong Kong also slipped down the rankings in the wake of mass protests and clashes with the police last year.

The three cities falling furthest in the rankings were Tripoli, Kiev and Damascus, all as the result of ongoing conflicts.

What the ratings mean

liveablityratingsCompanies pay a premium (usually a percentage of a salary) to employees who move to cities where living conditions are particularly difficult and there is excessive physical hardship or a notably unhealthy environment. The Economist Intelligence Unit has given a suggested allowance to correspond with the rating. However, the actual level of the allowance is often a matter of company policy. It is not uncommon for companies to pay up to double The Economist Intelligence Unit’s suggested level.

A version of this article appears in print on August 19, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.

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