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Omotesando, Tokyo at the beginning of summer | © Rs1421 / WikiCommons
Omotesando, Tokyo at the beginning of summer | © Rs1421 / WikiCommons
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Tokyo Named World’s Safest City

Picture of Alicia Joy
Tokyo Writer
Updated: 18 October 2017
This year, Tokyo once again topped the Safe Cities Index as the safest city in the world. The biennial report by the Economist Intelligence Unit looks at four key areas that contribute to a population’s security—road safety and infrastructure, digital security, the quality of healthcare and personal physical security—to find out which cities are doing it right.

The world’s safest cities

The Safe Cities Index 2017 compared 60 cities worldwide to find the safest places to live, up from just 50 cities in 2015. Tokyo took the top spot, followed by neighboring city-state Singapore and a second Japanese city, Osaka, in third place. All three metropolises held the same spots back in 2015 when the last Safe Cities Index was published. Tokyo’s highest scores came in the digital and health security categories, where it received the first and second highest scores, respectively, versus all 60 cities.

Shibuya, Tokyo | © StockSnap/Pixabay

Urban safety vs. population

That one of the most populous cities in the world took the top spot is an amazing feat. High city populations lead to excessive demands on a system that usually isn’t equipped to meet its needs, leading to issues and challenges such as longer hospital waits and increased traffic accidents. In Tokyo’s case, there are many factors that contribute to its high safety scores on the Safe Cities Index, including its low crime rate.

Tokyo skyline | © Joi Ito/Flickr

A dangerous world

The Safe Cities Index 2017 report finds that Tokyo, Singapore, and Osaka are exceptions to a global trend of lower scores. New York, for example, fell from 10th place back in 2015 to 21st in 2017, its position dropping by 11 points. The report’s executive summary points to the increase in terrorist threats to urban centers, the ever-widening gap between the rich and the poor and severe weather caused by a changing climate as factors for lower safety scores across the board.

Biking alone in Tokyo | © xegxef/Pixabay