Enjoyable. Harmonious. Safe. Surely these are top three requirements for those living in any urban environment. For Sydney and Melbourne dwellers, the good news is there is data available on our cities, and it looks good.
Every two years, The Economist’s Intelligence Unit takes on the task of looking at the security of sixty of the world’s top cities. In its most recent report, the Safe Cities Index 2017, safety is measured across a range of variables, with the authors taking into consideration 49 indicators covering digital security, health security, infrastructure security and personal security.
While Tokyo trumped the global list as the safest city for the second time running, Australia performed admirably: both Melbourne and Sydney made the global top ten, at positions five and seven respectively.
Once those rankings were adjusted to compare to cities with similar populations our cities did even better: compared with other cities of less than five million residents, Melbourne came in first and Sydney third, just behind Amsterdam.
But as we grow, we may have to work a little harder to maintain our enviable position. As the Safe Cities Index notes, size matters. Growth creates security challenges and pressures on everything from housing supply to demand, and on services like transport and energy infrastructure.
“Safety is increasingly being understood more broadly, and will be measured that way in the future. It’s not just about law and order,” says Tim Moonen, Director at global cities think tank, The Business of Cities.