Unliveable cities

The Economist Intelligence Unit in its report names Karachi among the 10 least liveable cities in the world


Editorial September 06, 2019

Port Morseby, Tripoli, Karachi, all unliveable cities, a survey has revealed. The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) – the research division of The Economist magazine – in its report has named Karachi among the 10 least liveable cities in the world. Residents of Karachi are neither unpleasantly nor pleasantly surprised at this. Over the years, the 14.5 million residents of this unliveable city have become indifferent to things like pain and pleasure and shock and awe and surprise. Ease and pleasure are meaningless words for them.

Each year, the EIU gives 140 cities scores out of 100 on a range of factors such as living standards, crime, transport infrastructure, access to education and healthcare as well as political and economic stability. This year, Karachi has been ranked 136th on the list — the fifth unliveable city in the world. Karachi fares better than Damascus, Lagos, Dhaka and Tripoli (Libya). Other cities in the list of 10 least liveable cities are Caracas, Algiers, Douala (Cameroon), Harare, and Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea).

Karachi’s overall rating out of 100 – which the EIU stated is ideal – is 40.9 while its stability rating is 20, healthcare 45.8, culture and environment 38.7, education 66.7 and infrastructure 51.8. In 2018, Karachi was placed on the 137th position. But those who live in the city find it difficult to believe for obvious reasons. In the EIU’s Safe Cities Index 2019, Karachi has been ranked 57th out of 60. Mayanmar’s capital Yangon, Caracas and Lagos are the three lowest-rated cities on the ranking. Tokyo is at the top in the Safe City Index. Vienna has retained its position as the world’s most liveable city followed by Melbourne.

For the first time, the index noted the effects of climate change on livability, with New Delhi and Cairo ranked at 118th and 125th place respectively due to poor air quality, undesirable average temperatures and inadequate water provision. Now Indians are questioning the choice of Delhi as the nation’s capital due to its closeness to the Thar desert.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 6th, 2019.

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