By Shabiya Ali Ahlam
Sri Lanka’s latest development efforts have resulted in Colombo standing tall as one the top five most improved cities in the world according to a survey carried out by The Economist Group.
The Global Livability Report 2017 released by ‘The Economist Intelligence Unit’ (EIU), the group’s research and analysis division, showed that Colombo stood at fifth place in the list of ‘five biggest improvers’ for having successfully transformed its landscape over the last five years.
In the ranking, Colombo stood behind Tehran in Iran, Dubai in United Arab Emirates (UAE), Abidjan in Cote d’Ivoire, and Harare in Zimbabwe.
While Sri Lanka ranked 124 out of 140 in the Global Livability Report 2017, it received an overall rating of 51 where the ideal rating is 100.
The top five livable cities were Melbourne in Australia, Vienna in Austria, and Canada’s Vancouver and Toronto. The fifth position was jointly secured by another Canadian city, Calgary, and Adelaide in Australia. Meanwhile, the five least livable cities according to the rankings were Damascus in Syria, Lagos in Nigeria, Tripoli in Libya, Dhaka in Bangladesh, and Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea (PNG).
The report highlighted that cities moving up the ranking were located largely in countries that have enjoyed periods of relative stability after previously reported drops in livability, and in that cluster, cities included were, Kiev in Ukraine, Tripoli in Libya and Colombo.
However, it was pointed out that improvements have been marginal and have not seen livability recover from previous levels or resulted in large shifts up the ranking.
Although the most livable cities in the world remain largely unchanged, it was noted that there has been movement within the top tier of livability. Of the 65 cities with scores of 80 or more, six
have seen a change in score in the past 12 months.
Overall, the global average livability score has fallen by 0.8 percent to 74. 8 percent over the past five years.
“Weakening stability has been a key factor in driving this decrease. The average global stability score has fallen by 2 percent over the past five years, from 73.4 percent in 2012 to 71.4 percent now,” the report stated.
While most cities in the top tier have registered improvements in their scores, two of them, Manchester in the UK and Stockholm in Sweden, have seen their scores decline as a result of recent terrorist attacks.
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