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Toronto places fourth in safe cities ranking

By SmartCoverage Team on October 12th, 2017

Maintaining safety in a populous, internationally-recognized city is difficult to do, but it appears Toronto is doing a pretty good job of it compared to the competition.

In the 2017 edition of the Economist Intelligence Unit's (EIU) Safe Cities Index, Toronto finished fourth out of the 60 cities that were studied. No other Canadian cities were chosen.

Toronto's 87.36 score fell just short of the top-ranking trio of Tokyo (89.80), Singapore (89.64), and Osaka (88.87). The lowest-ranking cities were Karachi (38.77), Yangon (46.47), and Dhaka (47.37), all three of which weren't included in previous iterations of the study.

The ranking is determined by an algorithm based on 49 indicators that assess factors from the following broad categories: digital security, health security, infrastructure security, and personal security. Toronto didn't rank in the top percentile for any of those categories, but it finished relatively high in each one, which allowed its composite score to climb and eclipse all of those individual figures. It had a digital security ranking of 6, a health security ranking of 11, an infrastructure security ranking of 14 and a personal security ranking of 5.

There is no doubt that Torontonians are extremely lucky to enjoy the sort of safety that they do, largely without any threat of natural disasters or government turmoil. Still, results such as the 14th place infrastructure ranking show that there are still improvements to be desired in this rapidly growing city. As one expert noted in the report, "The intensification of the urbanisation process, the overcrowding, the inequality and services provided or not provided—these are huge issues that can feed into social and political instabilities." Managing its population growth with a corresponding updating of infrastructure like public transportation, safe roads, buildings, and utilities will be a key challenge.

The report also shares an interesting Toronto-specific tidbit, writing that "A simulation study in Toronto, for example, predicted that if half the city's roof surfaces were green, irrigated roofs, it would reduce temperatures across the entire city by 1-2 degrees Celsius."

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