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Safe Cities 2021

Wie sicher das Leben der Menschen in Städten ist, hat das internationale Magazin The Economist anhand von 76 Merkmalen (Infrastruktur, Digitalisierung, persönliche Sicherheit, Umweltfaktoren, Gesundheit) in 60 Städten weltweit mit besonderer Berücksichtigung der Covid-19-Pandemie untersucht. Die Ergebnisse sind im Safe Cities Index 2021 (s. Link) veröffentlicht.
Kopenhagen belegt den Spitzenplatz aufgrund der Umweltsicherheit, zu der vor allem Parks und öffentliche Räume beitragen. Während der Pandemie-Maßnahmen sorgen öffentliche Grünräume für Wohlbefinden und Lebensqualität in Städten.
Auf den Rängen folgen Toronto, Singapur, Sydney und Tokio.

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"The Safe Cities Index 2021 is a report from The Economist Intelligence Unit, sponsored by NEC Corporation. The report is based on the fourth iteration of the index, which ranks 60 cities across 76 indicators covering digital, health, infrastructure, personal and environmental security.
The experience of covid-19 shows the need for a more holistic approach to health security and its closer integration into urban resilience planning. It is still too early to draw detailed conclusions on the implications of covid-19 for health security. The pandemic continues at the time of writing. Even were it over, robust, internationally comparable data on what has happened are still rare. Nonetheless, the need to rethink health system preparedness is already clear. This must have several elements. The first is to look at different kinds of diseases and the wider determinants of disease as an interrelated whole rather than considering them in silos. The second is to think of populations as a whole, which will especially involve providing effective care for currently marginalised groups. The third is to integrate health emergency planning more fully into urban resilience measures that, often, have focused more on dealing with natural disasters and environmental concerns.

Digital security at the city level is too often insufficient for current needs and insecurity will multiply as urban areas increasingly pursue smart city ambitions. The index data show that internet connectivity is becoming ubiquitous, even in our lower-middle-income cities, and could be effectively universal within a decade. Meanwhile, 59 of our 60 cities have started the process of becoming a smart city or expressed the ambition. This makes current levels of digital security worrying. To cite two examples from our figures, only around a quarter of urban governments have public-private digital security partnerships and a similarly small number look at network security in detail in their smart city plans. Such data are representative, not exceptional. Gregory Falco – assistant professor of civil and systems engineering at Johns Hopkins University– notes that “the digital security of cities is generally pretty terrible.” Improvement requires rethinking digital security on several levels: cities must see it as an investment, or at least an essential insurance policy, rather than an unproductive cost; they must understand that the nature of the technology requires a city-wide approach rather than one fragmented by departmental silos; and, finally, digital security – and especially protection of smart city networks – needs to involve providing the level of safety that citizens expect and demand. Indeed, smart cities need to be built around what urban residents want, or they will fail.

Although our index data show little change in various infrastructure security metrics, experts report that covid-19 has brought this field to a fundamental inflection point. Change in infrastructure can be slow, with decisions sometimes having repercussions for centuries. Accordingly, certain indicator results, such as those covering power and rail networks, show little change. This stability does not reflect the current state of this field.

Covid-19 has brought a level of uncertainty around the likely demands on urban infrastructure– and therefore how to keep it secure – which Adie Tomer, leader of the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Infrastructure Initiative, describes as “nuts compared to just two years ago.” It is unclear the extent to which lockdown-associated developments will diminish, or accelerate, when the pandemic ends. Greater levels of working from home, increased digitalisation of commerce, and growing resident demands for more sustainable urban communities with services within walking or cycling reach all have extensive infrastructure implications. Meanwhile, ongoing urbanisation, especially in Asia and Africa, mean that the next two decades must be ones of rapid infrastructure development in order to meet the basic needs of city residents. This will require a shift to greener infrastructure and better management of existing assets. Our index results, though, show that in these areas the majority of cities will have to raise their game.

Personal security is a matter of social capital and co-creation. Our index figures show, as elsewhere, that personal security pillar scores correlate closely with HDI figures for cities. A closer look yields a less predictable result. A number of cities, in particular Singapore, seem to combine low levels of inputs with excellent results in this field, in particular when it comes to judicial system capacity and crime levels. While most of the examples of this combination are in Asia, they exist elsewhere too, as in Toronto and Stockholm. One way that these various cities can accomplish apparently doing more with less, say our experts, is higher levels of social capital and cohesion. The resultant sense of connectedness, shared values, and community also allows greater co-creation of security with citizens. The latter not only multiplies the efforts of city authorities to improve personal security, but it also helps define security in ways that are more meaningful to residents.

Most cities have strong environmental policies, but now must deliver results. Unlike other pillars, low- and middle-income cities often do well on environmental security. Bogota, for example, comes 4th overall. One explanation is that good environmental policies are widespread. The increased interest in reaching carbon neutrality that has accompanied the pandemic will only strengthen the impetus for still better plans. The challenge, though, remains implementation. Here, even higher income cities are lagging noticeably behind their ambitions. As in other areas, the key to success will be to take an overarching approach to environmental issues rather than a fractured one, and for cities to work with residents rather than seeking to direct them."
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Mon 08/11/2021


Safe Cities 2021

The Economist untersuchte 60 Städte weltweit anhand von 76 Merkmalen (Infrastruktur, Digitalisierung, persönliche Sicherheit, Umweltfaktoren, Gesundheit) unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Covid-19-Pandemie.

Kopenhagen belegt den Spitzenplatz aufgrund der Umweltsicherheit, u.a. mit öffentlichen Grünräumen, die zum Wohlbefinden während der Pandemie-Maßnahmen beitragen.

Auf den Rängen folgen Toronto, Singapur, Sydney und Tokio.


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