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Copenhagen ranks highest in the Safe Cities Index 2021

Copenhagen ranks highest in the Safe Cities Index 2021

The Danish capital is followed closely by Toronto

The outbreak of the pandemic drastically changed the way we view the world as what we once saw as safe and secure no longer felt so. Taking a case in point, things that once made us comfortable became terrifying as travelling and meeting people was suddenly deemed dangerous. Unsurprisingly, this unexpected health crisis subsequently resulted in a shift in the world's safest cities.

More specifically, a new report by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) found that Copenhagen is now the world’s safest city, surpassing previous frontrunners Tokyo, Singapore, and Osaka. First launched in 2015, the Safe Cities Index is updated once every two years to reveal which cities are the safest based on new criteria.

This year, it covers 60 major urban areas and consists of 76 indicators under 5 main categories: digital security, health security, infrastructure security, personal security, and environmental security. Naturally, the index’s framework has been updated to reflect the impact of the pandemic. In addition to this, it is the first time that the EIU includes environmental security in the index.

Which cities rank highest?

To reiterate, the Danish capital has surpassed former frontrunners Tokyo, Singapore, and Osaka. In each of the three previous publications, these three cities have been the index’s leaders. Now, Copenhagen ranks highest with 82.4 points out of 100. The Danish city is followed closely by Toronto, which has earned 82.2 points.

According to the 2021 report, these two cities have done noticeably better in the new environmental security pillar than any of the three previous leaders. Nevertheless, it must be noted that they still rank high in this year's index.

The world’s top 10 safest cities according to the 2021 report are:

  1. Copenhagen
  2. Toronto
  3. Singapore
  4. Sydney
  5. Tokyo
  6. Amsterdam
  7. Wellington
  8. Hong Kong
  9. Melbourne
  10. Stockholm

Among the least safe cities are Lagos, Cairo, Caracas, Karachi, and Yangon.

What makes Copenhagen the safest?

EIU interviewed Mayor of Copenhagen Lars Weiss, asking what makes Copenhagen such a safe city. Responding to this, Weiss explained that the capital’s crime rate is the lowest it has been in more than a decade.

In addition to this, there is great social cohesion and a relatively narrow wealth gap. Discussing this, Weiss noted: “It [Copenhagen] is a mixed city where both the cleaning assistant and the CEO meet each other at the local supermarket and have their kids in the same school.”

Addressing the index’s new pillar, the mayor explained that Copenhagen aims to become the world’s first carbon-neutral capital city by 2025. As such, it is fighting hard to mitigate the effects of climate change, reduce emissions, invest in green energy, and adapt the city to future climate changes.

Despite these successes, Weiss admits that more work needs to be done to further lower the current crime rate as well as to improve the infrastructure security for cyclists.

“Everyone should feel safe in Copenhagen, whether child or senior, male or female, LGBTI+ or part of any other minority. That is why we work continuously to improve safety for our citizens,” Weiss shared.

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