The City of Colombo has been selected among the five biggest improved cities during the last five years in terms of livability by the Global Livability Report 2017. Out of 140 cities, Colombo is ranked at 124th with an overall rating of 51 out of 100 points.
The Economist Intelligence Unit says that Colombo has showed relative improvement during this period, especially after the end of a separatist war.
On the flip side, however, cities moving up the ranking are located largely in countries that have enjoyed periods of relative stability after previously reported falls in livability. These include, for example, Kiev in Ukraine, Tripoli in Libya and Colombo in Sri Lanka. Unfortunately, the improvements have been marginal and have not seen livability recover from previous levels or resulted in large shifts up the ranking. Amsterdam, Reykjavik, Budapest, Singapore and Montevideo are among those that have seen both their ranks improve.
In total, there are 12 cities with scores that have improved over the past 12 months, up from seven. The ongoing weakening of global stability scores has been made uncomfortably apparent by a number of high-profile incidents that have shown no signs of slowing in recent years. Violent acts of terrorism have been reported in many countries, including Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, France, Pakistan, Sweden, Turkey, the UK and the US. While not a new phenomenon, the frequency and spread of terrorism have increased noticeably and become even more prominent.
Over the past few years several US cities have registered declines in their scores. This stems in part from unrest related to a number of deaths of black people at the hands of police officers. In addition, the country has seen protests held in response to President Trump’s policies and executive orders.
Sydney in Australia is another city that has seen a decline in its ranking, reflecting growing concerns over possible terror attacks in the past three years. For the seventh consecutive year, Melbourne in Australia is the most livable urban centre of the 140 cities surveyed, closely followed by the Austrian capital, Vienna. In fact, only 0.1 percentage points separate the top two cities, and just 0.2 and 0.3 percentage points separate Canada’s Vancouver and Toronto (ranked 3rd and 4th, respectively), from Melbourne.
Another Canadian city, Calgary, shares joint fifth place with Adelaide in Australia. The Economist Intelligence Unit (The EIU) is the research and analysis division of The Economist Group, the sister company to The Economist newspaper.