Chicago ranked one of safest cities – Consumer News

on Oct13

12 October 2017 | 6:19 pm

Despite a tarnished reputation for gun violence, Chicago was ranked today as one of the safest cities in the world.

The Economist Intelligence Unit, a London-based research firm that provides business analysis and forecasting, named Chicago on its 2017 Safe Cities Index, citing its advances in digital security. The annual ranking assesses 60 cities from around the world by four factors: personal safety, health security, digital security and the safety of infrastructure.

Chicago, ranked as the 19th-safest in the world, was one of only three cities representing the U.S. in the top 20. It includes San Francisco (15th) and Los Angles (18th). Tokyo, Singapore and Osaka topped the list, an order that has remained unchanged since 2015. The complete list is below.

As cities become more desirable due to the growing social and economic opportunities, they are also becoming more vulnerable to threats, a dynamic that is expected to grow in coming years. Today there are 31 so-called “megacities,” or those with populations greater than 10 million people. By 2030, megacities will total 41 globally. The swelling in population is expected to directly impact water and power infrastructure, the housing supply, and services such as health care and housing. According to the report, all of these pressure points have the potential to widen the equity divide, which will lead to greater tensions and even create increased threats of terrorism.

The areas of the world where cities are booming are in the developing world, where migration to cities from rural areas represents 90 percent of the uptick in urbanization. Inbound migration to the developed world remains flat.

Yet despite the developing world catching up in population, the safety divide between cities in the poorest and wealthiest cities is vast. In 2017, Buenos Aires is the only city to represent the developing world in the top half of the index.

Chicago fared best in digital security, following just Tokyo and Singapore. The city entered the top 10 due to an initiative in cybersecurity training that Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced in January. The pilot program, which started last spring, is tasked to prepare City Colleges of Chicago students in the growing field. The partnership is with the U.S. Department of Defense, which is providing the leadership training on the Wilbert Wright College campus, located on the Far Northwest Side.

The Trump administration frequently name-checks Chicago when it wants to lament the heavy toll of gun violence on urban centers. In its personal security ranking, the Safe Cities Index factored in terrorism in addition to other forms of urban violence. Chicago was absent from the top 10 under this category; instead five of the top-performing cities—Singapore, Osaka, Tokyo, Taipei and Hong Kong—are Asian, with two of them in Japan.

Report authors said in a news release that cultural values played an important role.

The report also confirmed that you are more likely to die from urban violence than terrorism, no matter where you are around the world. Deaths from terrorism totaled 30,000 in 2015, whereas deaths by homicide were roughly 440,000.



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