Singapre leads the pack in Asia as the best city with the best quality of living, thanks to its efficient infrastructure.
The city-state ranked well ahead of other Asian cities, including Tokyo and Hong Kong, gaining one spot to place #25 out of 231 cities in consulting firm Mercer’s “2017 Quality of Living Rankings” survey. In Asia, Tokyo was at #47 and Hong Kong at #71, with both declining slightly in the index. Kuala Lumpur ranked #86 and Johor Baru at #103, making them the second and third best cities in South East Asia respectively.
Singapore was top of the list on quality of city infrastructure, which includes supply of electricity, drinking water and phone services. Mercer also assesses public transportation, traffic congestion and the availability of international flights in this category.
“Cities that rank high in the city infrastructure list provide a combination of top-notch local and international airport facilities, varied and extended coverage through their local transportation networks, and innovative solutions such as smart technology and alternative energy,” said Slagin Parakatil, a principal at Mercer who is responsible for its quality of living research.
Singapore also scored high because of “internal stability, wide availability of consumer goods, availability and quality of housing and low incidence of natural disasters,” Mercer said. However, an earlier survey in January also ranked Singapore among some of the most expensive cities for rental accommodation.
The global ranking — based on data compiled between September and November last year — was dominated by Western European cities, with Vienna and Zurich topping the list. The only non-European cities in the top 10 were Auckland in third spot, Vancouver in fifth, and Sydney in 10th.
In Asia, great disparities in the quality of living remain, Mercer said. Beijing was ranked at #119, with Shanghai at #102 and Guangzhou at #121. Bangkok dropped two spots to #131, and Manila climbed one spot to #135.
The next-best Asian ranking in infrastructure was for Hong Kong at sixth place, while Sydney was at eighth.
“By and large, cities across the Pacific enjoy good quality of living, though criteria such as airport connectivity and traffic congestion are among the factors that see them ranked lower in terms of city infrastructure,” Mercer said.