It seems like Singapore’s billion-dollar green investments have paid off.
A new study says that the city-state is Asia’s most livable city, beating regional rivals like Hong Kong, which now has one of the worst levels of air pollution in the world.
According to ECA International, the group which conducted the study, Singapore is the best city globally for Asian expatriates. Hong Kong jumped three places, overtaking Tokyo and Yokohama this year on quality-of-life indicators, but it did so only because the two Japanese cities were affected by last year’s earthquake and nuclear disaster in northeast Japan, says ECA International.
Among the 49 Asian cities covered by the group’s study, Hong Kong now ranks third in livability, just behind Singapore and the Japanese city of Kobe. Hong Kong’s excellent schooling, vibrant nightlife and transport systems are often seen as comparable – or better than – its Southeast Asian rivals, sometimes coming out tops in the Singapore-Hong Kong debate.
But on other measures, “Asia’s World City” – as Hong Kong prefers to brand itself – continues to fall spectacularly behind. When it comes to air pollution, the city is one of the world’s worst destinations, ranked alongside the likes of Cairo and Mexico City. It’s one of Asia’s most smog-shrouded cities, with air quality that ranks just behind Beijing and New Delhi.
Pollution is Hong Kong’s “big Achilles heel,” says Lee Quane of ECA International. For the last 13 years that ECA has conducted the current iteration of its survey, Singapore has consistently outranked Hong Kong. Quane says “the main reason is basically air quality,” an issue he says has become especially apparent in the last five years. China Real Time has more.