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SAFETY

Zurich named tenth safest city in the world

Zurich is the tenth safest place to live in the world and the third safest in Europe, according to a ranking published by The Economist Intelligence Unit.

Zurich named tenth safest city in the world
Photo: Ivo Scholz/Swiss Tourism
The 2017 Safe Cities Index ranks 60 cities across 49 indicators covering aspects of security in four domains: digital, health, infrastructure and personal security.
 
Zurich – the only Swiss city to be assessed – placed tenth in the study behind two other European cities (Amsterdam in sixth and Stockholm in eighth), four in Asia (Tokyo, Singapore, Osaka, Hong Kong), along with Sydney and Melbourne in Australia, plus Toronto in Canada.
 
Tokyo topped the ranking overall, retaining the position it first held in the inaugural edition of the ranking in 2015.
 
Source: Economist Intelligence Unit
 
In terms of the ranking’s individual categories, Zurich did particularly well in health security, placing fourth. The category covers indicators including access to healthcare and social care, and the provision of a healthy urban environment including traffic management and green space. 
 
The Swiss city also ranked tenth for infrastructure security, a category generally driven by affluence, according to the report authors.
 
However, perhaps surprisingly, Zurich did not rank within the top ten for personal security, with Asian cities dominating this category. 
 
Zurich regularly features highly in rankings of quality of life, which include safety, such as the Mercer survey earlier this year which placed the Swiss city second only to Vienna
 
And in 2015 it was judged the safest city in the world by a New York-based research and analysis website. 
 
In 2016 Chris Southwell, a British expat who runs a concierge service in Zurich, told The Local that safety was a big asset of the city. 
 
“You don't feel threatened walking around at night, which I think is really nice for families, to have that security,” he said.
 
 
While security remains closely linked to wealth, many cities in developed economies, including New York and Johannesburg, have falling in the rankings since 2015, found the report.
 
“In many respects it’s the very success of cities, in their role as global social and economic hubs, that makes them more vulnerable,” said the report’s authors, pointing out that wealthy urban centres become terrorist targets. 
 
Growing pressure on housing and services are additional security challenges for urban centres, they said. And while digital innovations can help cities address these challenges, they also pose cyber security issues.
 
“In general, while the Safe Cities Index measures relative rather than absolute safety, there does not appear to have been a vast improvement in overall levels of safety since 2015,” concluded the report. 
 
“In parts of the developed world, particularly Europe, a series of terrorist attacks has affected personal security. At the same time, city governments in the developing world are still struggling to keep pace with the rapid expansion of their populaces, which is straining infrastructure and overwhelming health services and law enforcement, the extent to which it is even present.”
 
 

SAFETY

Switzerland ranked one of the world’s ‘safest countries’

A new study has ranked Switzerland among the world’s least dangerous nations to travel in

Switzerland ranked one of the world’s 'safest countries'
FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP

International SOS, a travel security risk services company, has released its 11th annual Travel Risk Map, which shows the safest and most dangerous places to travel in 2020.

Switzerland is among the safest countries in all categories, including infectious diseases, political unrest, and road safety.

Other safe nations in Europe, whose risk in all categories is listed as “insignificant”, are Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Luxembourg, and Slovenia.

The next category, “low risk”, covers most of Europe, with the exception of eastern Ukraine and Russia, which are rated between “medium” and “high” risk, depending on the category measured and the specific region.

Globally, the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan present low risk for travel, while parts of Asia and most of the African continent are deemed unsafe.

Switzerland is safe not only for tourists but also for expats who live here. According to InterNations, a website for expatriates around the word, Switzerland is “particularly safe” for foreigners living here, with 96 percent of those surveyed feeling “personally safe”. 

Switzerland was found to be among the safest countries in other studies as well. It is listed in the second place in the Global Finance magazine’s  survey of 128 nations, based on the criteria such as crime, terrorism, and war.

And Encyclopedia.com, which culls data from a variety of published sources, ranks Switzerland in the first place for its low crime rate and general safety.
 

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