The world’s five safest cities post-pandemic

Cities across the world have had to rethink security in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic – here are the ones doing it well.N

Nothing in modern memory has changed city life quite like Covid has. From the closure of city-centre offices to mask mandates to restaurant restrictions, pandemic precautions have transformed the landscape of cities across the world, likely for the long term. In fact, the pandemic is the first of its scale to happen to us as an “urbanised” species. When the Spanish Flu hit in the early 1900s, only 14% of humans lived in cities, but today that figure has risen to 57%, according to estimates by the UN Population Division.

As a result, cities have had to become even more vigilant in terms of health protections and overall security to better protect their populations. To clarify what changes have led to higher safety, the Economist Intelligence Unit recently released the 2021 Safe Cities Index, which ranks 60 cities based on 76 safety indicators across infrastructure, digital life, personal security, environmental factors and, of course, health – with pandemic preparedness and Covid-19 mortality included this year.

Those ranked at the top of the index – including Copenhagen, Toronto, Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo – all had factors that illustrate how overall safety correlates to a strong sense of social cohesion, total population inclusion and societal trust. We talked to residents in these cities to see how the changes wrought by the pandemic have made their cities more secure, inclusive and resilient; and what travellers still need to know to stay safe when they’re finally able to visit.

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