Kathmandu's Livability Index Improves "Drastically"


Photo Credits [HERE]

A recent report published by the Economist, also known as the The Economist Intelligence Unit's Livability Survey, measured the livability of cities around the world and ranked them accordingly. While cities such as Melbourne and Vancouver and Toronto have taken the helm, war ridden cities such as Syria and Tripoli are among the very bottom elite. Cities such as Dhaka and Lagos have also taken the honor of joining them as well.

Source [HERE]

Back in 2010, when the survey was last taken, Kathmandu was amongst the worst 10 cities to live in and without a doubt, it should have been. The local public transport system was appalling, crime rates were increasing, drunk driving rampant. accidents increasing, air pollution worsening, water/electricity/fuel imbalance widening...well that's just the tip of the iceberg. The more I seem to think about, the gloomier the picture I paint.

Coming to Seoul was, therefore, a breath of fresh air. In quite literal terms too. In a way, now that I am think about it, I have become one spoilt city brat who takes everything there is for granted.
*pops open a champaign*

Things are, however, improving back in my hometown; that's at least what the survey states. Kathmandu took some massive stride up the ladder and was ranked as the second most livability improved cities in 2015. Whether they counted the recent earthquake or not, that's anyone's guess, but there are some hints of optimism in the air.

Source [HERE]

Reading over the "Summary of the Livability Ranking and Overview August 2015" states that they rate cities according to relative stability (25%), healthcare (20%), culture and environment (25%), education (10%) and infrastructure (20%). Mind you, that the document explicitly states:
EIU rating [out of 100, 100 being most livable] is awarded based on the judgement of in-house expert country analyst and a field correspondent based in each city.
Which does say a lot about how many people are actually involved in doing the survey. Also a loophole; looking at all the indicators, there is no "threat of natural disasters" which of course, is difficult to quantify but that fundamentally misses out on the point that it is a crucial factor, as the recent earthquake sadly showed. And with articles popping up like this one [HERE], it's hard to know whether improvements were merely just because other countries are having a worse time or we really did improve.

One blogger here at www.babusiness.ca stated back in 2011:
Kathmandu is a thoroughly fascinating city, provided you are not killed trying to cross the street. But Kathmandu has been a regular in the bottom 10 [back in 2010] on the same Economist list that so predictably exalts our [Vancouver] city.

Which does go on to show how livability index's can be as malleable as it can get. She further adds:
Livability is a dicey thing to quantify. What do you consider important? 
It surely is difficult to quantify and it really does depend on individual to individual and likewise from index to index. Like how the university that you study in is ranked among the top in the world but somehow, inside, you know that's all bullshit.

Perhaps next time, I will have something really concrete to look at, in terms of pure statistical numbers, to really quantify if Kathmandu deservedly improved its ranking.

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