Pollution makes Beijing almost ‘uninhabitable for human beings’
New study ranks Beijing second worst in terms of living environment among 40 major world cities
Beijing’s pollution has made the city almost “uninhabitable for human beings”, according to a new study released by the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences on Wednesday, which ranked Beijing second worst in terms of living environment among 40 major cities around the world.
“Beijing’s severe pollution is much worse than the average level … and the environment is far from meeting the [safety] standards,” the study concludes, according to state-owned China News Service.
Hong Kong and Shanghai rated only slightly better than Beijing, ranking 34th and 36th respectively. Stockholm topped the list, while Moscow came last, but mainly because of its harsh natural environment – long winters and extreme cold, the study explains.
The study aims to give a comprehensive appraisal of world cities by gauging economic, social, cultural and ecological factors.
Despite Beijing’s poor environmental performance, the city ranked second in terms of social inclusiveness, inferior only to Paris and beating Tokyo and London, thanks to its low official Gini co-efficient – healthy wealth distribution among residents.
“The result shows that Beijing’s social inclusiveness is already on par with world cities such as Paris and London,” the study says, attributing the good performance partly to the city’s cheap public services.
However, Beijing’s poor public medical service and relatively high crime rate added to the city’s poor governance performance.
Overall, Tokyo, London, Paris, New York and Singapore were listed as the top five “world cities”. Shanghai ranked 21st and Beijing 31st.