Santiago de Chile is Latinamerica’s second best city in terms of “liveability,” according to a new report by British magazine “The Economist.”
The study, which evaluated 140 cities around the world in terms of stability, health, culture, environment, education and infrastructure, put Santiago in 64th place overall, with Buenos Aires just ahead in the 61st place. Santiago thus held on to the same position it had in the magazine’s 2008 report.
“It doesn’t surprise me that Santiago is among the best cities in Latin America,” said Patricia Arias, a security and citizenship expert at the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences.
“Foreigners perceive the country as ordered, with strong institutions. It’s seen as a gem of security and order in the region.”
“Urban planning problems, pollution, and a weak infrastructure, including unpaved roads,” were factors counting against Santiago, said Arias.
Commenting on the Argentine capital’s higher ranking, she said: “Buenos Aires has a higher level of corruption than Santiago, but that’s balanced by the city’s public spaces, green areas, wide streets and friendliness. If we compare them, Santiago isn’t a very pretty city,” said Arias.
According to the report, the main factor counting against Latinamerican cities continued to be crime. This was a strong influence on the positions on the list of cities such as Mexico City (105th), Caracas (118th) and Bogotá (127th).
Colombia’s internal armed conflict continued to weigh heavily in perceptions of its capital, “but as a city, it is not seen as violent, and it is much friendlier than Santiago,” said Arias.
For the second year running, Vancouver was selected as the best place in the world in which to live. At the bottom of the list were cities in Africa and Asia, where civil conflicts and inadequate infrastructures present the main challenges.
By Cathal Sheerin - Santiago Times