Manila among least sustainable cities globally – report

Ralf Rivas
Manila among least sustainable cities globally – report

Photo by Martin San Diego/Rapple

Manila ranked poorly in the social, environmental, and economic sub-indices of the 2018 Sustainable Cities Index and 'needs to reinvent itself'

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines’ capital was among the least sustainable cities, a study of an Amsterdam-based design and consultancy firm said on Thursday, November 1.

The 2018 Sustainable Cities Index  of Arcadis Design and Consultancy for Natural and Built Assets revealed that Manila was 95th out of 100 cities in overall sustainability.

The study took into account social, environmental, and economic factors in determining the rank.

In the people sub-index, where the quality of life is measured, Manila ranked 93rd overall. 

Meanwhile, the capital ranked 91st in the planet sub-index, which measures green spaces and pollution. (READ: Air pollution deaths 3rd highest in PH)

Manila was almost dead last at 98th in the profit sub-index, which takes into account the overall economic health of the city. (READ: PH among worst in ease of doing business, education – report)

The study also categorized Manila as part of “evolutionary cities,” joining Bangkok, Hanoi, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, and 14 other cities outside Asia.

The citizens of these cities, the report said, experience dissatisfaction “due to the disruption of tight-knit networks and communities when development finally occurs.”

“These factors are significant barriers to consistent sustainable development in cities,” the report added.

Manila is also among the cities facing economic decline and in need of reinventing itself. 

London is ranked the world’s most sustainable city in 2018, but faces challenges associated with affordability and congestion. 

The top 20 sustainable cities are mostly established European metropolises. representing Asia in the upper ranks are Singapore (4th), Hong Kong (9th) and Seoul (13th).

Meanwhile, Kuala Lumpur (67th) benefits from consistent scores across all pillars and outranks all the cities in China except for Shenzhen as well as a number of U.S. and European cities. –

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Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.