by Kiwiana Ngabung – EMTV Online, Port Moresby
Papua New Guinea has some of the most naturally appealing places to visit and even live in. But when it comes to some of the places fit to live in Port Moresby is not on top.
The nation’s capital, Port Moresby is named, yet again, as one of the least liveable cities in the world, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). This year it is ranked 136th out of a total of 140 cities worldwide.
Compared to past years, the ranking has slightly improved, having been ranked 138th since 2011 until 2015. Last year Port Moresby moved only two spots up, but nevertheless, it is still a change for the better. It is one of 12 cities to improve its ranking this year.Ten least liveable cities -2017. Source: Economist Intelligence Unit
The Global Liveability Report is an annual publication evaluating locations around the world that provide the best and worst living conditions, based on these factors: stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure. These are basically what determine what rank a city sits at.
Melbourne in Australia sits in the number one spot this year for the seventh consecutive time, followed by Vienna, Austria in second place and Vancouver, Canada in third.Source: Tourism Australia
“…there does appear to be a correlation between the types of cities that sit at the very top of the ranking. Those that score best tend to be mid-sized cities in wealthier countries with a relatively low population density,” the report states.
This ultimately explains why PNG’s capital sits so low in the ranks.
According to figures from the National Capital District Commission website, the population density is estimated to be around 1,727 per square kilometres, or higher. In addition to that poverty rates in the city have risen to almost 40 percent and security risks remain high with a score of 61 out of 100.
NCD Governor, Powes Parkop, expressed disappointment on national radio after hearing this news.
But there is hope ahead.
Underway today and ending tomorrow is the PNG International Business Summit 2017, where the ‘Port Moresby Future City’ concept will be discussed.
The concept, put in simple terms, is a vision of Port Moresby becoming a model city, taking into account the welfare of city residents.
Speaking at the summit today was Dr. Simon Baptist, Global Chief Economist, and Managing Director at The Economist Intelligence Unit-Asia. He highlighted PNG’s position in the global economic growth, commodity markets, and risks and opportunities for the country.
Dr. Simon also looked at the areas where there is room for improvement for Port Moresby. These include violent & petty crimes and corruption, road quality, broadband quality and price, availability of medical supplies, and public transport.
Liveability in Port Moresby will be a challenge but working towards a better city is a good head start.
“It is our ambition to make Port Moresby even more accessible to all Papua New Guineans, so that we can provide highly specialised services, such as education and health care that otherwise would not be possible in a rural setting,” NCD Governor said in a statement.
“The growing city will create demand and stimulate growth in other parts of our country – food from the highlands, fish from the islands and the entrepreneurial flair that will make it all happen.”