Sur­vey ranks Sin­ga­pore among least ex­cit­ing cities

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - Asean Focus -

SIN­GA­PORE, which has tried to shed its strait­laced im­age in the past decade or so through the host­ing of the Formula One Grand Prix and by build­ing in­te­grated re­sorts, for ex­am­ple, has been ranked one of the least ex­cit­ing cities in the world, ac­cord­ing to an on­line sur­vey by an in­ter­na­tional travel mag­a­zine.

The repub­lic came in sec­ond last – ahead of Is­tan­bul – out of 32 cities in the Time Out City Life In­dex, which quizzed 15,000 peo­ple liv­ing in th­ese places on cri­te­ria such as food, drink, cul­ture, friend­li­ness, af­ford­abil­ity, hap­pi­ness and live­abil­ity.

The on­line sur­vey was con­ducted by Time Out in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Ta­pes­try Re­search over De­cem­ber last year and Jan­uary, and in­volved re­spon­dents aged 18 years and older. Among other things, re­spon­dents were asked how they feel about their neigh­bour­hood, how many hours they work, when was the last time they went to a restau­rant, and whether they en­joyed liv­ing in their cities.

Chicago topped the rank­ing, fol­lowed by Porto and New York City. Amer­i­can and Euro­pean cities dom­i­nated the top 10 spots, with Tel Aviv and Shang­hai com­ing in 12th and 16th, re­spec­tively – the high­est places among Asian cities. Else­where in the re­gion, Tokyo was ranked 19th while Bei­jing, Bangkok and Hong Kong were in the 22nd, 24th, and 26th spots re­spec­tively. Sin­ga­pore was some dis­tance away, at 31st po­si­tion.

The Repub­lic was ranked 14 out of 18 cities in the pre­vi­ous edi­tion of the in­dex pub­lished in 2016.

“The city-state of Sin­ga­pore was the worst rated city we sur­veyed for cul­ture, and the worst for drink­ing apart from Dubai,” said the sur­vey, which polled 235 res­i­dents in Sin­ga­pore. Among the re­spon­dents from Sin­ga­pore, 66 per­cent said they en­joy liv­ing in the coun­try – a lower pro­por­tion com­pared to Tokyo (89pc) and Hong Kong (78pc).

The main bug­bears of re­spon­dents liv­ing here in­clude a “lack of kind­ness and po­lite­ness” and over­crowd­ing, with about one in five say­ing th­ese were the big­gest is­sues fac­ing the city. A lack of so­cial in­te­gra­tion (10pc) and in­suf­fi­cient sup­port for the el­derly (9pc) were the other is­sues cited. On a daily ba­sis, 55pc said they feel stressed, 43pc lonely and 35pc sleep-de­prived. “Sin­ga­pore­ans love to com­plain, there­fore, it’s no sur­prise that we’re su­per­crit­i­cal of our home city and what it has to of­fer,” Time Out Sin­ga­pore said in an ar­ti­cle on the sur­vey findings.

Nev­er­the­less, Sin­ga­pore scored well for safety and pub­lic trans­port, and had a “much buzzier restau­rant scene” than other cities ranked to­ward the bot­tom of the list. Asked about Sin­ga­pore’s low rank­ing, Tim Webb, manag­ing di­rec­tor of Time Out Asia, told TO­DAY that he moved to Sin­ga­pore last year, and his fam­ily “loves liv­ing here”.

He said: “Res­i­dents rate Sin­ga­pore very highly in our sur­vey for some key qual­i­ties a city can have. Our sur­vey proves that they love the city’s restau­rant scene – this is some­thing so many tourists come here for and makes lo­cals go out din­ing very of­ten… At the same time, Sin­ga­pore­ans lead hugely healthy lives; our sur­vey found that they ex­er­cise much more than the global av­er­age.”

Photo: EPA

Rac­ers crash dur­ing the Sin­ga­pore Formula One Grand Prix at the Ma­rina Bay Street Cir­cuit in Septem­ber 2017.

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