Survey ranks Singapore among least exciting cities
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.”
Racers crash during the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix at the Marina Bay Street Circuit in September 2017.