China’s first-tier cities barely suitable for living, report says

Beijing Morning by J Aaron Farr

Beijing Morning by J Aaron Farr

Despite a strong showing in the “Top 10 attractive cities to foreigners” list, a new report indicates that no Mainland first-tier cities are suitable for habitation.

The report on China’s urban competitiveness, from Chinese think tank the National Academy of Economic Strategy under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, states that the metropolises of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou all failed to rank as “habitable cities”; with Beijing dropping to 74th and 119th on the list for habitability and ecological environment. Hong Kong and Macao, however, are listed among the country’s most livable cities.

Li Guangquan, a researcher with the China Center for Service Sector Research, said the ultimate goal of urban competitiveness should be the pursuit of citizens’ benefits.

However, many first-tier cities, despite their outstanding competitiveness, are barely people-oriented and hardly satisfactory in ecological protection, Li said.

High housing prices have become the main reason that some cities are increasingly “uninhabitable”, with other reasons including poor air quality and traffic congestion, he said.