(Yicai Global) Dec. 4 -- Shanghai, Shenzhen and Beijing are among the top three first-tier cities in China's livable index, says Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS). As China strives to improve the environment and quality of life in urban areas, its cities vie to project a livable city brand for citizens and investors.
A CASS report, released on Nov. 30, evaluated and measured 287 prefecture-level cities in China in 17 categories including being livable, social governance, quality of life and ecological environment. Among the top 10 cities were Shanghai, Shenzhen, Beijing, Xiamen, Dalian, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Chengdu and Nanjing.
As a whole, the construction of a livable brand for China's cities is still at a stage of transformation and development. The average score of the indexes is very low, even in the top three cities, said the report's editor-in-chief, Liu Yanping, adding that China has not yet created all-around livable star cities brand.
Taking Beijing as an example, the Chinese capital, the report said, was very strong in such indicators as culture, tourism, communication, education, medical care, roads and public facilities. However, other factors like traffic congestion, high housing prices and air pollution have lowered Beijing's ranking in quality of life and eco-environmental indicators.
The ecological environment is the most important factor constraining the development of livable cities in China, Liu said. Balancing economic development and ecological environment has become a major challenge in building livable city brand.