What is the cleanest or safest city in the European Union? In which city is it easy to find work or home? Which city has the best public transport or air quality? The answers to these and many other questions can be found in the latest “Report on the Quality of Life in European Cities 2020”, carried out by the European Commission, and released this Tuesday.
This report, compiling the results of the 5th survey of European cities, which covers 83 cities and was carried out in 2019, shows that those who live in the northern European Union (EU) cities are the most satisfied with their city, but the satisfaction in eastern EU cities is increasing rapidly. Those who live in a large city are more satisfied with public transport, but those who live in smaller cities feel safer when walking alone at night.
For the first time, the survey includes questions about the quality of municipal administration. For example, half of the city’s residents think there is corruption in their city administration, but in the worst cities four out of five think so, compared to just one in five in the best cities.
Among the cities included, Copenhagen (Denmark) and Stockholm (Sweden) are ranked first with around 98% of residents satisfied with life in their city. Zurich (Switzerland), Gdansk (Poland), Braga (Portugal) and Oslo (Norway) are close by, with around 97% of residents satisfied with life in their cities.
Portuguese happy to live in Braga
The results of this study show that nine out of 10 Europeans are satisfied with the city where they live. And in this ranking we will find the city of Braga, one of the 10 cities where citizens are most happy with their geography, with 97% of respondents saying they are satisfied with life in the municipality.
But what about the capital? Regarding Lisbon, the assessment is also positive but obtained lower numbers (86%).
The research details that Braga, whether born there or not, are more fans of their ‘ground’ than residents of the capital in 18 of the 22 items evaluated in this work.
In wanting to gauge opinion about the city as a good place to live, the study also addressed the issue of immigrants, and in this regard, in Braga and Lisbon, the overwhelming majority considers that immigrants are well received – 95% in the city northern city, 91% in the capital. Together with Spanish cities, Portuguese are above the southern EU average (77%).
When it comes to the quality of the city for the elderly, Braga stands out as the destination where those over 65 have a good place to live, also occupying a place in the top 10, with 94% of respondents validating this assessment .
In terms of mobility, Braga is one of the 83 cities evaluated, which uses the car most (61%) and Groningen the least (29%). Braga is also one of those that uses less public transport (only surpassed by Podgorica, Nicosia and Palermo). And Lisbon appears in the top 10 of the cities that least use bicycles (9%).
Not everything is roses
In this study, Portuguese cities are also referred to for ‘little or not happy’ reasons. With regard to finding a job: on average, only two out of five residents in the 83 cities studied think that finding a job is easy. But the differences within the continent are again great: in the south, only one in five believes it is easy to find a job, in the north and west half have this conviction.
Capitals almost always perform worse (31%) than non-capitals (44%) and Portugal is part of that group (with 47 percentage points difference between Lisbon and Braga), along with Finland, Denmark or Germany.
Regarding the financial situation of households, 72% of residents say they are satisfied. But in Portugal, both cities are below 62%, a result almost always related to the general perception of whether or not the city is a good place to live, but Lisbon and Braga appear as exceptions since the overall rating is higher.
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