The city of Accra came last in a survey of 55 cities of how the world’s top cities measure up from the perspective of youth.
Accra scored well in a number of areas including entrepreneurship and safety. Johannesburg edged Casablanca to take the top regional spot, after the research scored the city particularly highly in terms of arts and diversity. Casablanca took second place in the region, scoring well in safety and environment.
New York City came first in the survey. New York City, thanks to its strong scores in the arts, climbed to the top spot from No. 3 last year. London came second with Berlin following in third.
Part of a larger venture challenging youth to regenerate the world’s biggest cities, the 2015 YouthfulCities Index ranked 55 cities from across the globe using 101 different indicators across urban attributes such as transit, employment, culture and sports.
The initiative is the first attempt to quantify which cities are most attractive and suited to young people aged 15-29. It sets a leading edge view of cities that are on the rise.
Youth are great equalisers in the urban context. Almost all world regions have a city in the top 20. USA/Canada – nine cities; Europe – five cities; Asia – three cities with Tokyo tops at 12th; Latin America – two cities with Mexico City leading in 9th; and the Middle East with Tel Aviv in 14th. The leading African city was Johannesburg (35th). All six global regions had cities among the bottom 25 cities in the index.
The indicators themselves were determined by a survey of over 1,600 young people in the participating cities, and to ensure objectivity the researchers defined the indicators in as specific a way as possible.
For example: the miles of cycleway in each city; the number of possibilities for youth volunteering; and the volume of recycled waste.
The data collection uses online sources such as census reports or official websites, and talking to the sources in person. Furthermore, Youthful Cities said that local youth organisations from all over the world were included in the process of research.
Sonja Miokovic, co-founder of YouthfulCities said: “We are at a time of unprecedented opportunity to transform the places we live, work and play by engaging the world’s largest untapped resource – youth.
“Half of the world’s population is under 30 years old and half now live in cities. Youth and cities — especially the largest ones — will together shape the future of the planet. That’s why it is essential for cities to appeal to youth and actively find ways to unlock their potential.”
At the YouthfulCities Global Summit held in Toronto, Canada, Elfreda Tetteh, international YouthfulCities representative from Accra, said: “Although we were at the bottom of the table for employment, our rankings for entrepreneurship make me hopeful that the young business owners will improve the availability of jobs and the city’s affordability”.
Elfreda Tetteh, an artist herself, is passionate about promoting the arts in Ghana and abroad. She believes that promotion of arts and culture can lead to more opportunities for the youth and advance development of the city.
At the Summit, she with other delegates formulated various strategies that cities like Accra can use to make it easier for young people to live, work and play, as well as ways in which the three can be connected.
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