The constant fear of terrorism has made Europe’s major cities less livable, according to rankings released Thursday.
Terrorism and geopolitical instability have caused 20 percent of cities’ scores to decline on the Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2016 Global Liveability Report. The cities are assigned a score based on 30 factors, each rated as acceptable, tolerable, uncomfortable, undesirable or intolerable.
Paris, which was rocked by two terror attacks in 2015, is one of the 10 cities with the highest drop over the past five years. Overall, Europe is considered less attractive because of, “heightened fears of terrorism in the wake of attacks in Paris and Brussels.”
“What is interesting is that it is not just the threat of terrorism that is lowering stability,” Jon Copestake, editor of the report, told The Independent. “The last few years have seen an intensification of protests, and border disputes as well as the ongoing armed conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa.”
Paris has been the city in the world with the most annual tourists, but hotel occupancy has halved over the past year because of the terrorism fears.
Several major American cities have also seen their scores decline as a result of “social unrest” attributed to mass shootings. Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, San Francisco and New York have all dropped.
Melbourne, Australia, tops the rankings, followed by Austrian capital Vienna and Vancouver, Canada. Melbourne has held on to the top spot for six years straight.
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