Gridlocked Dublin is ranked ‘slowest moving’ major city in the world

Dublin ranks among the wealthiest and ‘smartest’ cities in the world as measured by GDP but is the slowest moving major city when it comes to traffic congestion, according to a new report.

A Bank of America Merrill Lynch report on a transforming world found that incomes vary significantly across the world’s 300 largest metropolitan economies, with Dublin ranked at 19 for the highest GDP per capita, with GDP valued at $63,600 (€59,200). 

Zurich in Switzerland was ranked in first place with a GDP of $82,410.

Ireland came ahead of the USA, Canada, Japan, the UK and Singapore when it came to the most affordable housing in urban centres. China, Australia and New Zealand were seen as the least affordable.

The report found that for the first time in history, there are more people living in urban than rural areas. 

Some 55% of the world’s population lives in cities, a number that will grow to 70% by 2050.

It said that cities have become the engines of global economic growth, with economic activity of about €58 trn annually, which is 85% of global GDP. That figure is set to rise to €107trn by 2030.

Dublin also made the top 20 when it comes to smart cities, just ahead of Sydney. 

Factors measured included broadband coverage, next generation infrastructure, and the use of artificial intelligence to measure the smartness of a city.

Dublin is the slowest moving major city, the survey found, at 7.5km/h during congested periods with peak hour speeds at 5.5km/h, just over the speed of an average person walking. 

Los Angeles commuters spent over 100 hours a year in traffic jams in 2016, more than any other city in the world.

The US accounts for 11 of the top 25 cities with the worst traffic congestion, but are all faster moving than the Irish capital.

The report said that congestion could cause loss of up to 4% of GDP due to wasted fuel, lost time and the increased costs in doing business.

Despite urban prosperity, more than 80% of the world’s cities show signs of fragility with poor governance and weak institutions perceived by citizens as the biggest impediment to prosperity. 

Inadequate infrastructure, rising inequality, housing, crime, environmental challenges and new risks such as cybersecurity and terrorism were the other major sources of concern.

Dublin is in the top 25 when it comes to the city prosperity index, measured by productivity, infrastructure, quality of life, social inclusion, environmental sustainability, and governance and legislation. 

Scandinavian cities Oslo, Stockholm, Helsinki and Copenhagen topped the index.

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