Scores for satisfaction, engagement, innovation, and resilience are based on a 1–10 scale.
Not very satisfied
Delivering daily life
When it comes to the services they use most often — electricity, water and public transportation — Hong Kong residents are the happiest of those in our sample. The vast majority in the territory deem their electricity supply, for example, to be reliable. Only 10 percent of respondents there have experienced a power outage more than once in the past year. Nearly two-thirds (63%) in Hong Kong say that the public transportation they use is ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ at getting them where they want to go. Fewer (35%) tell us the same about transport timeliness, but the vast majority (86%) state it is at least acceptable. Riyadh residents are the least positive in the survey on infrastructure quality, although they can still be described as ‘moderately satisfied.’
Public transportation is viewed as generally reliable in all 10 cities, but that does not make using it any easier for commuters. Whichever form of transportation residents may select, most believe that the experience of traveling on public transportation is growing more, not less, stressful. Within the survey, complaints are loudest about delays. Nearly four in 10 New Yorkers, for example (38%), and three in 10 Torontonians (30%) rate public transportation in their cities as ‘poor’ on timeliness. However, vast majorities in both (86% and 80%, respectively) say the same means of transportation are ‘acceptable’ or better at getting them where they want to go. In the survey overall, half of respondents give a ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ grade to public transportation for getting them to their destinations, even if not always on time.
Relatively small numbers report a deterioration in the quality of transportation infrastructure during the past year. That figure is highest, though (28%), when it comes to roads and bridges. Roughly one-third of residents in New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, London and Sydney say these infrastructure elements are getting worse, explaining why roads are viewed as the first or second priority for infrastructure improvements in all of these cities. City residents are broadly satisfied with the reliability of their water supply, as they are with their electricity supply. There are, however, significant differences between cities.
For example, water outages or restrictions are a rarity in Singapore, according to nine in 10 respondents there. They are more commonplace in Mumbai, where 67 percent of residents have experienced a restricted supply on three or more occasions in the past year. There are also stark differences in electricity supply. Whereas 91 percent of Singaporeans have experienced one or no outages in the past year, that figure is only 58 percent in Chicago, 52 percent in Los Angeles, 51 percent in Riyadh, 45 percent in Toronto, and 15 percent in Mumbai.
Squeezing household budgets
The cost of infrastructure, and the public services it supports, naturally has an impact on levels of public satisfaction. In all cities, more survey respondents find their public transportation fares to be affordable than unaffordable.
Hong Kong residents are the most likely in the survey to say their water and electricity bills are affordable. Citizens in Riyadh are least likely to say this, and as many as 75 percent of respondents there describe their regular electricity bills as ‘unaffordable.’
This disquiet with electricity tariffs extends more widely: 54 percent in Sydney and 42 percent in Toronto also say their monthly bills are unaffordable. When it comes to public transportation, London has the largest share of respondents (38%) saying that transport fares are unaffordable.
The average frequency in the last 12 months, where respondents have experienced water outages or restricted supply, or loss of electric power to their own neighbours residences