Beijing Among Least Hospitable Cities, Chinese Researchers Say

Pollution in Beijing and Shanghai place them among the least hospitable of 40 international cities ranked in a report by the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences.

The study, which evaluates cities on factors including pollution, cost of living and security, ranked Beijing 39 out of 40 cities. Moscow was rated the least hospitable, while Shanghai was 36. Stockholm was ranked the world’s best place to live, according to a statement sent by the Beijing-based Social Sciences Academic Press, which published the findings.

Pollution in the Chinese capital is “close to extreme” and makes the city of 20 million “barely suitable” for living, according to the Shanghai academy’s findings. Pollution in Shanghai is worse than average, it said.

Chinese authorities, seeking to assuage public outrage about dirty air and water, have pledged to reduce pollution by cutting the use of coal, limiting the number of cars on roads and shutting polluting factories. Beijing Mayor Wang Anshun last month said the city would cut coal use by 2.6 million metric tons and eliminate 300 polluting companies this year, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

Beijing’s concentration of PM2.5, fine particulates that pose the greatest risk to human health, was 194 micrograms per cubic meter at 3 p.m. near Tiananmen Square today, compared with an average of 176 over the past 24 hours, according to the city’s environmental monitoring center. The World Health Organization recommends day-long exposure of no more than 25.

— With assistance by Feifei Shen

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