İstanbul was ranked the second least healthy city in the world among 89 cities surveyed for designated criteria in research conducted by home renting website Spotahome, BBC Turkish Service reported on Sunday.
The study took into account 10 categories including air and water quality, work-life balance, annual sunshine hours, green space, annual vacation days, obesity, life expectancy at birth, average gym rating, fast food outlets and electric car charging points.
Amsterdam came first in the list of healthy cities, followed by Oslo and Munich, while İstanbul shared the last three places with Shanghai and Casablanca. The study also included the Turkish cities of Bursa in 72nd and İzmir in 83rd place.
Other cities in the study were Barcelona in 52nd place, New York in 54th and London in 40th place. Rome was ranked 36th while Milan took 61st place.
The study used data from the OECD Health Index, the WHO and TripAdvisor in different categories.
İstanbul’s best features in the study were fast-food outlets, gym quality and vacation days, while it got the worst marks for electric car charging points, obesity in adults and green space.
Only 2 percent of İstanbul was dedicated to public green space as parks and gardens in 2015 according to a World Cities Culture Forum report. With the large number of construction projects launched since then, described as “environmentally destructive” by activists according to a City Lab report in July 2017, İstanbul is likely to have less green space today.
Environmentalists have also criticized the Turkish government for conducting grand projects, such as Kanal İstanbul and the city’s third airport, without considering the environmental hazards they posed.
İstanbul is the most densely populated city in Turkey, with 15.03 million people living in a total of 2,063 square miles, making transportation and traffic a serious problem for residents. Although considered a cultural hotspot, İstanbul’s inhabitants borrowed a mere 0.03 million books in 2014 and has only 71 museums according to Turkish Ministry of Culture data.
However, İstanbul hasn’t always been at the bottom of the lists, coming out on top in a Financial Times website poll in May 2011 by users’ votes. Its historic sites and skyline are still very popular among residents.