Wellington has been named the top city for environmental security by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
As for overall safety, the capital was ranked seventh, closely following Tokyo and Amsterdam, but beating out iconic destinations such as Hong Kong, Melbourne and Stockholm.
First launched in 2015, this year's Safe Cities Index ranked 60 cities using 76 indicators across digital, health, personal-security, infrastructure and environmental sectors.
The global policy benchmarking tool combines these findings with in-depth interviews with experts and wide-ranging research to provide each city with a score out of 100.
To reflect the changing nature of urban safety, the "environmental pillar" was introduced this year, in which Wellington placed top of the list. The report considering a city's climate risk management and carbon emission reduction plans as well as policies concerning the improvement and protection of natural environments.
"The priority that urban residents and officials assign to environmental security has risen markedly as covid-19 serves as a stark warning of unexpected crises," said this year's whitepaper published with the Safe City Index 2021.
However, what made cities like Wellington stand out from the rest was not just having strong environmental policies, but successfully implementing them to achieve results.
The EIU reported that, despite aspirational plans and policies, many high-income cities failed when it came to implementation. The official whitepaper suggesting the keys to success are replacing fractured approaches to environmental issues for unified ones and collaborating with residents rather than directing them.
EIU Safe Cities Index 2021 Top 20
8. Hong Kong
12. New York
14. Washington DC
16. San Francisco
18. Los Angeles