Manila placed 95th out of a list of 100 cities ranked based on their sustainability, a study by leading global design and consultancy firm Arcadis revealed.
Among the 23 Asian metropolises included in 2018 Sustainable Cities Index, Manila is in the bottom quartile, only ahead of Vietnam's Hanoi and India's Kolkata.
Arcadis evaluated the cities based on the quality of life of its citizens, environmental impacts, and economic prosperity, which are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Manila ranked 93rd in the "people" sub-index, which measures a city's performance in terms of personal well-being, working life, and urban living.
In terms of "planet" sub-index, which ranks cities according to environmental impacts, such as pollution, energy consumption, and resilience, among others, Manila placed 91st.
In the "profit" sub-index, which measures the city's economic performance and business infrastructure, Manila landed in the 98th.
According to Arcadis, London is the most sustainable city in 2018, followed by Stockholm, Edinburgh, Singapore, Vienna, Zurich, Munich, Oslo, Hong Kong, and Frankfurt.
Ross McKenzie, Philippine country head of Arcadis, said among the key challenges facing Manila are air and water pollution, traffic, and a lack of resiliency in the face of changing weather patterns.
"Every year, during the wet season, Manila experiences devastating and deep floods, interrupting the city’s operations and creating inconvenience for its citizens," he said.
McKenzie said Manila ranked in the last 10 of the index among 3 pillars because of the "lack of forward sustainable planning as the city growth accelerates."
"Focusing on the building resiliency and investment in infrastructure to uplift the country's economy are key to Manila enjoying a sustainable future," he said.
He added: "With much of the progress being supported and driven by the private sector, city policy makers will play a key role by helping create long-term sustainable policies and embrace international best practice and lessons learnt."