The Australian city of Melbourne (photo, from bbcimg.co.uk) is the world’s most liveable city, according to The Economist Intelligence Unit’s liveability survey.
In 2002 Melbourne and Canada’s Vancouver were joint winners of the title of world’s most liveable city. Since then Vancouver was in first position of the survey every year, but in 2011 the city fell third behind Vienna, Austria.
This year seven of the top ten spots are occupied by Australian and Canadian cities (see bottom of the article).
At the bottom of the ranking of 140 cities are Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea, and Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh.
The survey uses five categories to rate the cities : stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure. The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) said the survey “assesses which locations around the world provide the best or the worst living conditions”.
The report noted that only 1.8 percentage points separated the top ten cities, which were scored out of 100.
The EIU explained in its report why the Canadian city lost its first place : “A small adjustment in Vancouver’s score for transport infrastructure, reflecting recent intermittent closures of the key Malahat highway, resulted in a 0.7 percentage point decline in the Canadian city’s overall liveability rating.”
Although the June riots in Vancouver happened too late in the year to have an impact on the city’s score on the current survey, the EIU said that “further unrest may affect scores for the city in the future.”
In a statement the report editor, Jon Copestake, said that “Australia, with a low population density and relatively low crime rates, continues to supply some of the world’s most liveable cities.”
“Despite the rising cost of living driven by the strong Australian dollar, these cities offer a range of factors to make them highly attractive.”
Melbourne’s mayor Robert Doyle said he was “absolutely delighted” with the news.
”For the first time in a decade we are now officially ranked number one,” he said. ”When you think the strong Aussie dollar militates against this, this is even more impressive.”
Paris is ranked 16, Tokyo 18 and London 53, while the top US city is Honolulu, 26.
The EIU said that the current crisis in the euro zone led to a slight depreciation in liveability in Europe. Greece was largely concerned by it. Because of austerity measures which caused protests, Athens is now ranked 67, below San Juan in Puerto Rico and Montevideo in Uruguay.
The liveability scores across the Middle East and North Africa have also been pushed down due to the Arab Spring and civil war in Libya. Civil war in Tripoli led to such an important deterioration in the liveability rating that in this report the city is in the bottom ten of the ranking for the first time.
The top ten cities :
- 1. Melbourne
- 2. Vienna
- 3. Vancouver
- 4. Toronto
- 5. Calgary
- 6. Sydney
- 7. Helsinki
- 8. Perth
- 9. Adelaide
- 10. Auckland.
And the bottom ten cities :
131. Abidjan, Ivory Coast
132. Tehran, Iran
133. Douala, Cameroon
134. Karachi, Pakistan
135. Tripoli, Libya
136. Algiers, Algeria
137. Lagos, Nigeria
138. Port Moresby, PNG
139. Dhaka, Bangladesh
140. Harare, Zimbabwe.