Melbourne world’s most liveable city but Sydney slips out of the top 10
Wednesday - 16/08/2017 13:43
AN ANNUAL report on the best global cities to live in has once again placed Melbourne in pole position.
The Victorian capital has taken out the top spot for the seventh year running in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Liveability Report.
But it’s bad news for Sydney which crashed out of the global top 10.
So dramatic has been the Harbour City’s fall it’s now been overtaken by two far smaller Australia cities — Adelaide and Perth.
But you probably don’t want to set up home in Tripoli, Libya; Lagos, Nigeria or war torn Damascus in Syria, all of which are the least liveable cities
The Economist’s report looked at factors including crime, access to healthcare, public transport, how good the food is, culture — even how bearable the temperature in each of 140 cities surveyed.
Melbourne aced the table on healthcare, infrastructure and education, although Toronto and Auckland beat it for culture.
It will come as no surprise Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews was revelling in the news on Wednesday.
“This is a win for all Victorians, who contribute so much to making Melbourne the best place to live in the world,” he said.
The city’s Lord Mayor, Robert Doyle, said Melbourne’s win was an “amazing feat”.
However, he struck a note of caution. “That doesn’t mean we are a perfect city by any means
“ ... I would hope that a city like ours would keep a focus on those who are worried about housing affordability, young people trying to get into education or a job, those who are vulnerable and homeless,” he said.
Melbourne’s win was a close run thing though. Perennial bridesmaid of cities, Vienna, lost out to by a mere 0.1 per cent in its total livability score.
Sydney’s slide from seven to 11 was an embarrassment for Australia’s largest city. The city’s Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, thinks she knows the reason why her home town is no longer in the top 10.
“On global scales for cities, Sydney performs strongly on most factors but we’ve been sliding down the scale over the past few years and the significant gap is transport,” she said.
“We just can’t get people in and out of the city in a timely, predictable manner.”
Certainly the city’s new light rail, underground train and motorway systems should help on that score. But the report had another reason why Sydney fared badly.
“Sydney is another city that has seen a decline in its ranking, reflecting growing concerns over possible terror attacks in the past three years.”
Three Canadian cities — Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary — rounded out the top five. Adelaide came next followed by Perth at seven.
Both capitals scored well for education and healthcare and Perth took out a top ranking for infrastructure and transport.
But Western Australia’s hub city slipped up when it came to culture, joint last in the top 10 with Helsinki, Finland.
The report’s authors said Canadian and Australia cities has similarities that propelled them up the rankings.
“Those that score best tend to be mid-sized cities in wealthier countries with a relatively low population density. These can foster a range of recreational activities without leading to high crime levels or overburdened infrastructure.
“Six of the ten topscoring cities are in Australia and Canada, which have, respectively, population densities of 2.9 and 3.7 people per square kilometre.”
Missing from the top of the ranking were some of the world’s cultural and business capitals.
“New York, London, Paris and Tokyo are all prestigious hubs with a wealth of recreational activities, but all suffer from higher levels of crime, congestion and public transport problems than are deemed comfortable,” the report said.
“The question is how much wages, the cost of living and personal taste for a location can offset livability factors.”
Although Sydney might be concerned about its ranking slip, the report had some words of comfort and stated any of the world’s 65 top cities were all very liveable.
“All cities in this tier can lay claim to being on an equal footing in terms of presenting few, if any, challenges to residents’ lifestyles.”