Not much has changed since the last time I reported on the Liveability report from The Economist Intelligence Unit in 2007. Vancouver is still the best place to live overall according to the 2009 ranking:
I’m finding the Mercer’s 2009 Quality of Living survey much more useful as it provides a special ranking for hubs with the best infrastructure. Note that Mercer’ survey is meant to be used as a comparison tool to determine compensation packages for companies with personnel abroad. Yet, as usual, it is fun to make a list of the cities where you would want to live next, right?
Here are the Top 5 cities in each region, according to the Mercer survey:
Middle East & Africa
Hyper-connected to the rest of the world through an ample offering of long-haul flights, low crime rates, great education and health system, fair balance of sunny and warm days, plenty of ways to stay informed, availability of drinks after hours, good public transit, lots of green areas and a will to keep them green. This is the method behind the first Monocle Quality of Life Index.
For international flight connections it would be Paris but for an airport it would have to be Munich. On crime it would be a Japanese city – either Tokyo or Kyoto would do. Zürich and Helsinki would be our key contributors for hospitals and schools while Sydney and Honolulu offer the best weather. [...] For a good night out we’d want to be resident in Madrid, Tokyo or Barcelona and for getting home we’d opt for Munich’s public transport and Copenhagen’s bike network if we were sober enough to pedal home ourselves.
With a well documented rating behind each one of the cities in the list, it is going to be hard to argue that they’ve done their homework, but it still feels very subjective. In any case, [...]
Continuing with the annotation of the special report on cities by The Economist. If you haven’t, please read part 1 first.
Failures at the top: concludes that the single most important factor contributing to the success of a modern city is its government. All great cities, or cities that have gone through important renewal were characterized by influential thinkers taking the lead with passion.
In the 1980s Chicago lost companies, jobs and people, and seemed destined to languish in gradual decline in much the same way as Cleveland, Detroit and Pittsburgh. But energetic government led by a mayor, Richard Daley, whose ambitions start and end with his home town, has truned the city round.
My post on big city refers to the efforts of Mayors in some of the largest cities around the world, but I believe in the ability of the common citizen to commit her energy to improving our city life. If you don’t believe it, just check the manifesto for global cities in which I account of a small group of bloggers in Pittsburgh contributing great ideas to turn their city round.
In place of God: explores the soul of a city, an elusive concept that some [...]