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
As we struggle to find ways to survive the current crisis and look at the leaders of the world to provide guidance, the latest Hub Culture 2009 Zeitgeist Ranking will come in handy as a tour of the cities that are better positioned to sustain an acceptable quality of life while providing plenty of opportunities to rebuild for the future. A zeitgeist reflecting the drama of our times:
its not really about the Obamas – its about the context of our changing expectations of government
Berliners become an enigma – povo at home, increasingly affluent abroad
Just ignore the noxious skyline as you watch the GDP growth rates, still hovering near 9%
LA’s fashion scene has stagnated, and the city’s hold on entertainment is slipping to diffusion by web 2.0
the principles of kaizen (continuous improvement) are shaping a really cool new Japanese ecovibe
The general attitude down under appears to be one of distant concern
Here, ‘crunch’ is in the quinoa, not in the financial vocabulary
The city is rich enough to sit out the bust, and it can always rely on China’s neighboring Guangdong province to drive the local economy
Hunger breeds innovation, because people actually have to think, plot and [...]
Via the BLDGBLOG I’m learning that the Liverpool Biennial is running an international exhibition entitled MADE UP, celebrating the power of artistic imagination. As part of its catalog Geoff Manaugh wrote an essay on the notion of made-up cities, challenging the assumption that everyone who lives in a city knows what it is like to be urban. His post is a brilliant collection of arguments about what constitutes a city.
If Urville, the ultimate example of urban fantasy lives up to the architectural standards of most modern metropolis but is completely devoid of character, can a truly urban experience be architected without the need for a massive agglomeration of buildings? Understanding of these two extreme exercises may lead to better ideas on how to design the cities of the future. Certainly it would seem this exercise is important as we are making important mistakes in building current cities:
…we have perfected the art of the anti-city—that we have made up anything but truly urban environments. Dubai, for instance, is famously difficult to navigate on foot, requiring a ten minute car ride down six-lane motorways, complete with frequently lethal U-turns, simply to get to the hotel [...]
Every year Stan Stalnaker and his team of global citizens gather their experiences around the world and summarize in this, their now famous Hub Culture’s Zeitgeist Ranking, the cities that for a variety of reasons seem to be at the center of the Universe. An elusive classification that doesn’t get impressed with economic power, flawless life-styles or centuries-old traditions, is mostly based on heuristics that related to the needs and desires of global citizens hoping from hub to hub networking their way into urban authorities. This is their veredict:
Los Angeles, United States
In some ways, the doom and gloom LA has experienced recently has presaged the general red alerts now being felt elsewhere – from environmental crisis to economic lapse, LA seems to have arrived in the shits just before everyone else.
As the cutting edge vibe in London wanes, Berlin continues to draw the young and the restless, and its ties to a resurgent East (i.e. Moscow, Warsaw) are really showing dividends.
Even as Mumbai gridlock threatens to become a 24/7 state of affairs, India in general and Mumbai in particular continue their assault on the global consciousness. It’s hard to argue against Mumbai, especially with so many [...]