Friday 2nd September 2011

A picture of Melbourne, Australia

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has named Melbourne the best city in the world in which to live in their latest ranking of the world’s best cities.

Despite being named the best place in the world in which to live for the last ten years, Vancouver no longer provides the best living conditions if the latest survey results from the EIU are to be believed. According to their latest version of their bi-annual survey of living conditions throughout the world, it is Melbourne, not Vancouver, that offers the best education and health care facilities and the lowest level of crime.

According to the EIU experts, Vancouver’s drop in ranking was a direct result of a decline in the quality of the city’s infrastructure. However, their findings have been met with astonishment from many of the city’s inhabitants, who claim that the only issue identified in the survey was an “intermittent closures” of the Malahat Drive, a stretch of road that is located 60km from the main city.

In an article that was published by the Vancouver Sun, journalist Jeff Lee reacted quite strongly to the new findings: “Either EIU’s researchers have goofed and they really mistook the Malahat for Cambie Street, with its long closure for the Canada Line or the Trans-Canada Highway with its never-ending turtle’s pace of construction through Burnaby, Coquitlam and Surrey. Or they just really don’t care where the Malahat Highway is," he said, going on to state that he believed the basis upon which the ranking was decided, “frankly discredits this kind of ranking business."

Responding to the criticism that has been leveraged at the results of the latest survey, Jon Copestake, editor of the Economist Intelligence Unit survey said: “When we compile the scores we look at the area around a city as well as the city itself for assessing indicators. For example, congestion on the M25 is an indicator of problems in London's transport infrastructure.

"The idea is that we are reporting general raised congestion levels in and around Vancouver and the fact that the Malahat Highway was closed is a reflection of this trend. It's probably a bad example given the geographical distance from downtown Vancouver - but it was the strongest example we had of road closures in the region.”

The EIU survey, which is published bi-annually and examines the living conditions in 140 cities throughout the world, ranks cities according to their political and social stability, crime rates and access to health care, as well as the amount of cultural events on offer and standard of education, public transport and infrastructure.

The EIU survey takes many aspects of living into account to assess the city's liveability. It scores cities on political and social stability, crime rates and access to quality health care, as well as the diversity and standard of cultural events, the natural environment, education (school and university), and the standard of infrastructure, including public transport.

Top Five Cities in the World in Which to Live (EIU)

  1. Melbourne, Australia
  2. Vienna, Austria
  3. Vancouver, Canada
  4. Toronto, Canada
  5. Calgary, Canada

Read the full article: http://www.economist.com/blogs/gulliver/2011/08/liveability-ranking

Do you have a comment about this article, a further question or even a correction? If so please do let us know.
We may edit your comments and cannot guarantee that all comments will be published, please be nice!